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  • Red Notice Monitor

Confidentiality and Interpol's CCF – Part One



 

Individuals applying to the Commission for the Control of Files (“CCF”) for the deletion of their Interpol Red Notices will routinely ask that some of the information they rely on be treated as confidential and not disclosed to the Interpol National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of the Requesting States in any circumstances. This often, for example, includes material that they believe might put the applicants or third parties at risk if disclosed. So what rules and procedures are in place to respect the confidentiality of a deletion request?

 

The rules and procedures in place to respect the confidentiality of deletion requests to the CCF are outlined in Article 20 of the Statute of the Commission. This mandates that the work and files of the Commission are confidential, with requests not recorded in the Interpol Information System and National Central Bureaus (NCBs) not having access to them.

 

In practice, the CCF ensures confidentiality by taking appropriate measures to protect the information submitted in a deletion request. This includes not disclosing the location of the person subject to the request, information about their legal representative, or any information marked as confidential by the applicant.

 

When a deletion application is made, the CCF may inform the NCB of the Requesting State about the application and provide a summary of the arguments raised without disclosing restricted information. This is permitted under Articles 21 and 34 of the CCF’s Statute, which authorize the Commission to seek information or clarification from concerned NCBs as necessary to examine a request.

 

However, if an applicant refuses to allow the CCF to disclose even a summary of their arguments to the relevant NCB, the Commission may reject the deletion request. It may determine that it cannot properly consider the complaint without being able to contact relevant NCBs and provide them with at least a summary of the arguments. While it will be rare for an applicant to take such a position, it is conceivable in certain circumstances.

 

More commonly, the CCF may decide to delete a Red Notice due to a NCB’s failure to adequately comply with a request for further information. This phenomenon, along with factors suggesting increasing delays in the CCF’s decision-making process, are discussed in the second part of our blog.

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