More than 25 years after the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) started its work, it would be important to draw up a balance of its achievements and possible improvements needed in order to live up to the obligations all member States took upon themselves when ratifying the European Convention for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ETS no.126).
In order to determine the CPT’s main achievements in ensuring that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article 3, ECHR), and to identify which improvements might be needed to enlarge the CPT’s successes, the Parliamentary Assembly should consider this important aspect of Council of Europe’s work.
Among elements to be examined, is the progress made in respect of the request of Resolution 1808 (2011) that CPT members should be elected by the Assembly. This would deepen the relation between the Assembly and the CPT, in analogy with the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights by the Assembly which until now has been involved in the selection but not (yet) the election of CPT members.
Another important element would be how to increase awareness in each member State of the obligation to guarantee the demands in Article 3 of the ECHR, as well as the overall strengthening of torture prevention mechanisms.
It is also the Assembly’s obligation to maintain the CPT’s position at international level as the leading and inspiring institution in this important field of human rights. The Assembly should therefore also propose to regularly examine the CPT’s achievements and demands to improve its functioning.