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Constitution of the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL, 13th June 1956 (I/CONS/GA/1956 (2008)), OXIO 245

International Criminal Police Organization [INTERPOL]

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 27 February 2020

Subject(s):
Immunity from jurisdiction, international organizations — Constituent instruments of international organizations — International legal personality of international organizations — Membership of international organizations — Attribution — Consensual arrangements other than treaties

Core Issues

1. The status of the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL (‘INTERPOL’) as an international organization.

2. The proper definition of the creators and members of INTERPOL.

3. The ad hoc manner in which INTERPOL secures privileges and immunities for its staff and representatives.

This headnote pertains to: ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations, a treaty which is the constituent instrument of an international organization. Jump to full text

Background

The Constitution of the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL (‘Constitution’) established the legal framework and mechanisms for cross-border police cooperation. The International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL (‘INTERPOL’) exists ‘[t]o ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities … [and] contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes’. [Art 2] The Constitution is of interest to the study of the law of international organizations because its constituent instrument is not an international multilateral treaty. As the organization was not created in an orthodox manner, INTERPOL’s status as an intergovernmental organization has faced doubt.

There has been international police cooperation in some form since the middle of the nineteenth century. The idea of an international police organization as such was first mentioned at the International Criminal Police Congress of 1914. The International Criminal Police Commission was officially created in 1923. These meetings were not diplomatic initiatives; rather, they were gatherings of police officials, some of whom did not possess authority to negotiate on behalf of their governments. During World War Two, the organization fell under Nazi control and essentially ceased to function internationally. Following the war, the organization was reconstituted and given the name ‘INTERPOL’. In 1956, INTERPOL adopted the present Constitution. The Constitution has since been subject to numerous amendments. Thus, INTERPOL was established without the signing of an international treaty. This document is relevant to the law of international organizations in that it demonstrated the different manners in which such bodies may be validly created at international law.

Summary

Structure of INTERPOL

The organization’s structure is outlined in its Constitution. [Art 5] INTERPOL’s highest governing body is the General Assembly (GA) which consists of country representatives. The GA meets annually to adopt resolutions and make recommendations to Member States. [Arts 8(f), 10] GA decisions are made by simple majority. [Art 14] This is with the exception for the election of the President and amendments to the Constitution, which both require a two-thirds majority. [Arts 16, 42] The Executive Committee, headed by INTERPOL’s President, is elected by the GA and is tasked with supervising the execution of GA decisions and the work of the Secretary-General (SG). [Arts 22(a), 22(d)] The SG candidate, ‘chosen from among persons highly competent in police matters’, is proposed by the Executive Committee and approved by the GA for a renewable period of five years. [Art 28]

The General Secretariat (‘Secretariat’), located in Lyon, is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of INTERPOL’s governing bodies and the administration of the organization. [Arts 26(a), 26(d)] The Secretariat has seven regional bureaus, and special representatives at the United Nations (UN), African Union, and European Union. Further, each Member State must appoint a National Central Bureau, which liaises between the Secretariat and domestic government departments to ensure ‘the constant and active cooperation of its [m]embers’. [Arts 31, 32]

The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s files (‘Commission’) was introduced by constitutional amendment in 2008. [Art 36] It is an independent body with its own statute (Resolution AG/2016/RES/06 INTERPOL’s supervisory mechanisms for the processing of data in the INTERPOL Information System (‘Resolution AG/2016/RES/06’). The Commission is tasked with ensuring that INTERPOL’s processing of personal data is compliant with the organization’s regulations and fundamental rights (see Resolution AG/2016/RES/06).

INTERPOL’s Status as an International Organization

INTERPOL was created through the meetings of police agencies, rather than meetings of states. This fact is reflected in the Constitution, where only tacit, post-hoc governmental approval of the instrument was required, rather than signing and ratification. [Art 45] The will of states to create this intergovernmental organization was thus indicated impliedly, through subsequent practice, rather than explicitly through signing a constituent treaty. This more informal process initially created some difficulties for the recognition of INTERPOL as an intergovernmental organization, particularly before the adopted of the present Constitution. Further, INTERPOL has also recently noted that it ‘faces continuous challenges’ in relation to its independence as an organization (Resolution AG/2006/RES/04 Statement to Reaffirm the Independence and Political Neutrality of Interpol). Questions concerning INTERPOL’s status as an international organization are fundamentally linked to its membership, and whether INTERPPOL is an intergovernmental organization.

