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Committee for Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Treatment seeks applicants

03 Feb 2023 / JUSTICE Print

Prevention of Torture unit seeks applicants

Applicants are invited for appointment as Ireland’s representative on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

The CPT was set up under the Council of Europe’s European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which came into force in 1989. 

It builds on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The CPT provides a non-judicial preventative mechanism to protect those deprived of their liberty against torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and complements the judicial work of the European Court of Human Rights.  

Ad hoc visits

The CPT makes periodic and ad hoc visits to places of detention, in order to assess how those deprived of their liberty are treated.

Such centres include prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, holding centres for immigration detainees and psychiatric hospitals.

The committee has the right of unimpeded access to any centre of detention. Members do not visit the State from which they have been elected.

Candidates must have high moral character and have competence in the field of human rights or professional experience in the areas covered by the convention.

The CPT’s current membership is drawn from lawyers, medical doctors and specialists in prison or police matters.

In inviting applications, Justice Minister Simon Harris said that the last application process was in 2019, and attracted a number of high-calibre candidates.


“I hope that we have the same level of engagement this time around,” he said. “The work undertaken by the CPT is hugely important, and this is a unique opportunity to serve one of the most important and effective European committees.”

Further details are available online at gov.ie and the closing date for applications is Friday 24 February at 3pm.

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