Protecting Prisoners: The Standards of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Context

By Rodney Morgan; Malcolm D. Evans | Go to book overview

Preface

This collection of essays on the work of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the CPT) arose out of a seminar held at the University of Bristol in September 1997. The seminar was the culmination of a study of the CPT in which we have been engaged more or less continuously since the foundation of the Committee in 1989 and which, during the period 1994-1997, was greatly assisted by a grant from the Airey Neave Trust. The grant enabled us to travel throughout Europe interviewing officials, parliamentarians, lawyers, and NGO representatives in order to gather their views on the work of the CPT and begin to chart the impact of the Committee on the policies of states party. When we approached the Airey Neave Trustees in 1994 they made it plain that they wanted the results of our study to be as widely disseminated as possible. They hoped that we might make the work of the CPT more widely understood and thereby modestly assist the growth of international human rights law in general and the prevention of torture in particular. The Trustees suggested that towards the end of our project we might use part of our grant to organize a seminar to which persons closely involved with the development of the work of the Committee could be invited. This proposal chimed with our own aspirations. Ever since 1989 we have worked closely with various organizations instrumental in framing the ECPT and promoting its work--the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (the APT, formerly the Swiss Committee Against Torture), the International Committee of the Red Cross (the ICRC), and so on. We have written widely on the subject and contributed to many conferences and seminars sponsored by these and other organizations.1 As a result of these activities we have developed a substantial network of contacts. Thus, as our Airey Neave-financed fieldwork drew to a close in 1997, it seemed logical that in the early autumn we should bring together in Bristol a group of experts on the CPT and CPT- related matters having circulated to our invitees in advance a paper on the 'jurisprudence' of the CPT. The contents of that paper eventually formed part of our book (Chapters Six, Seven, and Eight) on the formation and work of the CPT--Preventing Torture--which was published by Oxford University Press in September 1998.

The Bristol seminar proved much more valuable than a mere test bed for our own work. A number of the contributors prepared papers which

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1
For a fuller account of these activities see Evans MD and Morgan R ( 1998) Preventing Torture ( Oxford: Clarendon Press), Preface.

-v-

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