Presentation on theme: "UNODC Training course for trial lawyers International legal instruments, national legislation and casework practice with regard to prevention and suppression."— Presentation transcript:
UNODC Training course for trial lawyers International legal instruments, national legislation and casework practice with regard to prevention and suppression of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of suspects and accused Tashkent, Uzbekistan Professor Bill Bowring Birkbeck College, University of London Trustee since 1992 of the Redress Trust (working for reparation for torture survivors) Prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of suspects and accused Overview of legislation and practice in the United Kingdom
UK Prisons Prison population in England and Wales reached a record level of almost 87,002 in March 2012, an increase of more than 90% since 1993 The prison estate has been overcrowded since 1994 In 2008/09 it cost an average of £39,600 to keep a prisoner in prison for a year The UK has the second highest incarceration rate in Western Europe Approximately one-half of adult prisoners reoffend within one year of release Approximately three-quarters of juvenile prisoners reoffend within one year of release
Prisons in England and Wales –Prison population - 87,002 –Remand prisoners – 14.2% –Female prisoners – 4.8% –Juveniles (under 18) – 1.7% –Official capacity of system: 77,479 –Between 1996 and 2010, the prison population grew by 29,746 or 54%. –At the end of November 2011, 82 of the 132 prisons were overcrowded –At the end of September 2011 there were 2,061 children (under- 18s) in custody –513 children aged 12, 13 and 14 were sentenced to custody in 2007
Comparative incarceration rates (prisoners per 100,000 population) England and Wales – 155 France – 111 Germany – 86 Netherlands – 87 Sweden - 70 Russian Federation – 525 Uzbekistan - 153
Private prisons in the United Kingdom The UK was the first country in Europe to use private prisons to hold its prisoners. Wolds Prison opened as the first privately managed prison in the UK in 1992. Private prisons were established under the government's Private Finance Initiative where contracts are awarded for the entire design, construction, management and finance of a prison. Such prisons are run under contracts which set out the standards that must be met. Privately run prisons are subject to inspection by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in the same way as publicly run ones. There are now 12 prisons in England and Wales operated under contract by private companies, with 2 more due to open in 2012. Between them they hold about 10% of the prison population. A further 9 prisons are currently being market tested by the Government, with the public and private sectors both bidding to run them.
UN Convention Against Torture UK signed 5 Mar 1985, ratified 8 Dec 1988 Torture was criminalised by section 134 (in Part XI, Miscallaneous) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, into force on 29 September 1988 Torture. (1) A public official or person acting in an official capacity, whatever his nationality, commits the offence of torture if in the United Kingdom or elsewhere he intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another in the performance or purported performance of his official duties. (2) A person not falling within subsection (1) above commits the offence of torture, whatever his nationality, if (a) in the United Kingdom or elsewhere he intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another at the instigation or with the consent or acquiescence (i) of a public official; or (ii)of a person acting in an official capacity; and (b) the official or other person is performing or purporting to perform his official duties when he instigates the commission of the offence or consents to or acquiesces in it. (3) It is immaterial whether the pain or suffering is physical or mental and whether it is caused by an act or an omission.
UN Convention Against Torture Article 134 continued (4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section in respect of any conduct of his to prove that he had lawful authority, justification or excuse for that conduct. (5) For the purposes of this section lawful authority, justification or excuse means (a) in relation to pain or suffering inflicted in the United Kingdom, lawful authority, justification or excuse under the law of the part of the United Kingdom where it was inflicted; (b) in relation to pain or suffering inflicted outside the United Kingdom (i) if it was inflicted by a United Kingdom official acting under the law of the United Kingdom or by a person acting in an official capacity under that law, lawful authority, justification or excuse under that law; (ii) if it was inflicted by a United Kingdom official acting under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or by a person acting in an official capacity under such law, lawful authority, justification or excuse under the law of the part of the United Kingdom under whose law he was acting; and (iii) in any other case, lawful authority, justification or excuse under the law of the place where it was inflicted. (6) A person who commits the offence of torture shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.
OPCAT UK signed 26 Jun 2003, ratified on 10 Dec 2003 The UK National Preventive Mechanism was established in March 2009 when the government decided that the functions of the mechanism would be fulfilled by the collective action of 18 existing bodies which visit or inspect places of detention. HM Inspectorate of Prisons was asked to coordinate the NPM. The NPM for England and Wales is made up of the following bodies: Her Majestys Inspectorate of Prisons, Independent Monitoring Boards, Independent Custody Visiting Association, Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary, Care Quality Commission, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, Childrens Commissioner for England, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, Office for Standards in Education
NPM In the UK the visiting of most places of detention was well established prior to the ratification of OPCAT. Following designation, the members of the NPM were able to continue their work, albeit under a new international framework. In the UK, the ratification of OPCAT and the designation of the NPM did not result in visiting bodies being given the necessary powers to fulfil the functions of an NPM; the members had pre-existing mandates that were deemed by the government to be sufficiently compliant with OPCAT to merit designation. The most significant compliance issue is whether all places of detention are covered by the NPM in the UK, as required by OPCAT. Gaps in coverage - military detention facilities and court custody in England and Wales Many of the members who visit prisons have expressed concerns about the rising prison population and the overcrowding of prisons. This has an adverse affect on all aspects of a prisoners life, including safety, the prison regime, their ability to maintain sufficient contact with their family and their preparation for release. Prisons may find themselves increasingly unable to deal with problems caused by overcrowding because of decreasing resources.
