Work initially commenced on this project in early 2006, and is expected to continue over the next three years. Participants in the project include the Great Britain China Centre (London), the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, and the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. In China, the Renmin University Research Center of Procedural System and Judicial Reform (Beijing) is also involved in the project. The project is funded by the European Commission.
Department: Criminology Project category: Research project Research program (Criminology): Development of Criminal Policy and the Rule of Law in Transitional Societies, International Cooperation Projects Organizational status: Departmental project Project languages: English Status of project: Completed Project duration: Project start: 2006
Project end: 2009
The goal of the project is to reduce the use of torture and inhuman treatment by and through the various mechanisms of law enforcement. This goal is to be fostered by the interdependent nature of the research, the use of further education and vocational training programs, and the implementation of law reforms and external (civil-society) control organs in the People's Republic of China. Particular attention will be drawn to the United Nations Convention against Torture and the optional supplementary protocol. The emphasis of the research, as well as the further education and vocational training programs, is to be placed on state institutions where the risk of torture is particularly prevalent. In particular, this concerns police custody and interrogation, although the prosecution and administrative and/or preventive police system(s) are also to be included.
Individual comparative, empirical, and secondary analytical legal research will be carried out with regard to the implementation of preventative torture measures. Vocational training courses are to be offered to police officers and public prosecutors, as well lecturers at police academies and universities. Field studies will enable Chinese academics, politicians, police and legal officers to ascertain a concrete insight into the torture prevention models of European countries. In addition, media campaigns are planned to draw attention to the use of torture, the results of the academic research work and the introduction of the optional supplementary protocol.
It is the intention of the project that a research report be published. This report will contain suggestions for legal changes – in particular relating the strengthening of protective measures during interrogation. These suggestions are to be submitted to China’s highest legislative organ, the Legislative Commission of the National People’s Congress. Likewise, an understanding of the need to prevent torture by the police and other judicial institutions is also to be sharpened. Furthermore, pilot projects are planned to help implement anti-torture mechanisms in selected police stations and prisons. Lastly, a joint English-Chinese publication covering international human rights standards and their implementation is planned, which is, on the one hand, to be used in the further education and vocational training programs, and, on the other, to initiate a broader political and public debate concerning the prevention of torture.
The project corresponds with an important priority of the European Union, namely to bring about a reduction in torture through increasing political acceptance of the optional protocol as well as a raising of awareness as to the counter productive consequences of torture practices.Financing:
The project was funded by the European Commission.