Prevention of Torture

Prevention of Torture in Europe

Why the un Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (spt) Should Visit Europe

Tom Daems, from the Ghent University, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Criminal Justice and Human Rights,” under the title “Why the un Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (spt) Should Visit Europe”. Here is the abstract: In March 2012 the fifth annual report of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) was published. The SPT was established by the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) which was adopted on 18 December 2002. The OPCAT entered into force in June 2006 and the SPT started to work in February 2007. The SPT is a body of 25 independent experts who inter alia carry out unannounced visits to places of detention across the globe with a view of preventing torture and other forms of ill-treatment. In that respect there are some important similarities with the European anti-torture committee (CPT). Its achievements after five years of activity, however, are rather mixed. Even though the number of States parties has steadily increased (N=63 on 3 June 2012) the SPT suffers from a serious lack of resources and failing cooperation from a number of States parties. In view of such operational problems it has been suggested that the SPT should focus its limited resources on States parties that are not being covered by the CPT. While this suggestion may seem sensible in view of the current state of affairs this paper will argue exactly the opposite, i.e., that in the long-run the SPT will benefit from visiting Europe more often.

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Further Reading

  • “Why the un Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (spt) Should Visit Europe”, by Tom Daems (Proceedings)

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