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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Preventing Torture: A Study of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

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Malcolm D. EvansReader in International Law, Rod MorganProfessor of Criminal Justice

ISBN13: 9780198262572
ISBN: 0198262574
Published: June 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £95.00

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In the 19th century the prohibition of judicial torture was celebrated as a triumph of civilisation. But in the aftermath of the 2nd World War it was necessary for the International community to re-emphasise, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its abhorrence of torture: the proscription of torture became part of international customary law. But torture by agents of contemporary states persists, not least in the heart of Europe where reliance on the use of custody is growing once again. This pathbreaking documentary and empirical study - of a kind rarely undertaken in the field of international human rights law - considers in detail the work of the latest actor on the international stage attempting to prevent torture. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the CPT), established in 1989, represents a new phase in international human rights intervention. The Council of Europe member states have given a Strasbourg-based Committee of experts an almost unfettered hand to examine their places of custody and report on what they find.

The authors, an international lawyer and a criminologist, bring their different analytical perspectives to bear on this innovative human rights mechanism. The authors consider the nature of torture in the late 20th century and, given the pervasive culture of denial, the difficulties in combating it. They argue that utilitarian justifications for torture lurk just beneath the surface of modern liberal democratic state practice. They describe the background to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture, examine the text and the modus operandi of the Committee, set the CPT's standards against those of other international bodies and discuss how the work of the Committee should best be carried forward in an enlarged and increasingly diverse European community of nations.

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Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Table of Cases
Table of Principal Treaties, Declarations, Codes of Conduct, and other International Instruments
1. The Decline and Re-emergence of Torture
2. Torture and the Liberal Democratic State: Three Modern Case Studies
3. The Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
4. The Origins and Drafting of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
5. The CPT: membership, Back-up Services, and Modus Operandi
6. Findings of Ill-Treatment
7. Police Custody: Procedural Safeguards
8. Conditions of Detention
9. Current Assessment and Future Prospects
1. Texts
2. Explanatory Report
3. Rules of Procedure
4. Tables of Signatures and Ratifications
5. Lists of CPT Visits and of Resulting Reports and Responses, 1990-97
6. CPT membership
7. CPT Statements of Standards
8. CPT Document Citation