LRSJ students present anti-torture report to ACT Minister

Students from The Australian National University (ANU) College of Law recently met with Shane Rattenbury MLA, ACT Minister for Justice, to deliver a report on the ACT’s implementation of the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

The report represents the culmination of an 18-month research project by nearly a dozen students involved in the Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) program.  

The ACT ratified OPCAT in December 2017. The Monitoring of Places of Detention (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) Bill 2017 sets out the powers of the UN Subcommittee should it elect to visit a place of detention in the ACT.

The report presents a comprehensive review of places of deprivation of liberty in the ACT. It includes an analysis against OPCAT benchmarks of the independent entities in the ACT that currently perform an oversight role in relation to these places of deprivation of liberty.

LRSJ Director, Associate Professor Matthew Zagor, said the report aims to provide guidance to government for the establishment of national preventive mechanisms under the OPCAT.

“The report promises to make an important contribution to the implementation locally of Australia’s international obligations. It also reflects the depth of our partnership with key governmental and civil society actors in the criminal justice sector, as well as our engagement with international human rights protection more broadly,” he said.

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