Membership of INTERPOL

Properly defining the organization’s membership is complicated because the Constitution indicates that official police bodies, not states, are INTERPOL’s members. [Art 4] The words ‘states’ and ‘governments’ were avoided, as part of the effort to safeguard the organization’s apolitical nature. More specifically, it states that countries may delegate such a body as a member of the organization. This reinforces the idea that the controlling intent flows from states themselves, even if police departments formed the actual membership of INTERPOL. As state organs carrying out work core to governmental functions, the police bodies are implicitly acting on behalf of the states (see RSJ Martha (2010) 149-154). Article 45 of the Constitution stipulates that ‘[a]ll bodies representing the countries mentioned in Appendix I shall be deemed to be [m]embers of the [o]rganization unless they declare through the appropriate governmental authority that they cannot accept this Constitution’. Thus, states had the ability to easily withdraw from the organization if the government did not agree with what the police bodies had negotiated at the founding meetings.

Moreover, the wording used by INTERPOL itself has evolved over time, and for several decades the more conventional language of ‘Member States’ has been used in its resolutions—for example, ‘[c]alls upon the Member States to ratify the Convention and to urge their national competent authorities to implement the provisions of the Convention’ (Resolution AGN/58/RES/08 Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances); or ‘[d]ecides that the [g]overnment of Samoa shall be a [m]ember of the [o]rganization’ (Resolution AG/2009/RES/01 Membership of the Government of Samoa).

Privileges and Immunities

The Constitution does not contain a conventional provision relating to the organization’s immunity or privileges—for example, the UN has Article 105 of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter). The principle of non-interference in the organization’s activities can be recognised generally in the Article 30 of the Constitution. However, the specification of immunity is lacking. In light of this, INTERPOL has included more detailed provisions relating to the necessary privileges and immunities in bilateral agreements with host countries. For example, in its 1982 Headquarters Agreement with France—and the 2008 revised Agreement—which stated in its preamble, ‘[b]elieving that in France INTERPOL should enjoy the privileges and immunities generally accorded to international organizations with their headquarters on French territory’, Article 4(1) specifies that the organization's headquarters shall be inviolable, and Article 5(1) states that INTERPOL shall enjoy immunity from legal process (Agreement between the International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol and the Government of the French Republic Regarding Interpol's Headquarters in France).

Similar arrangements are made for events, such as during INTERPOL’s Americas Regional Conference in 2011: ‘[o]n the occasion of the [twenty-first] Americas Regional Conference, the Kingdom of the Netherlands shall grant the same privileges and immunities normally granted to international organizations …’ (Article 2 of the Agreement between the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in respect of Aruba, and the International Criminal Police Organization on the privileges and immunities of the International Criminal Police Organization) (for a full list of all such agreements, for example with sub-regional bureaus, see Martha (2010) 133 fn 252).

Analysis

The uncertainty over the status of INTEPOL stemmed from the question whether, even if its Constitution was not a treaty, the document could be considered the expression of an international agreement between states to create an international organization. For the Constitution to be classified as an international agreement that establishes an intergovernmental organization, it needs to be established that states endorsed the document. One way in which this state approval is expressed is through the ‘opting out’ or ‘non-objection’ technique contained in Article 45 of the Constitution. This approach was not completely novel within the law of international organizations—for example, Article 22 of the Constitution of the World Health Organisation, or Article 90 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. However, this process allowed states to object to certain regulations or standards adopted by an organization, rather than giving tacit approval for the creation of an international organization. Further, the subsequent behaviour of states is a clear demonstration of their consent to be bound by the Constitution—for example, the annual contributions of states to INTERPOL’s budget. Furthermore, INTERPOL did not rely on any national law for the implementation of its Constitution. The status of INTERPOL as an organization above domestic jurisdictions has been acknowledged by both international and national tribunals— for example in Judgment No. 1080, ‘an international organi[z]ation like [INTERPOL] is answerable neither to any other body nor to any of its [M]ember States’ (para 6); and Balkir v INTERPOL.

