The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the OPCAT) in Europe: Duplication or Reinforcement?

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Abstract

This article examines whether the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the OPCAT) leads to duplication or reinforcement in Europe. In addition to creating the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), the OPCAT requires that states parties establish or designate national preventive mechanisms. In the Council of Europe, states adopted the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture (the ECPT), which created the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (the CPT). After having outlined the history of the OPCAT and the ECPT and the function of the CPT and the SPT, the article examines the differences between the OPCAT and the ECPT and the sharing of tasks between the SPT and the CPT. It also discusses cooperation between the two bodies as well as cooperation between the CPT and national preventive mechanisms. Finally, it examines obstacles to cooperation between the SPT and the CPT. The article comes to the conclusion that the SPT could focus on the establishment and strengthening of national preventive mechanisms, whereas the CPT could continue to visit places of detention to prevent torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against persons deprived of their liberty in European states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-274
Number of pages18
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

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