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It is useful to study what guides the committee uses to interpret the provisions and decide cases. There are two key indicators of interpretation:

The preamble to a treaty helps to ascertain the purpose of the law, and is therefore a guide as to how it might be interpreted. Click here for a link to the (preamble to the) treaty.

Previous decisions of the committee. Whilst the committee is not obliged to follow their previous decisions, there is fairly high degree of consistency in its decisions.

An example of a relevant case: Law Offices of Ghazi Suleiman v. Sudan (Communication 220/98, decided at the 31st Ordinary Session, May 2002).

In this case, the Minister of Education in the Republic of the Sudan announced that all the universities in Sudan would be closed for one month. The complainant alleged that the closure of universities was being undertaken to assist the military mobilisation for the civil war in southern Sudan and that this amounted to a violation of Article 17. However, the merits of the case – including the claim with regard to the right to education – were not dealt with because it was declared inadmissible by the Commission due to non-exhaustion of local remedies.