26 March 1997       Doc. 7784

ADOC7784

REPORT1

on strengthening the machinery

of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture

and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

(Rapporteur: Mr Jerzy JASKIERNIA,

Poland, Socialist Group)

_____

Summary

      1997 marks the tenth anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (ECPT) and the eighth year of intense activity of the machinery established by it: the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). In the light of developments and, in particular, the on-going expansion of the CPT's activities to central and eastern Europe, the Assembly identifies some areas where further improvement is necessary in order for the CPT to preserve its effectiveness and credibility.

      The Assembly finds that there is need mainly for: (a) increased human and budgetary resources for the CPT; (b) a more balanced composition of the CPT, with regard to professional background, gender and age; (c) the rapid entry into force of Protocol No. 2 to the ECPT providing for the orderly renewal of the CPT's members and the possibility for them to be re-elected twice; (d) better awareness of the CPT's activities (e) increased co-operation of the CPT with the Assembly (mainly its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and its Monitoring Committee) and the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

      In order to achieve improvements in these areas, the Assembly recommends to the Committee of Ministers, as well as to the Assembly's Bureau, the two fore-mentioned Assembly Committees and the national parliamentary delegations, to take the necessary measures.

I. Draft recommendation

1.        The Assembly recalls its Recommendation 1257 (1995) on conditions of detention in Council of Europe member states and re-affirms its support for the highly valuable work of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter: the Committee or CPT).

2.       Under the 1987 European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter: the Convention or ECPT), the CPT is empowered to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. It implements its essentially preventive function through visits to any place where such persons are held and, where necessary, the making of recommendations designed to strengthen their protection.

3.       In 1993, two additional Protocols to the Convention were opened for signature:

i.       the first Protocol will open the Convention to non member states of the Council of Europe;

ii.       the second Protocol provides for the orderly renewal of the Committee's members and the possibility for them to be re-elected twice.

4.       The ratification of the Convention by an ever-increasing number of states from central and eastern Europe represents a growing challenge for the CPT which has a significant role to play in improving conditions of detention in these countries. By including the ratification of the Convention among the commitments undertaken by member states upon their accession to the Council of Europe, the Assembly underlined the political significance of the Convention.

5.       The Assembly notes that ratification of the Convention by the Russian Federation and by Ukraine will more than double the civil prisoner population which will be subject to the CPT's mandate.

6.        To cope with these developments while safeguarding its effectiveness and credibility, the CPT needs increased human and budgetary resources. In this respect, the Assembly welcomes the measures already taken by the Committee of Ministers in the course of 1996 and 1997 (introduction of a retainer system for the members of the CPT's Bureau and reinforcement of its secretariat).

7.        The effectiveness of the Committee's work also depends on the quality and continuity of its members. In this context, the Assembly stresses the need for:

i.       a more balanced composition, with regard to professional background, gender and age;

ii.       the rapid entry into force of the second Protocol to the Convention.

8.        The relevant authorities and personnel (such as police and prison officers, judges, public prosecutors, health staff etc.), both at national and local level, should be more aware of the work of the CPT and of its tasks and powers under the Convention.

9.        When examining the conditions of detention in member states, the Committee should take advantage of information already existing on the subject within the Council of Europe. Assembly reports on the honouring of obligations and commitments by member states may be particularly valuable in this respect. Exchange of information and cooperation between the CPT and the United Nations Committee Against Torture should also be strengthened.

10.        Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

i.       call upon those member states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention without delay;

ii.       urge the States Parties to the Convention which have not yet done so to ratify its Protocols and, in particular, Protocol No. 2 without delay, thus allowing its entry into force;

iii.       invite the authorities of states considering ratification of the Convention to ratify its Protocol No. 2 at the same time;

iv.       pay particular attention, when electing members of the CPT, to the criteria of professional background, gender and age in order to ensure a more balanced composition of the Committee and, in particular, a greater participation of prison specialists and forensic physicians, as well as an increased number of women among its members; the criterion of availability should also be emphasised in order to ensure the Committee's effectiveness;

v.       give favourable consideration to any request for further increase of the human and budgetary resources of the CPT;

vi.       invite the authorities of States Parties to the Convention or states which intend to ratify it in the near future, to promote awareness, at national and local level, of the CPT's activities, tasks and powers.

II. Draft order

1.        The Assembly refers to its Recommendation ... (1997).

2.        It invites its Bureau, when drawing up lists of candidates for the CPT, to pay particular attention to the criteria of professional background, gender and age in order to ensure a more balanced composition of the Committee and, in particular, a greater participation of prison specialists and forensic physicians as well as an increased number of women among its members; the criterion of availability should also be emphasised in order to ensure the Committee's effectiveness.

3.       It calls upon the national parliamentary delegations to have particular regard to the above-mentioned criteria when nominating candidates for the CPT.

4.       It instructs its Bureau to return the list of candidates to the national delegations for re-examination if the above-mentioned criteria have not been taken into account.

5.       For the purpose of facilitating and harmonising the selection of candidates for membership of the CPT, the Assembly invites its Bureau to establish, in cooperation with its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, a model curriculum vitae to be transmitted to all national delegations and completed by each candidate they nominate.

6.        The Assembly instructs its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights:

i.       to follow closely the CPT's work;

ii.       to cooperate closely with the CPT and transmit to it without delay any information regarding the conditions of detention in a member state;

iii.       to meet from time to time, if necessary, the chairpersons of the national parliamentary delegations, in the context of paragraph 5 above.

7.        The Assembly instructs its Monitoring Committee:

i.       to insist on the timely ratification of the Convention and its additional Protocols, in particular Protocol No. 2, in the framework of the different monitoring procedures;

ii.       to transmit without delay to the CPT, after declassification, its reports on the honouring of obligations and commitments by member states, together with the comments of the authorities of the state concerned.

III. Explanatory memorandum

by Mr Jerzy JASKIERNIA

Contents

A.       Introduction

B.       The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ECPT)

C.        The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

      1.       The CPT's activities and working methods

      2.       Composition of the CPT

      3.        Means available to the CPT: human and budgetary resources

D.       The additional Protocols to the ECPT

      1.       Protocol No. 1

      2.        Protocol No. 2

E.       Conclusions

Appendix I:        List of members of the CPT in order of precedence, including the date of expiry of their terms of office

Appendix II:        Abridged curricula vitae of the members of the CPT

A. Introduction

1.        1997 marks the 10th anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and the eighth year of activity by the machinery established under it, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The CPT's experience and credibility are now well established.

