The Council of Europe have produced a Compendium of Conventions, Recommendations and Resolutions relating to prisons, community sanctions and measures. Contained in this compendium are rules, regulations and guidelines on a wide array of issues relating to prison administration and community sanctions.
The compendium contains Council of Europe (CoE) Recommendations which support European best practice. Some examples of CoE recommendations relate to: Education in Prisons, European Code of Ethics for Prison Staff, Prison Overcrowding and Prison Inflation and the Ethical and Organisational Aspects of Healthcare in Prison.
The compendium contains both binding (Conventions) and non-binding (Recommendations and Resolutions) measures, and these instruments are relied upon by international committees such as the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) as well as the European Court of Human Rights. While recommendations and resolutions are not binding they are considered the ‘gold standard’ that should strive to be achieved. The combination of both the binding and non-binding elements of these instruments adopted by the Committee of Ministers endeavours to respect and protect the rights of all prisoners. They also reflect the collective will of European member states who agreed the standards and recommendations.
The combination of all Council of Europe rules, regulations and recommendations into one core document allows for quick reference on particular issues. This compendium is intended for the use of courts, parliaments and national authorities including: criminal justice policymakers and practitioners, non-governmental organisations and all other relevant stakeholders.
For further information on this and the work of the CPT see: