Where a violation is found to have occurred states have a duty to punish those guilty of the violation.
- Where the investigations referred to in paragraph 15 reveal violations of certain Covenant rights, States Parties must ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. As with failure to investigate, failure the bring to justice perpetrators of such violations could in an of itself give rise to a separate breach of the Covenant.
- The obligation to respect, ensure respect for and enforce international human rights and humanitarian law includes, inter alia, a State’s duty to: (b) Investigate violations and, where appropriate, take action against the violator in accordance with domestic and international law.
- As a matter of principle, electoral violations should be investigated and electoral violators should be held accountable by law. Thus, election (and party) legislation and/or framework legislation such as Civil and Penal Codes should specify election-related offences (which can be committed by voters, candidates, parties, media, electoral and public officials, etc.) and the legal sanctions for such offences (e.g. forfeiture of contributions or public funding, suspension or disqualification for a candidate, fines or imprisonment).
- In order to ensure that the rules relating to voters’ freedom to form an opinion are effective, any violation of the foregoing rules must be punished.
- Investigations and prosecutions are essential to reduce future violence.