A conversation with Dr Francesca Gordon from the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT)
Time & Location
About the Event
Dr. Gordon will give us an introduction about the CPT, discussing its relevance to immigration detention and the prevention of ill-treatment of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty under immigration legislation around the Council of Europe’s Member States. She will also speak about the practical aspects of what and how the CPT conducts a monitoring visit with a focus on immigration detention and typical issues encountered. Lastly, there will be a facilitated discussion on the prevention of ill-treatment in the European immigration detention context.
More about CPT
The CPT organises visits to places of detention, in order to assess how persons deprived of their liberty are treated. These places include prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, holding centres for immigration detainees, psychiatric hospitals, social care homes, etc. CPT delegations have unlimited access to places of detention, and the right to move inside such places without restriction. They interview persons deprived of their liberty in private, and communicate freely with anyone who can provide information. After each visit, the CPT sends a detailed report to the State concerned. This report includes the CPT’s findings, and its recommendations, comments and requests for information. The CPT also requests a detailed response to the issues raised in its report. These reports and responses form part of the ongoing dialogue with the States concerned.
The CPT’s full title is the “European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. This highlights two important features: first, it is European, and second, it not only covers “torture”, but also a whole range of situations which could amount to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
More about our speaker
Dr Gordon leads various monitoring visits around the 47 Council of Europe Member States, examining places of detention, as well as national legislation and policy regarding the deprivation of liberty. She is the CPT’s immigration liaison person and is also responsible for managing the CPT’s operational involvement with various countries, including the United Kingdom. Previously, Dr Gordon was an inspector at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons in the United Kingdom, and a solicitor at the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Dr Gordon has a doctorate in law and LLM from the University of Essex, as well as a MA (Oxon) and BA in Chinese from the University of Oxford.