The book entitled The Treatment of Combatants and Insurgents under the Law of Armed Conflict by Emily Crawford (Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2010, Print ISBN-13: 9780199578962) cited Larry Pinkney’s 1981 United Nations victory under the section titled Trial without Undue Delay in relation to “conduct of … the authorities.”

Excerpt (Page 145):

Trial without Undue Delay

The requirement to bring a case to trial without undue delay is included in a number of international instruments, including Article 5(3) of the European Convention;150 Article 9(3) of the ICCPR; Article 8(1) of the American Convention; Article 7(1)(d) of the African Charter; and Article 47 of the EU Charter. As noted by the ICCPR:

the accused shall be tried without undue delay. This guarantee relates not only to the time by which a trial should commence, but also the time by which it should end and judgment be rendered; all stages must take place ‘without undue delay’. To make this right effective, a procedure must be available in order to ensure that the trial will proceed ‘without undue delay’, both in the first instance and on appeal.151

What is considered ‘reasonable time’ or ‘without undue delay’ varies according to the circumstances of each case, and takes into account the complexities of the case in question,152 national legislation,153 whether the accused is in custody, and the conduct of both the accused154 and the authorities.155 For instance, in the ECtHR, it was held that a period of eight and a half years was not an unreasonable time for trial at first instance, given that there were 723 accused and 607 criminal offences. However, additional delays in issuing reasons for the judgment and delays in the appeals process were deemed to be excessive.156

(155) Larry James Pinkney v Canada, Communication No 27/1978, UN Doc CCPR/C/OP/1 at 95 (1985); see also Bunkate v The Netherlands, Case No 26/1992/371/445, 26 May 1993, (1993) 19 EHRR 477.


Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)


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