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Fundamental texts

Foundations of the Organization

INTERPOL's structure and internal rules are governed by the Constitution and a set of annexed regulations. These regulations relate to several essential aspects of an international organization including:

  • The different bodies of the Organization;
  • The role of each body;
  • Internal procedures for voting and selecting members;
  • Financial regulations;
  • The processing of information and confidentiality.

The Organization's status is also partially regulated by the Headquarters Agreements concluded between INTERPOL and the Government of France and other governments on whose territory the Organization has premises.

Official documents

The current INTERPOL Constitution was adopted in 1956, following a series of less uniform statutes that had served as the legal basis of the Organization since its foundation in 1923. The Constitution functions as the most fundamental legal basis of the Organization.

The General Regulations govern the organization of the General Assembly, the body of supreme authority in the Organization. In addition, the General Regulations concern, among others, the selection of the members of the Executive Committee and the Secretary General, adopting and voting of the budget and other practical, but nonetheless vital functions of the Organization.

Even more practical regulations are the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and Rules of Procedure of the Executive Committee. These Rules set out the regulations for the agenda of each of these bodies, representation of the Members countries, making of motions, the right to speak in the session, the voting system, and eligibility (for the Executive Committee).

The legal situation of the headquarters of an international organization and its various installations are defined by a convention known as a Headquarters Agreement between the organization and the host State. Therefore, a Headquarters Agreement has been concluded between INTERPOL and the Government of France and other governments on whose territory the Organization has premises.

Such agreements set out the Organization's rights as recognized by the host State, particularly with regard to the extent of the Organization's right to adopt its own regulations and rules for application within its installations, and the privileges and immunities which the host country grants the organization to enable it to fulfil its mission.

Finally, INTERPOL's finances and their governance are regulated by the Financial Regulations. These regulations govern questions such as which organ has the authority to make commitments with financial implications, the drafting of the budget, its implementation, the assets and funds of the Organization and audit.

Rules governing the processing of data

The processing of data within INTERPOL is regulated by INTERPOL's Rules on the Processing of Data (RPD).

This set of rules governs the functioning of INTERPOL’s police information system and sets the data protection principles applied by INTERPOL Members in their operations,  the conditions under which police data may be processed in this information system, i.e. accessed, recorded, in the case of notices published,  modified, or retained. It also contains provisions on confidentiality and security as well as rules on the control and monitoring of such processing.

These rules create a regime that is independent of the existence of other mechanisms for police and judicial cooperation, whether these are regional or bilateral, and they apply to all police data sent via the Organization’s channels.

Whereas the RPD concentrates on the processing of data by the Organization, the control of personal data and access to information by individuals are regulated by the Rules on the Control of Information and access to INTERPOL's files (RCI).