2.       The Assembly, which was at the origin of the elaboration of the Convention (see below, Section B), has closely followed the work of the CPT since its inception.

3.       In its Recommendation 1257 (1995) on conditions of detention in Council of Europe member states, the Assembly paid tribute to the highly valuable work of the CPT (paragraph 9). The Assembly invited the member states, inter alia, to comply with the guidelines on police custody as laid down in the second general report of the CPT (paragraph 11, ii, b) and to "reinforce the structures and increase the resources" of the Committee (paragraph 11, vi).

4.       In its reply, the Committee of Ministers associated itself with the tribute paid by the Assembly to the CPT's work and invited the member states to comply with the guidelines on police custody elaborated by the CPT. The Committee of Ministers has since adopted measures to reinforce the machinery of the CPT (see below, Section C, 3).

5.        Nevertheless, there are still some areas where further improvement is needed if the effectiveness and credibility of the CPT are to be preserved.

6.        The present report follows a thematic approach: it begins with a brief overview of the Convention, its origin and its contents (Section B). The Committee set up under this Convention will then be examined (Section C), in particular its working methods and activities (under 1), its composition (under 2) and the means available to it, eg. human and budgetary resources (under 3). An overview of the two additional Protocols to the Convention will follow (Section D). In the various sections, an effort will be made not only to show what has been already achieved but also to highlight certain problematic areas in respect of which the existing machinery needs to be strengthened.2

B. The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture

and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ECPT)

7.        The Convention was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 26 June 1987, after consultation of the Assembly (see Opinion No. 133 of 27 March 1987). It was opened for signature and ratification by member states of the Council of Europe on 26 November 1987 and entered into force on 1 February 1989.

8.        The Convention originated from an idea, launched in 1976 by the founder of the Swiss Committee against Torture (now known as the Association for the Prevention of Torture), Mr Jean-Jacques Gautier, to establish a system of visits to places of detention in order to prevent ill-treatment and torture, a system largely inspired by the practice of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However, as his project met with great difficulties at the level of the United Nations, he turned to the Council of Europe and, in particular, to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights which appointed the late Mr Noel Berrier as its rapporteur.

9.        The work of Mr Berrier eventually led to the adoption of Recommendation 971 (1983) on the protection of detainees from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in which the Assembly recommended that the Committee of Ministers adopt the draft European Convention of the same name which was appended to the Recommendation. This recommendation, in 1987, led to the adoption of the ECPT.

10.        The aim of the new Convention was to create a non-judicial machinery of a preventive character to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (see below under C). This machinery was intended to complement the judicial system set up by the European Convention on Human Rights.

11.        To date, the Convention has been ratified by thirty three member states of the Council of Europe, namely: Albania, Andorra (entry into force on 1 May 1997), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (entry into force on 1 March 1997), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

12.        It has been signed but not ratified by six member states: Croatia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine. Latvia is the only member state which has not yet signed the Convention.

13.        It is worth noting that the Assembly has now included the signature and ratification of the ECPT in the list of commitments to be undertaken by member states upon their accession. Having done so in its Opinion on the accession of Andorra (Opinion No. 182 (1994) adopted on 3 October 1994) and in its Opinion on the accession of Latvia (Opinion No. 183 (1995) adopted on 31 January 1995) without indicating any time-limit within which signature and ratification should take place, such a time-limit was added in all subsequent accessions (Albania, Moldova, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, Russia and Croatia): the Convention should be signed and ratified within a year from the time of accession, that is within the same time-limit required for the ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights, a fact indicative of the importance the Assembly assigns to the ECPT.

14.       Moreover, the Assembly, in its opinions on the accession of new member states, has often insisted on the need to improve prison conditions. This was the case in particular as regards the Russian Federation.3 It is clear that the CPT has an important role to play inter alia in the improvement of the penitentiary system in these states.

15.       Consequently, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights paid particular attention to the ratification of the Convention in its monitoring procedures.

16.        In accordance with the Assembly's practice of requiring ratification of the ECPT within a year from accession to the Council of Europe, a number of states from Central and Eastern Europe are expected to ratify the Convention in the course of 1997: Moldova (which should have ratified the Convention by 13 July 1996), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (which should have ratified by 9 November 1996), Ukraine (idem),4 the Russian Federation (due to ratify by the end of February 1997) and Croatia (due to ratify by 6 November 1997).5

17.        The Assembly should call upon the member states of the Council of Europe which have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the ECPT without delay.

C. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture

and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

1.       The CPT's activities and working methods

18.        The CPT implements its essentially preventive function through visits to States Parties and, where necessary, by making recommendations designed to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty. The ECPT provides for two kinds of visits: periodic and ad hoc. Periodic visits are carried out to all States Parties to the ECPT, while ad hoc visits are organised when they appear to the CPT "to be required in the circumstances".

19.        When carrying out a visit, the Committee enjoys extensive powers under the Convention (Article 8): unlimited access to the territory of the state concerned and the right to travel without restriction; unlimited access to any place where persons are deprived of their liberty, including the right to move inside such places without restriction; access to full information on places where persons deprived of their liberty are being held, as well as to other information available to the state which is necessary for the Committee to carry out its task. The CPT is also entitled to interview in private persons deprived of their liberty and to communicate freely with anyone it believes could supply relevant information.

20.        Deprivation of liberty is understood in a broad sense. Thus, visits are carried out not only to prisons and police stations, but also to psychiatric institutions, detention areas in military barracks, holding centres for asylum seekers or other categories of foreigners, and places in which young or adult persons may be kept by judicial or administrative order.

21.       The Convention stipulates that, as a general rule, visits are to be carried out by at least two members of the CPT. In fact, four to five members participate in most periodic visits. The number of members participating in ad hoc visits is frequently smaller but has never been less than two. The members may be assisted (and usually are) by experts and interpreters (Article 7, paragraph 2, of the ECPT), as well as by members of the Secretariat.

22.        Relations between the CPT and the States Parties are governed by two fundamental principles: co-operation and confidentiality. The role of the CPT is not to "condemn" states but rather to assist them to prevent ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.

