Revision of the European Prison Rules and related commentary

The European Prison Rules (EPR or “the Rules”) are a key reference for both prison administrations and staff in the region. The Rules are also used by monitoring bodies and civil society, providing guidance on how to uphold the rights of people in prison in practice. It is therefore of utmost importance that the Rules are revised to ensure they reflect the most recent and highest protection availed to people in prison, as laid out in international and regional standards.

The Rules being revised are as follows:

  • Solitary confinement (Nos 3, 24, 53 and 60.5)
  • Records and file management (No 15.1)
  • Women (No 34) - Foreign nationals (No 37)
  • Use of restraints (No 68) - Complaints (No 70)
  • Adequate staffing level (Nos 71 to 91)
  • Inspections and monitoring (Nos 92 and 93)

Key new standards to be incorporated during this revision process include the UN Nelson Mandela Rules, the UN Bangkok Rules, CPT standards, judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as other relevant Recommendations from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, such as the one on foreign prisoners.

Penal Reform International (PRI) and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) welcome the opportunity to submit information and invite the Working Group and the PC-CP members to consider their views and recommendations.