COPCAT Shorts – Help Wanted: The CPT seeks Experts

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is looking to expand its pool of independent experts. This eminent Council of Europe detention monitoring body, comprising representatives of its 47 Member States, is seeking to bolster its internal expertise by drawing on external knowledge and skills in the form of independent experts.

CPT Open Call for Expressions of Interest for Experts press release image – copyright Council of Europe (2019).
European anti-torture

In a press release from 26 July 2019 the CPT stated the following:

The CPT is looking for Experts with recognised competence in one or more of the following fields of activities, preferably with proven experience in visiting places of deprivation of liberty:

Police matters: law enforcement official, specialised judge, prosecutor or other professional with proven experience in the investigation of cases of police ill-treatment/misconduct, academic specialised in police matters, etc.;

Prison issues: academic specialised in prison matters, prison governor, prison officer, specialised judge, prosecutor or other professional supervising prisons, etc.;

Immigration detention: academic or specialised judge or other legal professional dealing with asylum/immigration issues, head of an immigration detention centre, etc.;

Juvenile detention: academic or specialised judge or other legal professional in child-related issues, director or staff member of a juvenile institution, etc.;

Health-care issues: health-care professional (such as a general practitioner, prison doctor, forensic doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or nurse) with extensive experience in providing health care to persons held in police custody, immigration detention, prisons, psychiatric hospitals or social care institutions, etc.

Human rights experts with experience in working with a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) established under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Interested experts are invited to submit applications by 16 September 2019. An application file can be obtained by e-mail from: DGI-CPT@coe.int

Canada, clearly not a Member State of the Council of Europe, is, however, one of six states which have ‘observer’ status before the organization.

Articles 7(2), 13 and 14 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment outline the roles and functions of such independent experts.

There is no stipulation in the Convention that the independent experts should bear the nationality of a Member State of the Council of Europe. Moreover, no mention of nationality is made in the CPT’s Rules of Procedure.

In a word, there does not seem to be any provision in these texts barring Canadians from applying to the above call for expressions of interest.

In a nutshell, good luck Canadians! And Australians, Armenians, Georgians, Ivorians…


Find out more about the CPT here in English and French.

Learn more about key CPT resources.

Read the full call for expressions of interest in English.

Read the full call for expressions of interest in French.