The role of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) in the effective implementation of ECHR judgments and of recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) was the subject of this year’s European NPM Conference, held from 20 to 22 September 2021 by videoconference. Co-organised by the European NPM Forum – a joint European Union-Council of Europe project – and the Department for the Execution of Judgments, the conference analysed strategies how states may tackle the systemic problem of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials and impunity. It examined means to enhance NPMs’ engagement at national and international level, notably through communications to the Committee of Ministers supervising the execution of ECHR judgments.
The conference brought together NPMs from across Europe, as well as Morocco and Tunisia, Council of Europe representatives and experts, including from civil society. NPMs discussed and exchanged information and good practices concerning key challenges faced, in particular: the need for a reform of police culture and interviewing techniques, legislative and institutional changes, independent oversight, and aligning police and judicial authorities’ practice with ECHR case-law and CPT standards to combat police ill-treatment and impunity.
The conference marked the first in a series of events for NPMs to be continued in 2022.