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Module 1: International Legal Standards (Overview)



  • Definition of torture and ill-treatment
  • Brief review of the purpose of torture and its history
  • Review of relevant international standards for torture prevention
  • Torture in the world today, including practises, the role of state and non-state actors, common situations for allegations
  • Review of country-specific legal standards and torture practises [to be provided by Instructors]
  • Overview of prevention and accountability measures
  • International and regional monitoring mechanisms and formal inspections of detention facilities
    • Human Rights Committee
    • UN Committee against Torture
  • Regional monitoring mechanisms
  • Other monitoring mechanisms
    • The UN Special Rapporteur
    • International criminal courts and tribunal
    • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Safeguards against torture for those deprived of their liberty
    • Notifying people of their rights
    • Use of officially recognised places of detention
    • Humane conditions of detention
    • Limits on interrogation
    • Access to a doctor
    • The right to challenge the lawfulness of detention
  • Safeguards for special categories of detainees
    • Women in detention
    • Juvenile detainees
    • People with mental health problems

Discussion Topics

Teaching Formats

Primary Resources