Human Rights in Prison

IPRT promotes a penal system that is: humane as experienced by people who are detained, protects and promotes human rights and equality, and strives to achieve international best practice in formal regimes, daily practices and overall culture.

It is the sentence of deprivation of liberty in itself that is the core punitive sanction, the conditions and treatment while in prison should not be used as additional punishment.

Accordingly, we believe that while restrictions on the freedom of movement are necessarily introduced while in prison, prisoners should retain all other rights to the greatest possible degree while serving their sentences. In particular, IPRT believes that prisoners have the right to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights; they have the right to safety and security of the person, the right to be treated humanely and be free from torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

We work to ensure that regimes in prisons and children detention facilities are humane, and reflect human rights standards as a minimum in the short term, striving for international best practice in the medium to long term.

Irish Times: European prison crowding ruling could lead to similar case here 9th November 2009

The European Court of Human Rights rules that prison overcrowding in itself can violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.) Read more

IPRT Position Paper 4: Human Rights in Prison 20th September 2009 PDF documents

A position paper outlining IPRT's core principle that human rights must be respected within the penal system. Read more

Standards for the Inspection of Prisons in Ireland 1st September 2009

A set of standards, published by the Inspector of Prisons, against which the assessment of prison conditions in Ireland will be measured. IPRT welcomes the inclusion of international human rights standards, and the recognition that they constitute a benchmark... Read more

Joint ICCPR submission to the UN Human Rights Committee: 1-year update 31st August 2009 PDF documents

In August 2009, IPRT, FLAC and ICCL made a joint submission to the UN Human Rights Committee as a 1-year update on the Concluding Observations of the Committee following their visit in 2008. Read more

ECHR and Irish Law: Prisoners' Rights 18th June 2009 PDF documents

IPRT Executive Director, Liam Herrick, focuses on Prisoners' Rights in Ireland, 'ECHR and Irish Law' - an authoritative account of the incorporation of the ECHR and its impact on Irish law in practice, ed. Dr Ursula Kilkelly. Read more

Human Rights in Irish Prisons 25th May 2009

An article published in the Judicial studies Institute Journal in 2008 by Claire Hamilton (former Chair of IPRT) and Dr Ursula Kilkelly (current Chair of IPRT). Read more

ICCPR Shadow Report 14th July 2008 PDF documents

The Shadow Report to the Third Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is the product of a year’s research and consultation with the Irish NGO community by FLAC, ICCL and IPRT, endorsed by 15 other Irish NGOs. Read more

Report by Commissioner for Human Rights, November 2007. 30th April 2008 PDF documents

Report by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on his visit to Ireland, November 2007. Read more

Committee for the Prevention of Torture: 2006 Visit 31st January 2008

A resource on the Committee's 2006 visit including IPRT submission. Read more

IPRT submission to Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Oct 2007. 8th October 2007 Word documents

Submission of the Irish Penal Reform Trust to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in preparation for the Commissioner’s November 2007 Visit to Ireland. Read more

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