There is no requirement that the parties which establish an international organization must also be its members. Other examples are the Bank for International Settlements, whose members are the central banks of the contracting countries, or the Inter-Parliamentary Union (for more detail see RSJ Martha 160).

More importantly, the post-1956 practice of the GA has been to approve the membership of states, rather than police bodies. In 2016, the organization suspended the acceptance of new members pending a study of the membership process (Resolution AG-2016-Res-01 Study on the process for membership of INTERPOL).

As there is no rule of international law requiring that international organizations may only be constituted via formal treaty processes, the lack of such a process in the case of INTERPOL does not alone preclude its having a distinct legal personality at international law. Indeed, other international organizations have been created through informal agreements. However, the manner in which INTERPOL was constituted created some initial difficulties for its recognition by the UN as an intergovernmental organization.

INTERPOL’s neutrality

The political neutrality of INTERPOL is a key characteristic of the organization (Resolution AG/2006/RES/04 Statement to Reaffirm the Independence and Political Neutrality of Interpol (‘Resolution AG/2006/RES/04)). Article 3 of the Constitution states that ‘[i]t is strictly forbidden for the [o]rganization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’. To apply this principle, the organization developed the ‘predominance test’ (Resolution AGN/20/RES/11 Request for international inquiries). National Central Bureaus are not to undertake action relating to offences of a predominantly political, racial, or religious character. This is still the case if the facts in question would not constitution a political crime under the law of the requesting country.

The interpretation of Article 3 of the Constitution has developed over time. In 1984, the GA adopted a resolution which made it clear that INTERPOL action in response to certain terrorist acts was not prohibited by the Constitution (Resolution AGN/53/RES/7 Application of Article 3 of the Constitution, in particular Part II). The interpretation widened further in 2004, when the GA endorsed the practice of issuing red notices solely based on alleged membership of a terrorist entity (Resolution AG-2004-RES-18 Interim guidance to the General Secretariat in cases of membership in a terrorist organization).

A significant development also occurred in 1994, when the GA adopted a resolution enabling the organization to engage in cases of violations of international humanitarian law (Resolution AGN/63/RES/9 Application of Article 3 of the Constitution in the context of serious violations of international humanitarian law). This facilitated cooperation between INTERPOL and international criminal courts. Furthermore, INTERPOL has produced a Repository of Practice document outlining in detail the interpretation of Article 3 (Repository of Practice: Application of Article 3 of INTERPOL’s Constitution in the context of the processing of information via INTERPOL’s channels).

Finally, the Constitution also stipulates that mutual assistance in police cooperation must be sought ‘within the limits of the laws existing in the different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’. [Arts 2(1)]

Impact

In 1982, the UN Office of Legal Affairs produced a detailed analysis of INTERPOL’s status with the UN (Status of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) with the United Nations (‘UN Opinion’)). The UN Opinion noted that INTERPOL was first categorised in 1948 as a non-governmental organization possessing consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (under Article 71 UN Charter). The recognition of INTERPOL as an intergovernmental organization occurred as a result of the clarifications introduced in 1956 by the Constitution. In 2006, INTERPOL acknowledged the importance of the 1956 amendments in securing its independence in a GA resolution which stated, recalling that ‘in 1955 it was felt necessary to revise the constituent instrument of the [o]rganization, in order to ensure and strengthen its position as an independent and neutral intergovernmental organization’; noting ‘(a) [t]he [o]rganization as a standing intergovernmental organization rather than a committee (Art 1), with its own organs (Art 5), and with a life of its own, independent of the countries which gave birth to it’ (Resolution AG/2006/RES/04).

