It is important to remember that all international complaints procedures have their own formal rules or requirements that determine whether the complaint will be considered. Please ensure that you have complete information about the rules that apply to the complaints procedure to which you intend to direct your complaint (see further under "which international complaints mechanism should I send my complaint to?").
These rules may vary somewhat, but there are some common principles that are important to be aware of, namely:
- The respondent State must have accepted the relevant committee’s competence to process individual complaints;
- The complainant has clearly identified a human rights issue that is covered by one or more provisions of the relevant Convention and thus falls within the jurisdiction of the committee. A complaint should not be construed as an abuse of the right of submission, or be seen as incompatible with the provisions of the Convention;
- The complainant must have exhausted all available domestic remedies. This means that the matter has been brought before the Norwegian courts in different instances and that all appeal processes, including to the Supreme Court, have been used. The reason for this requirement is that the State should have been given the opportunity to rectify any violations before the Committee handles a complaint;
-The complaint, as a general rule, must be submitted "without delay”. Some mechanisms have very strict requirements, notably that an application must be submitted within six months after a final decision is made by the national courts;
- The complaint, as a general rule, should be submitted by the person who has been exposed to an alleged human rights violation, or by her or his legal representatives. The complaint must be in writing and signed since anonymous applications can be automatically rejected;
- The complaint cannot be considered by several international complaints bodies simultaneously.