Association of the prevention of torture Inter-Parliamentary Union International Commission of Jurists

Seminar for members of parliamentary human rights bodies

Geneva, 25 - 27 September 2006

As part of its efforts to strengthen the capacity of parliaments to promote and protect human rights, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in collaboration with the International Commission of Jurists and the Association for the Prevention of Torture, organized this seminar to address the question of due administration of justice and the contribution parliaments can make in this respect.

Members of parliamentary human rights bodies and specialized parliamentary committees on justice and internal affairs from over 40 countries exchanged views and identified ways in which parliaments can promote and help safeguard the due administration of prisons, the independence of the Judiciary, the right to fair trial and the rights of accused, detainees and prisoners.


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Association for the prevention of torture
Seminar on Freedom of Expression, organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Article 19, (Geneva, 25-27 May 2005)
Updated on the 22 September 2006   
8.00 - 9.30 a.m.

Registration of participants and distribution of documents

9.30 - 10.15 a.m.Inaugural session:
-  Welcome address by Mr. Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
-  Address by Mrs. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
-  Opening statements by Ms. Martine Brunschwig Graf, President of the Association for the Prevention of Torture and member of the Swiss Parliament, and Mr. Nicholas Howen, Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists
-  Election of the President and Rapporteur of the seminar
10.15 - 11 a.m.Keynote presentation: Law and justice: the case for parliamentary scrutiny
-  Mr. Khemais Chammari, former Member of the Parliament of Tunisia, human rights expert, laureate of the 1997 International Human Rights Prize of the City of Nuremberg
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.Deprivation of liberty: Law and practice
-  Arrest and detention
   Ms. Susan McCrory, Research Director of the International Council on Human Rights Policy
2.30 - 4 p.m.-  The prohibition of (and challenges to) torture and other ill-treatment under international law
   Mr. Manfred Nowak, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
4 - 4.15 p.m.Coffee break
4.15 - 6 p.m.-  The responsibility of parliaments and their members to prevent torture and ensure human conditions of detention: legislative and oversight measures
   Ms. Loretta Rosales, member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines and Ms. Ana Maria Mendoza de Acha, member of the Senate of Paraguay
6 p.m.Reception (IPU Headquarters)

9.30 - 11.15 a.m.Ensuring the fair course of justice
-  The right to a fair trial: Legal overview
   Mr. Nicholas Howen, Secretary General of the International Commission of Justice
-  The presumption of innocence, equality of arms and the right to be tried without undue delay: what parliaments can do to guarantee these essential ingredients of the right to a fair trial
   Mr. Leandro Despouy, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
11.15 - 11.30 a.m.Coffee break
11.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.-  How to ensure an independent and impartial judiciary, a pillar of democracy
   Mr. Leandro Despouy and Ms. Eva Joly, former Judge and currently Special Advisor at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
2.30 - 4 p.m.Security and Justice
-  The use of military tribunals
   Mr. Federico Andreu-Guzman, Deputy Secretary General, International Commission of Jurists
-  Administrative detention on security grounds
   Ms. Leila Zerrougui. Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
4 - 5 p.m.Interactive session with the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, on the work of the newly established Council
5 - 6.30 p.m.The fight against impunity: the International Criminal Court and transnational justice
   Mr. Roberto Garretón, human rights defense attorney (Chile), and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo

9.30 - 11 a.m.Execution of sentence
-  The purpose and forms of punishment
   Justice Sanji Monageng, Commissioner, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
-  The privatization of prisons and its impact on the human rights of detainees
   Mr. Ira Robbins, Professor of Law, American University, Washington, USA
11 - 11.15 a.m.Coffee break
11.15 a.m. - 1 p.m.Vulnerable groups
-  The detention of asylum seekers, immigrants and mentally disabled persons
   Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
2.30 - 3.45 p.m.-  Juvenile justice
   Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Thailand, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
3.45 - 4 p.m.Coffee break
4 - 6 p.m.

Evaluation by participants

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