23.        After a visit, the CPT draws up a report setting out its findings and including, if necessary, recommendations and other advice which are transmitted to the state concerned. A continuing dialogue is thereafter developed with the state concerned. The latter submits interim or follow-up reports as a response to the visit report drawn up by the CPT. The notion of an "on-going dialogue" implies that the Committee in turn responds to the state reports. According to its Fifth General Report, the CPT was "far from satisfied with its own record as regards the on-going dialogue".6 As a result of workload problems at the level of its Secretariat, the Committee has continued to experience great difficulties in responding in good time to interim and follow-up reports presented by states. In the Committee's view, this is all the more worrying given the fact that the interval between periodic visits to a country is considerably longer than the committee would wish. It is worth citing from the Fifth General Report: "In this context, the CPT must stress that, in the absence of a sustained post-visit on-going dialogue, the momentum for change generated by a visit will almost certainly be frittered away".7

24.        The reports on the CPT's visits are confidential. So is any other information gathered in relation to a visit. Nevertheless, most states choose to waive the rule of confidentiality and publish the report, in many cases together with their response. Confidentiality may be waived against the will of the State Party only in one case: if the Party fails to co-operate or refuses to improve the situation in the light of the CPT's recommendations, the Committee may decide, after the Party has had an opportunity to make its views known, to make a public statement on the matter. A majority of two thirds of its members is necessary for a decision to issue such a public statement (Article 10, paragraph 2, of the Convention). So far, the Committee has made such public statements twice, on both occasions concerning Turkey: the first one on 15 December 1992 and the second one on 6 December 1996.

25.        By 1994, the CPT had made periodic visits to all West European states. Subsequently, it has increasingly focused its attention on the States Parties from Central and Eastern Europe; the ratification of the Convention by these states is seen by the CPT as a new challenge.8 At the same time, and in order to conserve its presence in the West, the Committee has started applying a new policy of short and targeted visits of a follow-up nature to particular places of detention in states which have already been visited once. Thus while CPT periodic visits normally last from ten days to two weeks, "targeted" visits may last only three or four days.

26.        In the course of 1995, the Committee carried out visits for the first time to Slovenia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovakia and Romania, and for the second time to Portugal, Malta and Italy. In the course of 1996, periodic visits were paid to Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, while short, "targeted" visits of a follow-up nature were carried out to Greece, Italy and Portugal. Further, two other ad hoc visits were carried out to Turkey.

27.       In 1997, the Committee has already carried out a periodic visit to the Czech Republic; it is envisaged that during this year Albania, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey will also receive periodic visits. Visits to other countries may be organised if the circumstances so require (ad hoc visits); such an ad hoc visit has already been organised to Spain in January.

28.        In order for the Committee to be effective, it is indispensable that the interval between visits to the same country does not become too long. The CPT is currently aiming at a four-year interval between periodic visits.9 At the same time, it is clear that a country as large as the Russian Federation, for example, should be visited far more frequently.

29.       At this point the Rapporteur suggests that the CPT, when examining the conditions of detention in member states and, in particular, when establishing its visiting programme, take advantage of any information concerning the conditions of detention in member states which is available within the Council of Europe. As an example, the Rapporteur refers to the information that in May 1996 the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights transmitted to the CPT concerning allegations of ill-treatment undergone by Irish Republican prisoners in British mainland prisons.10 Although in this concrete case, the result of contacts between the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the Bureau of the Assembly, on the one hand, and the CPT, on the other, did not give rise to a visit by the CPT to the prisons indicated in the information handed in by the Assembly, the principle of exchanges of information between the Assembly and the CPT should be retained and further strengthened. Two Assembly committees are mainly concerned: the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the newly set-up Monitoring Committee.

30.        More specifically, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights should closely follow the CPT's work, cooperate with it and transmit to it without delay any information it gathers concerning the conditions of detention in a member state.

31.        The Monitoring Committee, in its turn, should transmit without delay to the CPT, after declassification, its reports on the honouring of obligations and commitments by member states, together with the comments thereupon of the authorities of the state concerned, given that often issues related to the penitentiary system are part of these reports.11

32.        Finally, exchange of information and, in general, cooperation between the CPT and the United Nations Committee Against Torture should be further strengthened since at present they are somewhat lacking.

33.        Regarding the organisation of meetings of the CPT, during both 1995 and 1996, it held four plenary five-day meetings. Its Bureau12 also met on a regular basis and there were numerous meetings of visiting delegations. On an experimental basis, the Committee has now decided to reduce the number of its plenary meetings from 4 to 3 for 1997. Reducing the number of plenary meetings will allow it to devote more resources - human and financial - to its principal role, namely carrying out visits. This reduction in the number of plenary meetings was made possible by the introduction, in the course of 1996, of an accelerated procedure for the examination of its visit reports which, in principle, will be adopted without debate. A similar procedure has been introduced in respect of adoption of the replies which the Committee sends to states in the context of the "on-going dialogue". It should be added that, at plenary level, the Committee has recently set up ad hoc working groups to deal with specific matters.

34.        Ten visit reports were adopted during 1995: on the periodic visits to Austria and Hungary and the visit of a follow-up nature to Turkey in 1994; on the ad hoc visits to Martinique and Sweden in 1994; and on the periodic visits to Bulgaria, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia in 1995. 7 visit reports were adopted in 1996: on the periodic visits to Italy in 1995 and to Cyprus, Germany, Poland and Switzerland in 1996; and on the ad hoc visits to Romania in 1995 and to Turkey in 1996. In this context, it must be noted that the interval between the end of a periodic visit and transmission of the visit report to the visited state is crucial for the effectiveness of the CPT's work. According to its Sixth General Report13, the Committee now seems to broadly meet its objective of transmitting within six months the reports on periodic visits to governments.14

35.        In the course of 1995, the CPT's reports on its periodic visits to Ireland, Italy and Liechtenstein and the ad hoc visit to Sweden were published, according to Article 11, paragraph 2, of the Convention. Further, the reports drawn up by the Governments of Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Sweden were also published during 1995. In 1996, 13 CPT visit reports have been published concerning visits to Austria, France, Hungary, Malta, Martinique, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain (three visit reports) and the United Kingdom, as well as a multitude of interim and follow-up reports drawn up by states visited by the CPT. As was said above, a public statement on Turkey was also made on 6 December 1996.