Her Majestys Inspectorate of Prisons HMIPs mandate is set out in the Prison Act 1952 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1982, the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and the Police and Justice Act 2006. HMIP is responsible for inspecting all prisons in England and Wales, including young offender institutions; all removal centres, short-term holding facilities and escort arrangements for immigration detainees; and all police custody facilities, In 2009–10, HMIP carried out 70 inspections of prisons and young offender institutions involving a mixture of announced and unannounced, full and follow- up inspections. It also carried out 21 inspections of immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and escorting arrangements, and 14 police custody inspections. In 2009–10, HMIP published thematic reports on race relations in prison, alcohol services in prison, the experiences of 15 to 18-year-olds in custody and detainee escorts and removals
Independent Monitoring Boards The boards are made up of unpaid public appointees from the community and they fulfil their duties by carrying out regular visits to the establishments concerned. There is a board for every prison in England and Wales and every immigration removal centre in England, Wales and Scotland, as well as boards for short-term holding facilities for immigration detainees. Depending on the size of the establishment visited, boards are made up of between 10 and 20 members. Board members may access the prison or immigration detention facility at any time and may have access to any prisoner or detainee and any records. They may interview any prisoner or detainee out of the sight and hearing of staff. The board is obliged to meet at the establishment at least once a month.
Independent Custody Visiting Association Independent custody visitors are volunteers from the community who visit all police stations where detainees are held to check on their welfare. Custody visiting is statutory by virtue of the Police Reform Act 2002 which places a duty on each police authority in England and Wales to organise and oversee the delivery of custody visiting in its area. The 2002 Act grants custody visitors the power to access police stations, examine records relating to detention, meet detainees for the purpose of a discussion about their treatment and conditions, and inspect facilities, including cell accommodation, washing and toilet facilities and the facilities for the provision of food. Each police authority is responsible for recruiting visitors in its area and must ensure there is an adequate number of trained visitors available at all times.
Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary The role of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), set out in the Police Act 1996, is to inspect and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. This involves inspecting individual local police forces and police authorities as well as national police forces and policing agencies. Following the UKs ratification of OPCAT, HMICs role has included carrying out inspections of police custody facilities in England and Wales in partnership with HM Inspectorate of Prisons. HMIC and HMIP have devised detailed inspection criteria, known as expectations, against which the treatment and conditions for detainees in police custody are assessed. The expectations also act as a guide to senior police officers and police authorities on the standards that the two inspectorates expect to find in police custody and the sources of information and evidence upon which they will rely In 2009–10, HMIC and HMIP carried out 14 police custody inspections.
Care Quality Commission The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an independent, statutory organisation responsible for the registration, review and inspection of health and adult social care services in England. A key part of this role involves monitoring the operation of the Mental Health Act 1983, including visiting those who are detained under mental health law. In 2009–10, CQC carried out visits to 1,733 wards in 701 hospitals where patients were detained under the MHA. On these visits, it met in private with 4,943 patients, checked 5,673 detention documents, and met 113 patients in groups.
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman PPO deals with individual prisoners complaints, after a prisoner has exhausted the various tiers of prisons internal complaints procedure. He investigates the complaint, and makes a finding. Though he cannot enforce his findings, they are implemented in the great majority of cases. The PPO has acquired another important duty: that of investigating all deaths in prisons or probation hostels whether they occur from natural causes, homicide or are self inflicted. This is to meet the requirements of Article 2 of the ECHRwhere case law has held that the State has a procedural duty to investigate deaths in circumstances where it has acquired a positive duty of care to protect life. The PPOs office therefore investigates all such deaths, and publishes reports with recommendations for changes in practice and policy
Comment Elina Steinerte and Rachel Murray (2009) the OPCAT contains few prescriptions as to how NPMs are to be constituted: Article 17 only obliges States Parties to maintain, designate or establish an NPM. This rather flexible approach was adopted in order to accommodate the different situations in States Parties. Thus, States Parties that already have established bodies that effectively carry out the work of an NPM need only to maintain such bodies in order to comply with the OPCAT, whereas States Parties that do not have any entities of the kind must establish one or more of them. States that have bodies with similar powers to those required of an NPM may only need to amend the mandates of these bodies to make them OPCAT- compliant. (p.57) … in Denmark, it is the Ombudsman who has been designated as an NPM, despite the fact that the Danish Institute for Human Rights achieved A status, while, in the UK, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, also an A status NHRI, is not part of the UKs NPM at all. (p.71)
Comment Anne Owers (2010) Was the Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales from 2001 to 2010. Previously the Director of JUSTICE (the British section of the International Commission of Jurists). She sat on the Task Force that oversaw the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the UK. … at present in our local prisons (where remanded, unsentenced and short-sentenced prisoners are held) it is common to find two men sharing a cramped cell meant for one, with an unscreened toilet, sometimes spending twenty or more hours there, including time spent eating their meals. In other prisons, there is no in-cell sanitation, and prisoners have to resort to using buckets, or throwing faeces out of cell windows. That may be unavoidable in practice, given current population pressures and a shortage of resources. However, it is not right, and it is an important function of the Inspectorate to continue to say so. [Inspection] can and does improve outcomes for prisoners in individual prisons. One example is Portland prison… holding young offenders, aged eighteen to twenty-one. Inspections around 2000 established that there was a punitive, over-controlled and potentially abusive and racist regime in the prison, with little positive efforts being made to change the attitudes or the life chances of the young men in it. By the time of its most recent inspection, it was a transformed institution, with some good relationships between staff and young men, and some excellent training opportunities