Justice Departments Respond on Istanbul Principles

Responses have started to come in following Celtic League queries to Justice Agencies about the application of the so called `Istanbul Principles’ of the United Nations which cover the training of law enforcement personnel and medical officers in respect of torture and ill treatment of detained persons

Strangely one area of the United Kingdom where there have been several recorded incidents of ill treatment of detainees (N. Ireland) has indicated no specific training on the Istanbul Principles is provided to police or prison officers.

The full text of the position as outlined by Justice Minister David Ford is set out below:

“Department of Justice

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

Mr J B Moffat
Director of Information
The Celtic League
11 Cleiy Rhennee
Kirk Michael
Isle of Man
1M6 IHT

6th August 2011

Thank you for your letter of 17 July requesting information on the extent of training provided to police, prison and medical staff in Northern Ireland with regard to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and the Istanbul
Protocol.

I am advised by the Police Service of Northern Ireland that the protocol is not specifically quoted or referred to in police training. However, human rights sits at the core of all of their training and decision making processes. Legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights and the Police and Criminal Evidence Order (with associated Codes of
Practice) is central to many training programmes and courses. Training of Forensic Medical Officers in the PSNI is provided by the National Police Improvement Agency at Harperley Hall in County Durham in partnership with the Forensic Faculty of the Royal College of Physicians.

In relation to the Northern Ireland Prison Service, appropriate training to raise awareness on human rights has been provided to all staff across the service. Again, I am advised that no specific training is provided on the Istanbul Protocol.

DAVID FORD MLA
Minister of Justice”

Meanwhile a holding response has also been provided by the Scottish Government – see below:

“The Scottish Government

Safer Communities Directorate
Police Division

Mr J B Moffat
Director of Information
The Celtic League
11 Cleiy Rhennee
Kirk Michael
Isle of man
1M6 IHT

2 August2011

Dear Mr Moffat

I am writing to thank you for your letter of 17 July to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, seeking information about training in Scotland of law enforcement personnel and medical officers in respect of torture and ill treatment of detained persons.

Your letter has been passed to me to co-ordinate a reply. This will involve seeking information from a number of agencies and will take a little time. We will, however, provide a substantive reply as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

KEITH MAIN”

See related link on Celtic News at:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3696

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

13/08/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

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