36.        The Rapporteur wishes to point out that awareness of the activities, tasks and powers of the Committee under the Convention, as well as of the correlative obligations of the states Parties, in particular by the relevant authorities and personnel (police and prison officers, judges, public prosecutors, health staff etc.) - at both national and local level - is essential for the success of its mission. Nevertheless, such awareness seems to be still somewhat lacking and this is often the main reason for which CPT delegations, during visits, may experience difficulties in obtaining access to places, persons or information.15

37.        Awareness of the CPT's activities may be promoted through the organisation of information seminars in both States Parties to the ECPT and states which intend to ratify it in the near future. The CPT has expressed its willingness to participate in information seminars with those member states which have recently ratified the ECPT or which intend to do so in the near future.16 Successful information seminars have already been held prior to the CPT's visits to the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

2.       Composition of the CPT

38.       The Committee consists of a number of members equal to that of the Parties (Article 4 (1) of the ECPT). When this report was written, thirty-three states had ratified the Convention. Five seats are vacant so that the total number of members is, at present, twenty-eight.

39.        According to Article 4(2) of the Convention, the members of the Committee are to be chosen from among persons of "high moral character, known for their competence in the field of human rights or having professional experience in the areas covered by this Convention". They are elected by the Committee of Ministers from a list of names drawn up by the Bureau of the Assembly. Each national delegation of the member states in the Assembly puts forward three candidates, of whom two at least must be its nationals (Article 5(1) of the Convention).

40.        In the explanatory report to the Convention17, it is considered "desirable" that the Committee should include "members who have experience in matters such as prison administration and the various medical fields relevant to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty."

41.        The first elections of members of the Committee took place on 19 September 1989. Given the key role played by national parliamentary delegations in the election procedure, our Committee convened a special meeting with the leaders of the national delegations to explain that candidates should come from a wide range of professions and include medical doctors, police officers and prison directors. Our Committee had also underlined the need for female candidates.

42.       At the close of its first year of activity, the Committee stated that, while lawyers and experts in human rights constituted an indispensable component, persons coming from other professions, and in particular medical doctors and prison specialists, had a decisive role to play in the Committee's operation, especially in the course of the visits. The Committee further noted that female members made an essential contribution in terms of "experience, psychological sensitivity and fair-mindedness"18 and concluded that a greater number of female members and members belonging to the above-mentioned professions was needed.19

43.        The need for an increasing number of members with professional experience in the areas described above and of female members was reiterated in all subsequent annual reports of the CPT.20 In its fifth general report, the CPT considered that its "message" in this respect had been heard.21 Finally, in its latest annual report, the CPT came back to this question: while noting that the medical component of its membership had been considerably reinforced as from January 1995, it stressed that there was still an urgent need for more prison specialists. Since the term of office of ten members of the Committee will expire in the course of 1997, the CPT trusts that care will be taken to ensure that all relevant professions would be adequately represented within its membership.22 The Committee also reiterated that the number of female members remained "rather low".23 Indeed, today, among the twenty-eight members of the CPT, only eight are women.

44.        The Rapporteur cannot but subscribe to the appeals of the CPT for a more balanced composition both as regards the professional background and the gender of members. The issue of the Committee's composition is all the more crucial since it is the members themselves who should assume the primary responsibility of carrying out visits and drawing up reports. Unless more members are elected with professional experience in the above-mentioned areas and, most specifically, in the penitentiary system and in forensic medicine, there is a risk that the influence over the CPT's activities of assisting experts, appointed under Article 7(2) of the Convention, will become greater than that envisaged by the authors of the Convention. Were all CPT members to possess the necessary knowledge and experience, the need to resort to outside experts would be far less than at present.

45.        Another aspect the Rapporteur wishes to raise in this context is that of the age24 of the members.25 The age of members is relevant to the extent that the CPT work is of a physically-demanding nature: members must be fit enough to be able to work long days lasting on occasion until the early hours of the morning and during visits lasting up to two weeks. A hint in this respect was given in the 5th general report of the CPT26 where the importance was underlined of electing members who were both "in a position, and ready, to serve the Committee effectively".27 Age might also be relevant given the CPT's policy decision to pay increasing attention to institutions for minors.28

46.        Last but not least, availability should also be a criterion for the election of Committee members. According to Article 4(4) of the ECPT, members "shall be available to serve the Committee effectively". The passage from the 5th general report on the CPT's activities cited above was also referring to this question. The expansion of the CPT's activities to Central and Eastern Europe and the resulting increase of work for the CPT members make this criterion even more relevant. It goes without saying that the question of availability is connected with that of adequate financial remuneration, a matter to addressed below.

47.        In conclusion, the Rapporteur finds that, in the light of experience and in view of all the above considerations, it is necessary that a balanced composition of the Committee is ensured with regard to the criteria of professional background, gender and age. In particular, there should be members who possess specialist practical knowledge of penitentiary systems or who are medical doctors with relevant experience, including in forensic medicine. An increased number of women in the CPT's membership is also necessary. Finally, attention must be paid to the criterion of availability. Since it is the national delegations of the member states in the Assembly which, in the first place, nominate the (three) candidates, they should be called upon to take into account these criteria for future nominations. The same invitation should be addressed to the Bureau of the Assembly which can make further inquiries regarding the nominations and draws up the list of (three) candidates to be submitted to the Committee of Ministers. The Bureau should return the list of the candidates to the national parliamentary delegations if the above-mentioned criteria have not been taken into account. The Committee of Ministers which has the final, decisive role, should also take account of these four criteria when making its choice.

48.        The Rapporteur is of the opinion that the selection of candidates for membership of the CPT will be considerably facilitated and harmonised if information provided by the candidates is presented systematically and on broadly similar lines to facilitate comparison between them. Thus, a model curriculum vitae should be established by the Bureau of the Assembly, in cooperation with the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. This model curriculum vitae will be transmitted to all national delegations and should be completed by the candidates they nominate.

49.        Finally, meetings between the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the chairpersons of national parliamentary delegations may be organised form time to time in order to discuss issues related to the selection of candidates for membership to the CPT. It has been said above that such a meeting was indeed organised on the occasion of the first election of members for the CPT.

3.        Means available to the CPT: human and budgetary resources

50.        The CPT's effectiveness also depends on the human and budgetary resources available to it. In this respect and given the on-site nature of the CPT's work, the Rapporteur wishes to draw attention to the consequences of the forthcoming accession to the Convention of two of the most recent member states of the Council of Europe: Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

51.        The civil prisoner population of Ukraine, according to the most recent statistics,29 stands at some two hundred thousand which is the equivalent of the combined civil prisoner populations of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. As for the Russian Federation, more than one million persons are currently held in civil prisons and detention centres30: a figure which clearly exceeds the combined civil prisoner populations of all of the other 39 Council of Europe member states.31

52.        In order to cope successfully with these developments, it is indispensable that the number of visiting days carried out by the Committee be substantially increased. But such an increase will have repercussions for both the members and the Secretariat of the CPT.

