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Implementation of the OPCAT in the United Kingdom: The National Preventive Mechanism


Friday, November 23, 2007
The Law School at the University of Bristol and the Ministry of Justice co-hosted a one-day seminar on 26 November 2007 devoted to the National Preventive Mechanism which will be designated by the UK authorities. The event looked at a range of issues including the process of designation and operation of the NPM as well as its conformity with the minimum standards stipulated in the OPCAT text. The official designation of the UK national mechanism is expected before the end of the year.

 

Purpose: To examine the implementation of the OPCAT in the United Kingdom 
Date: 26 November 2007 
Partners: 

University of Bristol School of Law

Ministry of Justice

Activities: 

The Law School at the University of Bristol and the Ministry of Justice co-hosted a one-day seminar on 26 November 2007 devoted to the National Preventive Mechanism which will be designated by the UK authorities. The event titled 'Implementation of the OPCAT in the United Kingdom: The National Preventive Mechanism' looked at a range of issues including the process of designation and operation of the NPM as well as its conformity with the minimum standards stipulated in the OPCAT text. 

Representatives from many of the 30 or so individual mechanisms, which are likely to form the overall NPM, attended the seminar. These included the Independent Custody Visiting Association, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales, Chief Inspector for Prisons in Scotland, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Mental Health Act Commission, Care Commission and the Criminal Justice Inspection in Northern Ireland. An APT representative also attended and delivered a presentation at the event.

Outcome: The seminar examined both the strengths and weaknesses of the multi-body NPM which will be designated by the UK authorities, thereby identifying possible areas for improvement.  
Next Steps: It is expected that a formal announcement will be made in Parliament by the end of the year, which will officially designate the individual visiting mechanisms which will constitute the UK NPM. Although the Ministry of Justice had initially hoped that this announcement would have been made by 22 June 2007 – the deadline by which the UK should have established its NPM – various factors have delayed this important next step. 
Documents: The seminar agenda is available from the School of Law OPCAT web page
Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer 
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