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Monitoring Prisons: The Increasingly Complex Relationship Between International and Domestic Frameworks

  • Christine Bicknell
  • Malcolm Evans
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

Since the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) came into force in 2006, the institutional landscape governing monitoring in European prisons has become increasingly complex. Already subject to regular monitoring visits by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the majority of Council of Europe Member States are now also States Parties to the OPCAT. Accordingly, these States Parties may be subject to periodic visits by both the CPT and the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT). Under OPCAT, States Parties must also designate or establish their own independent National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs), which undertake regular visits to all places of detention across the state. The result is that prisons in the majority of Council of Europe States now receive three levels of external scrutiny. The present chapter provides the background context, explaining the ECPT (European Convention for the Prevention of Torture) and OPCAT frameworks before exploring in greater detail the practical implications of this more complex area and in particular the relationships between the different monitoring bodies.

Keywords

Prison monitoring OPCAT CPT NPM Mutual relationships 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Bicknell
    • 1
  • Malcolm Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.University of BristolBristolUK

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