53.        For the members, an increase of visiting days and, thus, an increased number of visit reports and texts drafted in the framework of the "on-going dialogue" to be examined and adopted means that they will have to make more time available for the work of the CPT. For the Secretariat, which is closely involved in the preparation and carrying out of the visits, the drawing up of draft visit reports and the follow-up to the visits, an increase of the visiting days will also imply an additional workload.

54.        The Committee of Ministers, when adopting the Budget of the Council of Europe for 1996, reinforced the CPT's Secretariat32 and accepted the request for the introduction of a retainer system for members of its Bureau.33 The 1997 Budget of the Council of Europe provides for an increase of visiting days for the CPT and grants a further A2/A3 grade post of an administrative officer for the CPT's Secretariat. These measures are to be welcomed by the Assembly. But further increases of both human and budgetary resources will probably be necessary, if the CPT is to maintain its effectiveness and meet successfully the challenge of ratification of the Convention by states such as the Russian Federation or Ukraine.

55.        The introduction of a retainer system for all members of the CPT, as is already the case for the members of its Bureau and for all members of the European Commission of Human Rights, may also need to be considered. Indeed, the minimum number of working days required by a member of the Bureau in order to obtain the payment of a retainer (55 days per year) will soon be reached by many members of the Committee. The effective functioning of the CPT can only be ensured if its members include highly qualified persons. Financial reasons should neither prevent such qualified persons from becoming members nor should they prevent existing members from devoting more time to the CPT's work. It could be argued that with the expansion of the Committee's activities to the states from Central and Eastern Europe, the introduction of fixed honoraria for all its members is becoming inevitable.

D. The additional Protocols to the Convention

56.        On 4 November 1993, two Protocols amending the Convention were opened for signature and ratification.

1.       Protocol No. 1

57.        At present, only member states of the Council of Europe may become Parties to the Convention. Protocol No. 1 "opens" the Convention by providing that the Committee of Ministers may invite any non-member state of the Council of Europe to accede to it.

58.        This Protocol originates from the idea, suggested on the occasion of the Informal Ministerial conference on Human Rights held in Rome on 5 November 1990, to allow those states members of the (then) Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE, today: OSCE) which are not members of the Council of Europe to join the Convention.

59.        To enter into force, Protocol No. 1 must be ratified (or signed without reservation as to ratification) by all States Parties to the Convention. To date, it has been ratified (or signed without reservation as to ratification) by twenty-six of the current thirty-three States Parties.34

60.        In view of the considerable enlargement of the Council of Europe over the last years, the scope of application of this Protocol is much narrower today than it was in 1990 - when the idea was first launched - or in 1993 - when it was opened for signature. Therefore the entry into force of Protocol No. 1 should not be seen as a matter of urgency.

2.       Protocol No. 2

61.        Members of the CPT are elected for four years and may only be re-elected once. However, the drafters of the Convention did not consider introducing a system such as that provided for in respect of the European Commission of Human Rights, whose composition is renewed on a group by group basis at regular intervals (see Article 22, paragraph 3 of the ECHR). At present, the expiry dates of the terms of office of the CPT members vary considerably (see Appendix I). As a result, every five or six months, one member of the CPT must be renewed or replaced. The current profusion of different term of office expiry dates is causing considerable difficulties for the organisation of visits and the membership of delegations.35 The situation inevitably becomes more complicated as members are elected in respect of new contracting states.

62.        Protocol No. 2 provides for Committee members to be placed in one of two groups for election purposes, the aim being to ensure that one half of the membership is renewed every two years. To achieve this, the Committee of Ministers may establish longer (up to six years) or shorter (but no shorter than two years) terms of office to enable members to be placed in ore or other of the groups. This will give greater stability to the CPT's membership, thereby enabling the Committee to function more satisfactorily.

63.        Protocol No. 2 also provides that members may be re-elected twice, instead of only once as at present. The aim of this provision is to achieve a certain balance within the Committee between new members and those with more experience of the CPT's activities.

64.       As is the case of the first Protocol, to enter into force, Protocol No. 2, as is the case of the first Protocol, must be ratified (or signed without reservation as to ratification) by all States Parties to the Convention. To date, it has been ratified (or signed without reservation as to ratification) by twenty-seven of the current thirty-three States Parties to the Convention. Five of the remaining six Parties have signed it with reservation as to ratification: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey. Andorra has not yet signed the amending Protocol.

65.        Unlike Protocol No. 1, the second Protocol is simply a technical text of a non-political nature which may offer the Committee additional stability and continuity, without implying any financial burden on the member states.36 Consequently, the Rapporteur proposes that the States Parties to the Convention, which have not yet consented to be bound by its second Protocol, be urged to do so without further delay. They should take for this purpose the necessary measures to expedite the required domestic procedures. Furthermore, states which are to ratify the Convention should be invited to ratify at the same time its second Protocol.

E. Conclusions

66.        Today, after eight years of intense activity, much of the CPT's attention is focused on the member states from Central and Eastern Europe, which represent for it a considerable and growing challenge. Indeed the Committee has a significant role to play inter alia in improving conditions od detention in these countries. The Assembly, in its turn, by including ratification of the Convention among the commitments undertaken by member states upon their accession to the Council of Europe, has underlined the political significance of the Convention.

67.        The Assembly can further contribute to the expansion of the CPT's activities to Central and Eastern Europe by insisting, in the framework of its monitoring procedures, on the timely ratification of the ECPT.

68.       The accession of new member states to the ECPT and, in particular, the forthcoming accession of the Russian Federation and Ukraine will more than double the civil prisoner population which will be subject to the CPT's mandate. This will have serious implications for both the Secretariat and the members of the CPT.

69.        In this respect, the measures already taken by the Committee of Ministers in the course of 1996 and 1997 are to be welcomed, but further increases of the human and budgetary resources will probably be necessary. The introduction of a retainer system for all members of the CPT, as is already the case for the members of its Bureau, should be considered.