ECOSOC’s Resolution 1579(L) of 1971 contained a special arrangement for cooperation with INTERPOL, and can be considered the turning point towards the recognition of INTERPOL as an intergovernmental organization (ECOSOC Resolution 1971/1579(L). Special arrangement for co-operation between the United Nations and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), paras 2 and 3). In 1975, ECOSOC Decision (109) LIX—‘[p]articipation of intergovernmental organizations in the work of [ECOSOC]’—clearly recognised INTERPOL as an intergovernmental organization (Letter to the Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization, para 1). This recognition did not occur earlier ‘partly because of the uncertainties which seem to have persisted with regard to INTERPOL's intergovernmental character in the absence of a formal international agreement establishing the organization’ (UN Opinion, para 2). INTERPOL was granted observer status at the UN General Assembly in 1996 (UNGA Resolution 51/1, para 1).

Today it would be difficult to doubt INTERPOL’s status as an international organization. The organization has manifested its international personality through acceding to treaties and signing agreements with other international actors. This competency is contained in Article 41 of the Constitution. For example, in 2000, INTERPOL acceded to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (Resolution AGN/69/RES/7 Accession to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations).

Further, INTERPOL concluded a cooperation agreement with the UN in 1997 (Cooperation Agreement between the United Nations and the International Criminal Police Organization). This in fact was part of a concerted effort on behalf of the organization to increase relations with other international actors (Resolution AGN/64/RES/11 Relations with other international bodies and with police organizations in particular).

INTERPOL currently has cooperation agreements with a wide range of international and regional organizations, including: the Universal Postal Union; the International Atomic Energy Agency; World Customs Organization; the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the European Central Bank. As noted in the UN Opinion, substance of a constituent instrument prevails over form in the determination of the intergovernmental character of an organization (para 4). A formal international treaty is not a requirement. What is relevant is the role which that constitution ascribes to governments in such matters as membership, representation and financing (para 4).

The INTERPOL Constitution specified that Members will be represented by one delegation head ‘appointed by the competent government authority of that country’ and that the organization’s resources are provided by financial contributions from members. [Arts 7, 38(a), 39] Notably, a NGO may convert into an intergovernmental organization, not through a new international treaty, but solely through amendments to its existing constituent instrument—for example, as expressly acknowledged by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in relation to the now-World Tourism Organization (UNGA Resolution 2529 (XXIV), para 1(a)). Furthermore, this possibility was acknowledged by the International Law Commission in 2002 when it stated that international organizations were ‘namely, organizations that [s]tates have established by means of a treaty or, in exceptional cases (such as that of OSCE), without a treaty’ (Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its 54th Session, para 469).

A legal opinion prepared by Ian Brownlie QC and Guy S Goodwin-Gill for the Inter-Parliamentary Union also acknowledged the existence of such ‘exceptional measures’ for the creation of international organizations ‘such as non-[s]tate originating agreements or collaboration followed by treaty or practice sufficient to constitute ‘recognition’, as in the case of the World Tourist Organization, [INTERPOL], and [the] Nordic Council’ (see Joint Opinion of Ian Brownlie and Guy S Goodwin-Gill on the international legal personality of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), para 1).

It was only in 2011 that INTERPOL submitted its Constitution for registration with the UN in accordance with Article 102 of the UN Charter, because ‘[the] Constitution is to be considered as the international agreement’ and ‘registration and publication of [the] Constitution with the [UN] will clarify the nature of [the] Constitution and facilitate collaboration by the [o]rganization with its member countries and with other international entities’ (Resolution AG/2011/RES/15 Registration of INTERPOL’s Constitution under Article 102 of the United Nations Charter). Such registration does not retrospectively alter the nature of the Constitution, but rather would clarify the intergovernmental status of INTERPOL as an organization (Martha (2010) 196).

Further Analysis and Relevant Materials

Materials Cited

Reporter(s): Eve Bain

Source text

Original Source PDF

General Provisions

Article 1

The Organization called the “INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE COMMISSION” shall henceforth be entitled: “THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION-INTERPOL”. Its seat shall be in France.

Article 2

Its aims are:

  1. (1)  To ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limits of the laws existing in the different countries and in the spirit of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”;

  2. (2)  To establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.

Article 3

It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

Article 4

Any country may delegate as a Member to the Organization any official police body whose functions come within the framework of activities of the Organization.

