The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture, assigned since April 1993 to
Sir Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom), was renewed for three more years by the Commission on
Human Rights in its resolution 2001/62. By letter dated 15 October 2001, Sir Nigel submitted
to the Chair of the fifty-seventh session of the Commission his resignation as Special
Rapporteur, to take effect as from 12 November 2001.1 By letter dated 28 November 2001, the
Chair, after consultations with the Bureau, appointed Theo van Boven (The Netherlands) as
Special Rapporteur on torture.
In conformity with resolution 2001/62, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur hereby
presents his first report to the Commission. The present report, brief in scope and content,
reflects the early activities of the new Special Rapporteur in accordance with the mandate
entrusted to him. It is issued in addition to the documents submitted by his predecessor
(E/CN.4/2002/76 and Add.1).
I. MANDATE AND METHODS OF WORK
The Special Rapporteur adheres to the principle of continuity in the discharge of the
mandate conferred to him in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Commission on
Human Rights. Thus, he continues to be guided by the methods of work described in the annex
to document E/CN.4/1997/7 which have been approved most recently by the Commission in
resolution 2001/62 (para. 30).
The main activities of the Special Rapporteur continue to be:
Seeking and receiving credible and reliable information from Governments, the
specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;
Making urgent appeals to Governments to clarify the situation of individuals
whose circumstances give grounds to fear that treatment falling within the Special Rapporteur’s
mandate might occur or to be occurring;
Transmitting to Governments information of the sort mentioned in (a) above
indicating that acts falling within his mandate may have occurred or that legal or administrative
measures are needed to prevent the occurrence of such acts;
Carrying out visits in situ with the consent of the Government concerned.
In particular, the Special Rapporteur has continued at the outset to seek cooperation
from holders of other Commission mandates, with a view to arriving at concerted action and
avoiding duplication of activity in respect of country-specific initiatives. Similarly, the
Special Rapporteur intends to continue cooperating with human rights mechanisms particularly