70.        The effectiveness of the CPT's work depends in large measure on the quality and continuity of its members. For this purpose, a more balanced composition, with regard to professional background, gender and age, is necessary. In particular, a greater participation of prison specialists and medical doctors with relevant experience, including in forensic medicine, as well as an increased number of women among its members, are highly desirable. The criterion of availability of members should also be emphasised. These recommendations are addressed to the national parliamentary delegations in the Assembly which nominate (three) candidates for CPT membership, the Bureau of the Assembly which draws up the list of (three) candidates for submission to the Committee of Ministers and, of course, to the latter which has the final, decisive role.

71.        The establishment by the Bureau of the Assembly, in cooperation with the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, of a model curriculum vitae to be transmitted to all national delegations and completed by the candidates they nominate should facilitate and harmonise the selection of candidates.

72.       Moreover, the orderly renewal of the members and the possibility for them to be re-elected twice would facilitate the CPT's task. The second Protocol to the Convention aims at introducing these technical changes. Thus the authorities of States Parties to the Convention which have not yet done so should be urged to ratify (or sign without reservation) without further delay the second Protocol thus allowing its entry into force. Furthermore, the authorities of states considering ratification of the Convention must be invited to ratify its Protocol No. 2 at the same time.

73.       Awareness of the CPT's activities, its tasks and powers under the ECPT, as well as of the correlative obligations of the States Parties, in particular by the relevant authorities and personnel (police and prison officers, judges, public prosecutors, health staff etc.), at both national and local level, should be further promoted. The organisation of information seminars in both States Parties to the Convention and states which intend to ratify in the near future could contribute to this effect.

74.        Last but not least, when examining the conditions of detention in member states, the CPT should take advantage of any relevant information already existing within the Organisation. In particular, exchanges of information between the CPT and the Assembly should be further strengthened. Therefore, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights should follow closely the CPT's work, cooperate with it and transmit to it without delay any information regarding the conditions of detention in a member state. Moreover, reports on the honouring of obligations and commitments by member states, prepared by the Monitoring Committee, should be transmitted immediately to the CPT after declassification, together with the comments of the authorities of the state concerned. Finally, exchange of information and cooperation between the CPT and the United Nations Committee Against Torture should also be strengthened.

APPENDIX I

MEMBERS OF THE CPT LISTED IN ORDER OF PRECEDENCE

NAME       NATIONALITY       TERM OF OFFICE        EXPIRES

Mr Claude NICOLAY, President       Luxemburger        19.09.1997

Mrs Ingrid LYCKE ELLINGSEN,

1st Vice-President       Norwegian       19.09.1997

Mr Leopoldo TORRES BOURSAULT,

2nd Vice-President        Spanish       03.05.1997

Mr Bent SŘRENSEN       Danish       19.09.1997

Mr Stefan TERLEZKI       British       19.09.1997

Mr Rudolf MACHACEK       Austrian       19.09.1997

Mrs Nadia GEVERS LEUVEN-LACHINSKY       Dutch       19.09.1997

Mr Günther KAISER       German       21.06.1998

Mrs Pirkko LAHTI       Finnish       20.06.1999

Mr Constantin ECONOMIDES       Greek       30.11.1999

Mr Jón BJARMAN       Icelandic       26.03.2000

Mr Arnold OEHRY       Liechtensteiner       13.01.2001

Mr Safa REISOĞLU       Turkish       19.09.1997

Mr Ivan ZAKINE       French       19.09.1997

Mrs Gisela PERREN-KLINGLER       Swiss       19.09.1997

Mr John OLDEN       Irish       21.03.1999

Mr Florin STĂNESCU       Romanian       21.03.1999

Mr Mario BENEDETTINI       San Marinese       21.03.1999

Mr Vitaliano ESPOSITO       Italian       21.06.1999

Mrs Jagoda POLONCOVÁ       Slovakian       21.06.1999

Mrs Christina DOCTARE       Swedish       19.09.1999

Mr Demetrios STYLIANIDES       Cypriot       30.11.1999

Mr Adam LAPTAŚ       Polish       30.11.1999

Mr Lambert KELCHTERMANS       Maltese       09.01.2000

Mr Miklós MAGYAR       Hungarian       03.04.2000

Mr Zdeněk HÁJEK       Czech       11.09.2000

Mrs Emilia DRUMEVA       Bulgarian       17.03.2001

APPENDIX II

ABRIDGED CURRICULA VITAE

OF MEMBERS OF THE CPT

__________

      Mr Mario BENEDETTINI (1954), San Marinese

      Psychotherapist

Co-ordinator of the Drug Dependency Unit

      in the Neuro-psychiatric Service of San Marino

      Founder member of the Fédération européenne des Associations

      d'Intervenants en Toxicomanie

      Mr Jón BJARMAN (1933), Icelandic

      Hospital chaplain of the National Church of Iceland

      Former prison chaplain of the National Church of Iceland

      Mrs Emilia Alexandrova DRUMEVA (1947), Bulgarian

      Head of the Legal Department at the National Assembly

      Professor of Constitutional Law at the Plovdiv State University "Paisyi of Hilandar"

      Mrs Christina DOCTARE (1943), Swedish

      Medical doctor

Former Head of the WHO project on rehabilitation of war victims

in former Yugoslavia

      Mr Constantin ECONOMIDES (1931), Greek

      Director of the Legal Department of the Greek Ministry of

Foreign Affairs

      Professor of Public International Law at Pantios University of

Social and Political Science (Athens)

      Mr Vitaliano ESPOSITO (1937), Italian

      Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Cassation

      Member of the Bureau of the European Committee on Crime Problems

of the Council of Europe

       Mrs Nadia GEVERS LEUVEN-LACHINSKY (1940), Dutch

      Specialist in Internal and Occupational Medicine

      Former Advisor of the Refugee Health Care Centre

      Former Advisor of the Foundation for Relief Fund for Medical Care

      for refugees.