The request for membership shall be submitted to the Secretary General by the appropriate governmental authority. Membership shall be subject to approval by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

Structure and Organization

Article 5

The International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL shall comprise:

  • – The General Assembly

  • – The Executive Committee

  • – The General Secretariat

  • – The National Central Bureaus

  • – The Advisers

  • – The Commission for the Control of Files

The General Assembly

Article 6

The General Assembly shall be the body of supreme authority in the Organization. It is composed of delegates appointed by the Members of the Organization.

Article 7

Each Member may be represented by one or several delegates; however, for each country there shall be only one delegation head, appointed by the competent governmental authority of that country.

Because of the technical nature of the Organization, Members should attempt to include the following in their delegations:

  1. (a)  High officials of departments dealing with police affairs,

  2. (b)  Officials whose normal duties are connected with the activities of the Organization,

  3. (c)  Specialists in the subjects on the agenda.

Article 8

The functions of the General Assembly shall be the following:

  1. (a)  To carry out the duties laid down in the Constitution;

  2. (b)  To determine principles and lay down the general measures suitable for attaining the objectives of the Organization as given in Article 2 of the Constitution;

  3. (c)  To examine and approve the general programme of activities prepared by the Secretary General for the coming year;

  4. (d)  To determine any other regulations deemed necessary;

  5. (e)  To elect persons to perform the functions mentioned in the Constitution;

  6. (f)  To adopt resolutions and make recommendations to Members on matters with which the Organization is competent to deal;

  7. (g)  To determine the financial policy of the Organization;

  8. (h)  To examine and approve any agreements to be made with other organizations.

Article 9

Members shall do all within their power, in so far as is compatible with their own obligations, to carry out the decisions of the General Assembly.

Article 10

The General Assembly of the Organization shall meet in ordinary session every year. It may meet in extraordinary session at the request of the Executive Committee or of the majority of Members.

Article 11

  1. (1)  The General Assembly may, when in session, set up special committees for dealing with particular matters.

  2. (2)  It may also decide to hold regional conferences between two General Assembly sessions.

Article 12

  1. (1)  At the end of each session, the General Assembly shall choose the place where it will meet for its next session.

  2. (2)  The General Assembly may also decide where it will meet for its session in two years’ time, if one or more countries have issued invitations to host that session.

  3. (3)  If circumstances make it impossible or inadvisable for a session to be held in the chosen meeting place, the General Assembly may decide to choose another meeting place for the following year.

Article 13

Only one delegate from each country shall have the right to vote in the General Assembly.

Article 14

Decisions shall be made by a simple majority except in those cases where a two-thirds majority is required by the Constitution.

The Executive Committee

Article 15

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President of the Organization, the three Vice-Presidents and nine Delegates.

The thirteen members of the Executive Committee shall belong to different countries, due weight having been given to geographical distribution.

Article 16

The General Assembly shall elect, from among the delegates, the President and three Vice-Presidents of the Organization.

A two-thirds majority shall be required for the election of the President; should this majority not be obtained after the second ballot, a simple majority shall suffice.

The President and Vice-Presidents shall be from different continents.

Article 17

The President shall be elected for four years. The Vice-Presidents shall be elected for three years. They shall not be immediately eligible for reelection either to the same posts or as Delegates on the Executive Committee.

If, following the election of a President, the provisions of Article 15 (paragraph 2) or Article 16 (paragraph 3) cannot be applied or are incompatible, a fourth Vice-President shall be elected so that all four continents are represented at the Presidency level.

If this occurs, the Executive Committee will, for a temporary period, have fourteen members. The temporary period shall come to an end as soon as circumstances make it possible to apply the provisions of Articles 15 and 16.

Article 18

The President of the Organization shall:

  1. (a)  Preside at meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and direct the discussions;

  2. (b)  Ensure that the activities of the Organization are in conformity with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

  3. (c)  Maintain as far as is possible direct and constant contact with the Secretary General of the Organization.

Article 19

The nine Delegates on the Executive Committee shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of three years. They shall not be immediately eligible for re-election to the same posts.

Article 20

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each year on being convened by the President of the Organization.

Article 21

In the exercise of their duties, all members of the Executive Committee shall conduct themselves as representatives of the Organization and not as representatives of their respective countries.

