International Workshop on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and its Optional
Protocol (OPCAT)
Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 6 June 2014
CAT Implementation and Preparation of State Report
Manfred Nowak
Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Vienna, Austria
Austrian Chair Visiting Professor at Stanford University, California
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UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004-2010)
Manfred Nowak - CAT
Table of Contents
1. Prevention of Torture and CIDT (CAT)
2. Prevention of Torture (OPCAT)
3. Investigation of allegations and suspicions of torture
4. Fighting impunity
5. Right of victims of torture to remedy and reparation
6. Monitoring of compliance by UN Committee against Torture
7. Preparing State reports to the Committee against Torture
8. Overview of selected monitoring bodies
9. Overview of missions by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2005-2010)
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1. Prevention of torture
Manfred Nowak - CAT
1. Prevention of Torture and CIDT (CAT)
Convention against Torture 1984
Article 2: effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures aimed at
the prevention of torture, e.g. limiting police detention to 48 hours,
prompt access of detainees to a judge, a doctor, lawyer, family member,
audio and video
Article 3: non-refoulement
Article 10: training of law enforcement personnel
Article 11: modernization of interrogation techniques
Article 15: non-applicability of information extracted by torture
Article 16: prevention of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
2. Prevention of Torture and CIDT (OPCAT)
Optional Protocol to CAT, 2002
Preventive visits to places of detention
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ICRC
Jean-Jacques Gautier
Draft Costa Rica Protocol 1980
European Convention for the Prevention of Torture 1987: CPT
OPCAT 2002: UN Sub-Committee on Prevention and National
Preventive Mechanisms
Jean-Jacques Gautier
(1912-1986)
Example: National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) in Austria
NPM = Austrian Ombuds Institution + 6 Visiting Commissions consisting of 8
persons each: doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses,
lawyers, political scientists, prison experts etc.
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
3. Investigation of allegations and suspicions of torture
Article 12 CAT
“ Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a
prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to
believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its
jurisdiction” (ex-officio investigations);
Article 13 CAT
“ Prompt and impartial investigation of any allegation of torture and protection
against reprisals”;
“Police police”: need for an effective body with full powers of investigation and full
independence from law-enforcement officials.
Example: British Police Complaints Commissions
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
4. Fighting impunity
Article 4 CAT
Obligation to criminalize torture in accordance with the definition in Article 1;
need for appropriate penalties which take into account the grave nature of
torture;
Article 5-9 CAT
Territorial, personal and universal jurisdiction; principle of aut dedere aut
iudicare;
Rome Statute of an International Criminal Court, 1998
Systematic or widespread practice of torture as crime against humanity.
Examples
- Pinochet case (Chile, UK, Spain)
- Habré case (Chad, Senegal, Belgium)
- Zardad case (Afghanistan, UK)
- Guridi case (Spain)
Augusto Pinochet
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
5. Right of victims of torture to remedy and reparation
Article 13 CAT
„Right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its
competent authorities“ (right of victims to an effective remedy);
Article 14 CAT
Right of victims to adequate reparation, including compensation and full rehabilitation;
Need to establish and/or support professional
torture rehabilitation centres.
Trauma therapy in an IRCT Rehabilitation Centre in
Timor, Australia
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
6. Monitoring of compliance by UN Committee against Torture
• State reporting procedure: Article 19 CAT, mandatory, periodic reports to be
submitted every 4 years
• Inter-State complaints procedure: Article 21 CAT, optional, no cases
• Individual complaints procedure: Article 22 CAT, optional, case law of the
Committee
• Inquiry procedure: Article 20 CAT, mandatory with opting-out possibility (Article 28),
in cases of well-founded indications of systematic practice of torture; 8 concluded
inquiries (Turkey, Egypt, Peru, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Serbia and Montenegro, Brazil,
Nepal)
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
7. Preparing State reports to the Committee against Torture
• Article 19 CAT: Obligation of States parties to submit periodic reports (every four
years) to the Committee against Torture; process should be participatory
• State reports should contain information on measures taken to implement CAT
(prevention of torture and CIDT, fighting impunity, providing victims with remedy
and reparation)
• State reports should also include shortcomings in the implementation of CAT
• State reports should provide factual information on cases of torture and CIDT
(need for respective statistical information), on allegations of torture brought to
the attention of the government, prosecutors, doctors and courts, on
investigations of torture carried out and their results, on cases of prosecutions
against perpetrators of torture, court sentences etc.
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
8. Overview of selected monitoring bodies
UNSRT
(1985)
CAT-Committee
(1984/87)
CPT
(1987/89)
OPCAT
Subcommittee on
Prevention
(2003/06)
OPCAT NPM
Area
Global Mandate
CAT States Parties (155)
47 member States
of CoE;
- open to non-CoE
member States
OPCAT States
Parties (56)
State
Complaints
procedure
No exhaustion of
domestic remedies
needed (UA, AL)
Exhaustion of domestic
remedies;
Declaration under
Art. 22 CAT
No
No
No
Visits of
Places of
Detention
Only by invitation
of host country
- Private Interviews
Inquiry procedure
(Art. 20);
Only in agreement with
the government
No invitation needed;
- Only notification of
country mission
- No consent for
place of detention
No invitation
needed
- Only notification
of country
mission
- No consent for
place of detention
No prior
consent
needed
Prevention
Limited direct
preventive impact;
Recommendation
to State;
Indirectly via
recommendations to
States Parties and
decisions
Preventive
Preventive
Preventive
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Manfred Nowak - CAT
9. Overview of missions by the UN Special Rapporteur on
Torture (2005-2010)
Denmark &
Greenland
May 08
Moldova
July 08
Greece
Oct. 10
(Russia)
Georgia
Jordan
Oct. 06
Feb. 05
June 06
Kazakhstan
May 09
(Cuba)
Mongolia
Autumn 10
June 05
Guantanamo
China
Feb. 06
Nov. 05
Jamaica
Nepal
Feb. 10
Sept. 05
Paraguay
Papua New Guinea
Nov. 06
May 10
Uruguay
Indonesia
March 09
Nov. 07
Sri Lanka
Oct. 07
Sudan
Togo
Nigeria
Equatorial Guinea
(Zimbabwe)
Oct. 06
April 07
March 07
Nov. 08
Oct. 09
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