What is the part for the CPT exam

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

 

URL: https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/about-the-cpt_DE

"The CPT in a nutshell"

European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

CPT standards


Preventing mistreatment of prisoners in Europe

The CPT is a committee that visits detention facilities to see how people who have been deprived of liberty are treated. Examples of such facilities are prisons, juvenile detention centers, police stations, detention centers and psychiatric clinics.

CPT delegations have unrestricted access to these detention facilities, including the right to move freely within these locations. They interview people who have been deprived of their liberty without witnesses and are free to contact anyone who can provide them with relevant information.

After each visit, the CPT sends a detailed report to the state concerned. This report contains the established facts, as well as recommendations, comments and requests for information. The CPT also requests the government to provide a detailed reply to its report. The reports and responses are the central elements for a continuous dialogue with the affected state.

The full name of the CPT is "European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment". This indicates two important features: geographically, the Committee covers Europe, thematically not just “torture”, but a whole range of situations which can lead to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The visit system

The visits are carried out by delegations, usually composed of two or more members of the CPT, and are accompanied by members of the secretariat and (if necessary) by experts and interpreters.

The delegations of the CPT visit the contracting states at regular intervals (so-called "periodic visits"; approximately every 4 years). If necessary, so-called "ad hoc visits" are also organized.

The committee must announce a visit to the state concerned. After such an announcement, the delegation of the CPT may at any time go to any place where persons have been deprived of their liberty.

Collaboration and confidentiality

The principles of cooperation and confidentiality are central aspects of the international convention established by the CPT.

  • Cooperation with national authorities is at the heart of the CPT's work, as it aims to protect people who have been deprived of their liberty - not to condemn the state for abuse.
  • Confidentiality is another central aspect of the CPT. The findings of the committee, its reports and the responses of the governments are therefore in principle confidential. However, much information on the work of the CPT has been published.

Publications

  • The state itself can authorize the publication of the committee's report and its own opinion. Most states have so far published these documents.
  • If a state refuses to cooperate or refuses to improve the situation in accordance with the recommendations of the committee, the CPT can decide to make a so-called public statement.
  • In addition, the CPT prepares a general report on its activities, which is published once a year.

Structure of the CPT

  • The members of the CPT are independent and impartial experts from various fields, e.g. lawyers, doctors and specialists in the prison or police sector.
  • The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe elects a member for each contracting state. The members are independent, i.e. they do not represent the state for which they were elected. In addition, members do not participate in visits to the state for which they were elected.
  • The secretariat of the CPT is part of the Council of Europe.

background

  • The CPT was established by the Council of Europe “European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. The convention came into force in 1989.
  • This convention builds on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that no one should be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • The CPT is not an investigative body or a court, but a preventive mechanism to protect people deprived of their liberty from torture and other forms of ill-treatment. The CPT thus complements the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

ratification

  • So far, the convention has been ratified by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe.
  • The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe can invite non-member states to accede to the convention.

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