Article 22

The Executive Committee shall:

  1. (a)  Supervise the execution of the decisions of the General Assembly;

  2. (b)  Prepare the agenda for sessions of the General Assembly;

  3. (c)  Submit to the General Assembly any programme of work or project which it considers useful;

  4. (d)  Supervise the administration and work of the Secretary General;

  5. (e)  Exercise all the powers delegated to it by the Assembly.

Article 23

In case of resignation or death of any of the members of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly shall elect another member to replace him and whose term of office shall end on the same date as his predecessor’s. No member of the Executive Committee may remain in office should he cease to be a delegate to the Organization.

Article 24

Executive Committee members shall remain in office until the end of the session of the General Assembly held in the year in which their term of office expires.

The General Secretariat

Article 25

The permanent departments of the Organization shall constitute the General Secretariat.

Article 26

The General Secretariat shall:

  1. (a)  Put into application the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

  2. (b)  Serve as an international centre in the fight against ordinary crime;

  3. (c)  Serve as a technical and information centre;

  4. (d)  Ensure the efficient administration of the Organization;

  5. (e)  Maintain contact with national and international authorities, whereas questions relative to the search for criminals shall be dealt with through the National Central Bureaus;

  6. (f)  Produce any publications which may be considered useful;

  7. (g)  Organize and perform secretariat work at the sessions of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee and any other body of the Organization;

  8. (h)  Draw up a draft programme of work for the coming year for the consideration and approval of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

  9. (i)  Maintain as far as is possible direct and constant contact with the President of the Organization.

Article 27

The General Secretariat shall consist of the Secretary General and a technical and administrative staff entrusted with the work of the Organization.

Article 28

The appointment of the Secretary General shall be proposed by the Executive Committee and approved by the General Assembly for a period of five years. He may be re-appointed for other terms but must lay down office on reaching the age of sixty-five, although he may be allowed to complete his term of office on reaching this age.

He must be chosen from among persons highly competent in police matters.

In exceptional circumstances, the Executive Committee may propose at a meeting of the General Assembly that the Secretary General be removed from office.

Article 29

The Secretary General shall engage and direct the staff, administer the budget, and organize and direct the permanent departments, according to the directives decided upon by the General Assembly or Executive Committee.

He shall submit to the Executive Committee or the General Assembly any propositions or projects concerning the work of the Organization.

He shall be responsible to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.

He shall have the right to take part in the discussions of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee and all other dependent bodies.

In the exercise of his duties, he shall represent the Organization and not any particular country.

Article 30

In the exercise of their duties, the Secretary General and the staff shall neither solicit nor accept instructions from any government or authority outside the Organization. They shall abstain from any action which might be prejudicial to their international task.

Each Member of the Organization shall undertake to respect the exclusively international character of the duties of the Secretary General and the staff, and abstain from influencing them in the discharge of their duties.

All Members of the Organization shall do their best to assist the Secretary General and the staff in the discharge of their functions.

National Central Bureaus

Article 31

In order to further its aims, the Organization needs the constant and active co-operation of its Members, who should do all within their power which is compatible with the legislations of their countries to participate diligently in its activities.

Article 32

In order to ensure the above cooperation, each country shall appoint a body which will serve as the National Central Bureau. It shall ensure liaison with:

  1. (a)  The various departments in the country;

  2. (b)  Those bodies in other countries serving as National Central Bureaus;

  3. (c)  The Organization’s General Secretariat.

Article 33

In the case of those countries where the provisions of Article 32 are inapplicable or do not permit of effective centralized co-operation, the General Secretariat shall decide, with these countries, the most suitable alternative means of co-operation.

The Advisers

Article 34

On scientific matters, the Organization may consult “Advisers”. The role of the Advisers shall be purely advisory.

Article 35

Advisers shall be appointed for three years by the Executive Committee. Their appointment will become definite only after notification by the General Assembly.

They shall be chosen from among those who have a world-wide reputation in some field of interest to the Organization.

An Adviser may be removed from office by decision of the General Assembly.

The Commission for the Control of Files

Article 36

The Commission for the Control of Files is an independent body which shall ensure that the processing of personal information by the Organization is in compliance with the regulations the Organization establishes in this matter.

