Irish Penal Reform Trust

IPRT Submission to the UNCAT on Ireland’s one year follow-up

23rd November 2018

This submission to the UN Committee against Torture is part of the ‘follow-up’ process to the Committee's Concluding Observations on its second periodic review of Ireland in 2017. IPRT made a submission to the Committee in advance of the review and an oral submission to the Committee in Geneva. IPRT also joined a group of civil society organisations in a joint statement on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). 

In its Concluding Observations in August 2017, the Committee called for follow-up from the State on three issues: the ratification of the OPCAT; strengthening the independence of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission; and the investigation of allegations of ill-treatment of women in the Magdalen laundries and ensuring all victims obtain redress. The State follow-up report to the Committee was published in August 2018. The IPRT follow-up submission focuses on developments in respect of the ratification of the OPCAT.

The submission outlines IPRT's concerns relating to: the progress of the legislation required to ratify the OPCAT; the designation of a co-ordinating body; powers of inspecting bodies (with a focus on the remit of the Office of the Inspector of Prisons); and the need for effective consultation. The State’s limited engagement to date with both IHREC and the relevant health and social care bodies poses real concerns about the ultimate ability of the NPM to coordinate and share practice.

IPRT's position is that research on OPCAT carried out by IHREC and the IPRT Statement of Principles should act together as a roadmap for legislation to establish the framework of the NPM and enhance the constituent inspection mechanisms’ powers and independence to comply with OPCAT.

To read the IPRT Submission to the UN Committee against Torture on Ireland’s one year follow-up to its second periodic report under CAT, click here.

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