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Denmark agrees to automatic publication of reports by Council of Europe anti-torture Committee

The government of Denmark has agreed to the publication of all future reports of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). This also applies to the government responses.
29/05/2018
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Denmark agrees to automatic publication of reports by Council of Europe anti-torture Committee

Commenting on this decision, Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT, stated the following:

“Authorising the timely publication of visit reports is indicative of the strength of commitment to the implementation of the CPT’s recommendations. The decision of the Danish Government to adopt an automatic publication procedure reflects its determination to be a leader in preventing torture in Europe and beyond, as reiterated on several occasions during the recent Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Like Denmark and the eight other states which have done so, any State Party to the Convention establishing the CPT can request the automatic publication of CPT reports. It is a very simple procedure which has the advantage of enabling all interested parties (such as parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors, non-governmental organisations and the media) to contribute effectively to debates and developments on the issues raised by the CPT. It also helps to create better synergies between the Committee and other preventive mechanisms, and facilitates the provision of relevant technical assistance.

I invite other member states to follow this example of introducing an automatic publication procedure.”

* * *

This initiative to request the automatic publication of CPT reports and government responses follows similar decisions by the authorities of Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Luxembourg, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Sweden and Ukraine.

According to the Convention establishing the CPT, visit reports and government responses are confidential. They are published at the request of the state concerned. To date, most states have agreed to publish these reports and responses. However, CPT reports are often published only after, on occasion long after, the government response is provided.

Both the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have encouraged states which have not already done so to request the automatic publication of future CPT visit reports and related government responses.[1]

An “automatic publication procedure” is generally adopted in the form of a letter from the competent authorities to the CPT, in which they request the publication of all future reports and responses after transmission, save in exceptional cases where publication may be delayed for a certain period. States which are considering introducing the automatic publication procedure are invited to contact the Secretariat of the CPT.

                                            

[1] Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 2160 (2017) adopted on 26 April 2017, and the Committee of Ministers’ reply to Recommendation 2100 (2017), adopted at the 1301st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies of 29 November 2017.


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