UNCAT Briefing Paper

B. Prevention: States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other
measures to prevent acts of torture (articles 2 and 11) and other ill-treatment (article
16).
The UNCAT does not list the measures that should be taken by States, only requiring
that the measures be effective in practice. Various measures may therefore be
undertaken by States.
Institutionalising safeguards against torture, such as providing early access to a lawyer
and independent inspection of detention facilities, are recommended by the Special
Rapporteur on torture among other experts as particularly effective measures to
prevent torture. 1
C. Punishment: All acts of torture must be investigated and prosecuted. States should
ensure a specific offence of torture included in domestic law (article 4) and that all
complaints are investigated (articles 5–9 and 12-13). Where there are reasonable
grounds to believe torture has taken place, the alleged perpetrator should be
prosecuted.
D. Redress: Victims of torture should be able to obtain redress and have an enforceable
right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation
as possible (article 14).
States should adopt legislation to provide victims with effective remedy and the right
to obtain adequate and appropriate redress. Such remedies must be available against
the State and not just as a civil complaint against the perpetrator, and be effective in
practice.
E. Reporting: All States parties should provide the Committee against Torture with
periodic reports describing the steps it has taken to implement the Convention.
Pursuant to article 19 of the Convention, States parties must provide an initial report
to the Committee against Torture within one year of ratification. Periodic reports are
due every four years after the initial review.

1

For some good examples, see the General Recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on torture, at
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/SRTorture/recommendations.pdf.

2

Select target paragraph3