46 Lex ET Scientia. Juridical Series
LESIJ NO. XIX, VOL. 2/2012
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)2, strengthening the protection of persons
deprived of their liberty against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
The efforts of the United Nations in ensuring protection for the persons deprived of their
liberty are continous, just to mention the recent discussions within an open-ended intergovernmental
expert group in order to exchange information on best practices, as well as national legislation and
existing international law, and on the revision of the existing United Nations standard minimum rules
for the treatment of prisoners so that they reflect recent advances in correctional science and best
practices, with a view to making recommendations to the Commission on possible next steps.3
A presentation of the existing control mechanisms in Romania and a brief analyse of the
legislation of certain European states will help us to assess more accurately the current situation in
Romania and to observe different models of already implemented national prevention mechanisms,
consequently allowing us to look at the whole picture, having all the elements, thus drawing the best
fitting solutions in implementing a solid and functional national preventive mechanism in Romania,
in full respect with OPCAT requirements.
I. The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1. General presentation. Observing that the protection of human rights is of paramount
importance and is subject to continous evolution, the United Nations adopted the Optional Protocol
to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
stressing out that further measures are necessary to achieve the purposes of the CAT and to
strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and other cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment.
Although Romania ratified the OPCAT in 2009, based on the declaration made in accordance
with article 24, paragraph 1, the implementation of the obligations under Part IV, concerning national
preventive mechanisms4 was postponed for three years, thus no NPM was designated in Romania up
to this point. The three year period of postponement will expire on 1 August 2012, leaving a tight
timeframe to the relevant national stakeholders in order to designate a NPM within the assumed
2 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was
adopted on 10 December 1984, entered into force 26 June 1987 and was ratified by Roman ia through Law no.
19/1990, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 112 of October 10, 1990.
3 See the open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on the United Nations standard minimum
rules for the treatment of prisoners, 31 January - 2 February 2012, Vienna, Austria, as requested by the Genera l
Assembly, in operative paragraph 10 of its Resolution 65/230 of 21 December 2010, entitled "Twelf th United
Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice", accessed on February 2, 2012,
4 According to article 17 of the OPCAT, each State Party shall m aintain, designate or establish, at the latest
one year after the entry into force of the present Protocol or of its ratification or accession, one or several
independent national preventive mechanisms for the prevention of torture at the domestic level.
5 According to article 2 of the Order no. 47/2010 of the minister of foreign affairs, published in the Official
Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 100 of February 15, 2010, the OPCAT entered into force for Romania on August 1,
2009, so the three year period of postponement will expire on August 1, 2012.