       Mr Zdeněk HÁJEK (1950), Czech

Lawyer

Advisor of the Czech Minister of Justice on prison affairs

      Mr Günther KAISER (1928), German

      Professor of Criminology and Criminal Law at the

      Universities of Freiburg (Germany) and Zürich

      Director of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and

      International Criminal Law, Freiburg

      Mr Lambert KELCHTERMANS (1929), Belgian

Member of the Senate

Member of the Belgian delegations to the Assembly of

the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Assembly,

the WEU Assembly, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union

      Mrs Pirkko Anneli LAHTI (1941), Finnish

      Psychologist, psychotherapist

Executive Director of the Finnish Association for Mental Health

      Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Mielenterveys (Mental Health)

      Mr Adam ŁAPTAŚ (1953), Polish

Lawyer

Deputy Principal, Prison for detention in custody pending

inquiry in Myslowice (for men)

      Mrs Ingrid LYCKE ELLINGSEN (1933), Norwegian

Psychiatrist

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Psychiatrist of the County

of Buskerud

      Mr Rudolf MACHACEK (1927), Austrian

      Member of the Austrian Constitutional Court

      Member of the Advisory Committee on Execution of Sentences

      (organ of the Federal Ministry of Justice)

      Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for

      Legal and Criminal Sociology

      Mr Miklós MAGYAR (1942), Hungarian

      Psychiatrist

      Deputy Director General of the Forensic Institute

for the Observation and Treatment of Mental Patients, Budapest

      Mr Claude NICOLAY (1950), Luxemburger

      Solicitor General (Avocat général)

      Former Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Family Law (CJ-FA)

      of the Council of Europe

      Former Chairman of the Committee set up by the Custody of

      Children Convention (T-CC) of the Council of Europe

      Mr Arnold OEHRY (1920), Liechtensteiner

Advisor to the princely government

Former judge

      Member of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)

      Mr John B. OLDEN (1932), Irish

      Former Senior Civil Servant

From 1973 to 1985, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Justice, with responsibility for prisons and the probation service

      Former member of the European Committee on Crime Problems,

      the UN Committee on Crime Prevention and Control and

      the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation

      Mrs Gisela PERREN-KLINGLER (1944), Swiss

Psychiatrist

Former medical delegate of the ICRC

Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the International

Society for traumatic stress studies

      Mrs Jagoda POLONCOVÁ (1942), Slovakian

Lawyer

Counsellor at the Ministry of Justice

Member of the Slovak Government Commissions for womens rights

and minorities issues

      Mr Safa REISOĞLU (1929), Turkish

Professor of Law at Marmara University, Istanbul

Former Minister of Education

Former Member of the Turkish Senate

Former Member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

      Mrs Maria SCIBERRAS (1940), Maltese

Medical doctor

From 1988 to 1994, member of the Prison Board of Visitors

Former member of the Council of Europe Select Committee

on transmissible diseases in prison

      Mr Bent SŘRENSEN (1924), Danish

      Professor of Surgery at the University of Copenhagen,

      from 1971 to September 1990

      Former Chief of Staff, Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit,

      Křbenhavns Kommunes Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen

      Member of the Board of the International Foundation for

      the Rehabilitation of torture victims (ICRT)

      Member of the United Nations' Committee against Torture (CAT)

      Mr Florin Alexandru STĂNESCU (1933), Romania

Chief Forensic Pathologist at the Mina Minovici Institute

of Forensic Medicine

Professor of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Stomatology,

at the Titu Maiorescu University

      Mr Demetrios STYLIANIDES (1927), Cypriot

Lawyer

Former President of the Supreme Court of Cyprus

      Mr Stefan TERLEZKI (1927), British

      Former Member of Parliament

      Former Member of the UK Delegation to the Assembly of the Council

of Europe and to the WEU Assembly

      Rapporteur to the Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations

      of the Assembly of the Western European Union

      Mr Leopoldo TORRES BOURSAULT (1941), Spanish

Lawyer

      Former State Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation

      Former Member of Parliament

      Mr Ivan ZAKINE (1932), French

President of the Cour de Cassation 2nd Civil Chamber

Former Director of Prison Administration

President of the Société Générale des Prisons et de

Législation Criminelle

Reporting committee: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Committee for opinion: Committee on the Budget and the Intergovernmental Work Programme

Budgetary implications for the Assembly: none

Reference to committee: Doc. 7619 and Reference No. 2120 of 7 November 1996

Draft recommendation and draft order adopted unanimously by the committee on 10 March 1997

Members of the committee: Mr Hagĺrd (Chairperson), MM Schwimmer, Bindig, Jansson (Vice-Chairpersons), Mrs Aguiar, MM Akçali, Alexander, Aushev, Bartumeu Cassany, Berti, Besostri, Clerfayt, Columberg, Contestabile, Deasy, Dees, Demetriou, Deniau, Mrs Err, Mr Fogaš, Mrs Frimansdóttir, MM Frunda, Fuhrmann, Fyodorov, Mrs Gelderblom-Lankhout, MM Guenov, Gürel, Mrs Holand, Mr Hunault, Ms Jäätteenmäki, MM Jaskiernia, Jeambrun, Kelam, Kirkhill, Koschyk, Kostytsky, Kovačević, Loutfi, Magnusson, de Marco, Martins, Mészáros, Micheloyiannis, Moeller (alternate: Kaalund), Mosetic, Nastase, Németh, Mrs Noveská, MM Oleksy, Pantelejevs, Patnick (alternate: Sir Dudley Smith), Pollo, Polydoras, Poppe, Prokop, Rhinow, Robles Fraga (alternate: Lopez Henares), Rodeghiero, Solé Tura, Solonari, Stačiokas, Symonenko, Tahiri, Vishnyakov, Weyts, Mrs Wohlwend.

N.B. The names of those members who took part in the vote are printed in italics.

Secretaries to the committee: Mr Plate, Ms Coin, Ms Chatzivassiliou, Ms Kleinsorge and Ms Clamer


1 1 by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

2 2 The six General Reports on the CPT's activities published by the CPT itself and the following sources have been of particular value in the preparation of the present report: M. Evans and R. Morgan, "The European Torture Committee: Membership Issues", European Journal of International Law, vol. 5, 1994, pp. 249-258; Association for the Prevention of Torture, The Implementation of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ECPT): Assessment and Perspectives after Five Years of Activities of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Acts of the Seminar of 5 to 7 December in 1994 Strasbourg, Geneva 1995; J. Murdoch, "The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment", European Law Review, vol. 21, 1996, pp. 13O-137; Mark Kelly, "Preventing Ill-treatment: the Work of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture", European Human Rights Law Review, vol. 3, 1996, pp. 287-303.

3 3 See paragraph 7 (ix) of the Assembly Opinion No. 193 (1996) on Russia's request for membership.

4 4 The Rapporteur notes that ratification of the Convention by Ukraine is imminent since the internal procedures for ratification were completed on 24 January 1997 when the Parliament authorised the ratification.

5 5 No information is available as regards the intentions of Latvia, which undertook to sign and ratify the ECPT but not in a specific time-limit. Similarly, no information is available regarding the intentions of Lithuania vis-ŕ-vis the ECPT.

