Measuring the incidence of Article 3 ECHR violations in Places of Detention in the UK: Implications for the National Preventive Mechanism

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Abstract

The UK National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) is required, under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), to monitor a broad range of detention contexts with a view to preventing torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In order to effectively discharge its preventive mandate, the NPM should be able to access data and information on the nature and extent of such ill-treatment and the incidence of Article 3 violations in places of detention in the UK. Accordingly, this article explores the current mechanisms for collecting and collating statistics on incidents of ill-treatment in places of detention in the UK, as well as the processes for capturing
complaints about such ill-treatment. The article reviews the available evidence, focusing on the broad range of detention contexts in the UK. Echoing the findings of the UN Committee Against Torture, the article concludes that there is currently a paucity of data in the public domain relating to the incidence of ill-treatment in the range of detention settings that were examined. Moreover, there are serious gaps and inconsistencies in the processes for complaints and data collection that were identified. This has implications for the UK NPM and compromises its ability to effectively discharge its preventive mandate. Some of these broader implications of our findings are analysed and discussed in the concluding sections of the article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-588
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

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