Irish Penal Reform Trust

List of issues for Ireland’s Fifth Periodic Examination under the ICCPR published

10th December 2020

The UN Human Rights Committee has published its list of issues in relation to the fifth periodic report of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The Committee has laid out its questions for the State about prison-related issues under articles 7, 9, 10, 11 and 17 – otherwise categorised as the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty and privacy.

The Committee has asked the Irish state to provide more information about measures taken to improve conditions of detention within the reporting period. In particular, the Committee has asked for the State to discuss:

  • reports of continued overcrowding and poor sanitation in some prison facilities, including those housing female detainees;
  • whether the State has set out a timeline for the complete separation of remand and convicted detainees;
  • the establishment of a Violence Reduction Unit in Portlaoise Prison, including any data about whether it was effective in reducing violence amongst detainees; and
  • the status of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill and any progress made towards ratification of the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of Punishment.

The Committee also requested that the State provide further information about the circumstances under which an individual could be imprisoned for their failure to pay a fine and explain the compatibility of such penalties with the provisions of the ICCPR.

All of the questions from the Committee, above, relate to concerns raised in the IPRT submission to the process in October 2020. IPRT’s full submission to the Committee is available here.
 

The UN Human Rights Committee list of issues in relation to the fifth periodic report of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is available here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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