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Limits on interrogation

Article 11 of the Convention against Torture requires states to keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practises as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons under arrest, detention or imprisonment. The Human Rights Committee has stated that: ‘keeping under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practises as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment is an effective means of preventing cases of torture and ill-treatment.’[1] The Committee has also stated that, ‘the wording of Article 14(3)(g) — i.e. that no one shall be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt — must be understood in terms of the absence of any direct or indirect physical or psychological pressure from the investigating authorities on the accused, with a view to obtaining a confession of guilt. A fortiori, it is unacceptable to treat an accused person in a manner contrary to Article 7 of the Covenant in order to extract a confession.’[2]


[1] Human Rights Committee General Comment 20, para. 11.

[2] Kelly v Jamaica, (253/1987), 8 April 1991, Report of the Human Rights Committee, (A/46/40), 1991; Conteris v Uruguay, (139/1983), 17 July 1985, 2 Sel. Dec. 168; Estrella v Uruguay, (74/1980), 29 March 1983, 2 Sel. Dec. 93.