6 6 CPT/Inf (95) 10, paragraph 10.

7 7 idem.

8 8 As the President of the CPT has put it, "it is not a secret that the conditions of detention in many of these countries leave much to be desired. In many cases, the material conditions of detention are archaic while the supporting legal framework is unclear, for it has not yet entirely been updated and is not always as transparent as we would wish it to be", see Nicolay, "Five Years of Activities of the CPT: And Now?" in The Implementation of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ECPT), op.cit., p. 222.

9 9 Although this interval is longer than that initially envisaged by the CPT (two or three years), it could be sufficient to guarantee a certain continuity, when combined with the process of the "on-going dialogue" and recourse to short visits of a follow-up nature.

10 10 The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, when transmitting the information to the CPT, had felt that the allegations were serious enough to justify a visit of the CPT to the indicated prisons. Following an exchange of correspondence between the Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the President of the CPT, the matter was referred to the Bureau of the Assembly which in September 1996 inquired on the visit programme of the CPT including prospects for the year 1997. The President of the CPT replied that no visits were envisaged to the United Kingdom during 1996 and no indication could be furnished on the CPT's visiting programme for 1997. A formal proposal by the Bureau of the Assembly to the President of the CPT followed in November 1996 whereby the importance and the urgency of a visit by the CPT to the above-mentioned British mainland prisons was stressed. The President of the CPT answered a week later that the CPT had considered all available information and reached the conclusion that a visit to the United Kingdom in order to examine the conditions of detention of certain prisoners held in special secure units in English prisons was "not warranted at the present time".

11 11 See also paragraph 14.

12 12 The Bureau, which exerts great influence over the functioning of the CPT, was created at the CPT's own instigation. See First General Report on the CPT Activities (November 1989- December 1990), CPT (91) 3, paragraphs 14-17.

13 13 CPT/Inf(96)21.

14 14 Moreover, the CPT is making more frequent recourse to the use of "immediate observations", provided by Article 8, paragraph 5, of the Convention, which enable it to make known its views on particularly urgent matters well in advance of the transmission of a visit report.

15 15 Reference to this problem has been made in all annual reports of the CPT to date. See as an example of action recently taken in this respect the circular letter of 25 March 1996 of the French Prime Minister on the application of the ECPT, published in the Official Gazette of 27 March 1996.

16 16 See 6th general report, CPT/Inf (96) 21, paragraph 13.

17 17 See the observations on article 4(2)

18 18 See CPT (91) 3, paragraph 87.

19 19 In fact, at the time of the writing of its First Annual Report (January-February 1991), the CPT comprised 17 members of whom: 9 were lawyers; 4 were medical doctors (of whom 2 were psychiatrists); 2 were parliamentarians; one was an academic; and one was a civil servant. Moreover, only three members were women.

20 20 See 2nd general report, CPT/Inf (92) 3, paragraphs 26 and 27. In its 3rd general report, the CPT expressed its gratefulness to the Committee of Ministers for the action subsequently taken by it in this respect, see CPT/Inf (93) 12, paragraph 23. In its 4th general report, the CPT noted that the changes in membership occurred in the course of 1993 "could not be said to have remedied" the problem related to the need for members with specialist practical knowledge of penitentiary systems or for medical doctors with relevant experience, while adding that the number of women remained "rather low", see CPT/Inf (94) 10, paragraph 16.

21 21 See CPT/Inf (95) 10, paragraph 26.

22 22 See CPT/Inf (96) 21, paragraph 22. For the professional background of the current members of CPT, see the abridged curricula vitae of members of the CPT, Doc. CPT/Inf (96) 30, in Appendix II.

23 23 idem.

24 24 It is worth noting that in 1977, in its Recommendation 809 (1977) on the qualification of candidates for the European Court of Human Rights, the Assembly recommended that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of the member states "i.to put forward candidates below the age of 70; ii. to ask every candidate to give a formal undertaking that he will, if elected, retire from the office of judge during the year in which he reaches the age of 75". In its Resolution 655 (1977) on the same subject it had requested its members "not to vote for candidates : i. who have not given a formal undertaking to retire from the office of judge during the year in which they reach the age of 75."

25 25 See for the abridged curricula vitae of members of the CPT Appendix II.

26 26 See also Nicolay, op.cit., section 5.1, p. 225.

27 27 See CPT/Inf (95) 10, paragraph 26.

28 28 See 6th general report, CPT/Inf (96) 21, paragraph 3.

29 29 See the Annual Criminal Statistics of the Council of Europe: Inquiry 1995, Council of Europe, November 1996, p. 19.

30 30 idem.

31 31 It is worth noting that these figures concern only some of the persons who fall within the CPT mandate which extends beyond civil prisons and detention centres and covers any place where persons are deprived of their liberty by a public authority (police stations, psychiatric hospitals, military detention facilities etc.).

32 32 It created a new A5 grade post, upgraded an A2/A3 post to an A4 post and upgraded other existing posts. A new A4 grade post was also created as from 1st October 1996.Thus, current staffing of the CPT Secretariat is as follows: 1 A5 Secretary of the Committee; 1 A4 Deputy Secretary of the Committee; 1 A4 Head of Unit (currently vacant); 7 A2/3 Administrative Officers; 1 B5 Principal Administrative Assistant (Documentation and Information);1 B3 Senior Clerk; 2 B2 Secretaries.

33 33 Retainers for the Bureau are paid on a "sliding scale". The maximum possible retainers are as follows: 229,000 FF for the President and 199,000 FF for the two Vice-Presidents. Payment of the full retainer is subject to participation in at least 77 days of CPT work in the course of a given year. Homework and travel time are not taken into account for this purpose. No retainer is paid if a Bureau member participates in less than 55 days of CPT work. As regards a Bureau member who participates in 55 days or more of CPT work, but not 77 days, he/she is paid 1/23 of the full retainer in respect of each day of CPT work in excess of 54 days (e.g. a Bureau member who participates in 60 days of CPT work is entitled to 6/23 of the full retainer).

34 34 Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey have signed with reservation as to ratification. Andorra has not yet signed the amending Protocol.

35 35 See also Nicolay, op.cit., section 5.2, pp. 225-226.

36 36 The Committee itself has repeatedly expressed its concern about the time being taken for the entry into force of protocol No. 2. See 5th and 6th general report, CPT/Inf (95) 10, paragraph 24, and CPT/Inf (96) 21, paragraph 19.