Commission for the Control of Files shall provide the Organization with advice about any project, operation, set of rules or other matter involving the processing of personal information.

The Commission for the Control of Files shall process requests concerning the information contained in the Organization’s files.

Article 37

The members of the Commission for the Control of Files shall possess the expertise required for it to accomplish its functions. Its composition and its functioning shall be subject to specific rules to be laid down by the General Assembly.

Budget and Resources

Article 38

The Organization’s resources shall be provided by:

  1. (a)  The financial contributions from Members;

  2. (b)  Gifts, bequests, subsidies, grants and other resources after these have been accepted or approved by the Executive Committee.

Article 39

The General Assembly shall establish the basis of Members’ subscriptions and the maximum annual expenditure according to the estimate provided by the Secretary General.

Article 40

The draft budget of the Organization shall be prepared by the Secretary General and submitted for approval to the Executive Committee.

It shall come into force after acceptance by the General Assembly.

Should the General Assembly not have had the possibility of approving the budget, the Executive Committee shall take all necessary steps according to the general outlines of the preceding budget.

Relations with other Organizations

Article 41

Whenever it deems fit, having regard to the aims and objects provided in the Constitution, the Organization shall establish relations and collaborate with other intergovernmental or non-governmental international organizations.

The general provisions concerning the relations with international, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations will only be valid after their approval by the General Assembly.

The Organization may, in connection with all matters in which it is competent, take the advice of non-governmental international, governmental national or non-governmental national organizations.

With the approval of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee or, in urgent cases, the Secretary General may accept duties within the scope of its activities and competence either from other international institutions or organizations or in application of international conventions.

Application, Modification and Interpretation of the Constitution

Article 42

The present Constitution may be amended on the proposal of either a Member or the Executive Committee.

Any proposal for amendment to this Constitution shall be communicated by the Secretary General to Members of the Organization at least three months before submission to the General Assembly for consideration.

All amendments to this Constitution shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Organization.

Article 43

The French, English and Spanish texts of this Constitution shall be regarded as authoritative.

Article 44

The application of this Constitution shall be determined by the General Assembly through the General Regulations and Appendices, whose provisions shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority.

Temporary Measures

Article 45

All bodies representing the countries mentioned in Appendix I shall be deemed to be Members of the Organization unless they declare through the appropriate governmental authority that they cannot accept this Constitution. Such a declaration should be made within six months of the date of the coming into force of the present Constitution.

Article 46

At the first election, lots will be drawn to determine a Vice-President whose term of office will end a year later.

At the first election, lots will be drawn to determine two Delegates on the Executive Committee whose term of office will end a year later, and two others whose term of office will end two years later.

Article 47

Persons having rendered meritorious and prolonged services in the ranks of the ICPC may be awarded by the General Assembly honorary titles in corresponding ranks of the ICPO.

Article 48

All property belonging to the International Criminal Police Commission are transferred to the International Criminal Police Organization.

Article 49

In the present Constitution:

  • –  “Organization”, wherever it occurs, shall mean the International Criminal Police Organization;

  • –  “Constitution”, wherever it occurs, shall mean the Constitution of the International Criminal Police Organization;

  • –  “Secretary General” shall mean the Secretary General of the International Criminal Police Organization;

  • –  “Committee” shall mean the Executive Committee of the Organization;

  • –  “Assembly” or “General Assembly” shall mean the General Assembly of the Organization;

  • –  “Member” or “Members” shall mean a Member or Members of the International Criminal Police Organization as mentioned in Article 4 of the Constitution;

  • –  “delegate” (in the singular) or “delegates” (in the plural) shall mean a person or persons belonging to a delegation or delegations as defined in Article 7;

  • –  “Delegate” (in the singular) or “Delegates” (in the plural) shall mean a person or persons elected to the Executive Committee in the conditions laid down in Article 19.

Article 50

This Constitution shall come into force on 13 June 1956.

Appendix 1:  List of States to which the Provisions of Article 45 of the Constitution Shall Apply

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Ceylon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eire, Finland, France, Federal German Republic, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Saar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.