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Compliance with the rules

INTERPOL as an international organization is not subject to any specific national legislation. However, as any other organization, it is still bound to respect general standards of international law and the fundamental rights of individuals.

INTERPOL therefore ensures by its own rules and regulations that its activities respect those principles and that they remain within the mandate of the Organization.

The most fundamental provisions of INTERPOL rules concerning the mandate of the Organization are Article 3 and Article 2 of the Constitution. These limit the Organization's activities to ordinary law crimes, as opposed to activities of political character, and specify that those activities are to be done with due respect to human rights. (Read more about Article 3 and its interpretation.)

To these are added exhaustive regulations on the processing of data, which are necessary for ensuring that all Member states respect the same principles of data sharing and data protection while exchanging information through the Organization's channels

Appropriate levels of control have been established in order to ensure the compliance with these regulations.

First level: control by the National Central Bureaus

The National Central Bureaus (NCBs) are responsible for any information they provide to INTERPOL's databases or information system. They should ensure that the information is accurate, relevant and up to date, and that its processing is in conformity with the Organization's Constitution as well as with their national legislation.

In addition, the NCBs are also responsible for the entities and persons they have authorized to consult the police information in their country. Therefore, any national authorities outside the NCB using or accessing INTERPOL information are under the supervision of their respective NCB.

Finally, the NCBs have a supervision role with regard to other NCBs, i.e. whenever they have a doubt that the rules might not have been respected by another NCB, they may signal it to the General Secretariat, which will take appropriate measures to rectify the situation.

Second level: control by the General Secretariat

The General Secretariat is responsible for processing information it receives or collects and for ensuring that the rules are observed during any operation to process information through the Organization's channels. It is therefore responsible not only for its own activities but, to a certain limit, also for those of the NCBs.

To this respect, the Organization has developed Service Standards, which provide practical information and advice for the NCBs on how to comply with the rules.

In case of doubt, the General Secretariat may take all appropriate steps to prevent any direct or indirect prejudice that might be caused by incorrect processing of information to the Organization or its Member states. This includes, among others, deleting information provided by the NCBs or temporarily restricting access to it.

Third level: control by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files

In addition to the control by the General Secretariat and the NCBs, the compliance with the rules is also controlled and supervised by an independent organ of the Organization, the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL'S Files (CCF).

The CCCF's functioning is governed by the Rules relating to the Control of Information and Access to INTERPOL's Files (RCI). The Commission's supervision role is primarily over the General Secretariat, but its conclusions and recommendations often have direct consequences for the NCBs.

It is the Commission's responsibility to check that information is obtained, processed and stored in accordance with INTERPOL's rules and regulations and the purposes stated therein. It can do this, for example, by conducting spot checks or by providing advice on issues it considers in need of improvement.

The Commission is also competent to receive requests from people wishing to exercise their right of access to information about them recorded in INTERPOL's databases. Such right of access includes the right to have information corrected or deleted, as the case may be.