Event information

10 December 2021, 17:30-19:00
Register start 11 November 2021
Register end 9 December 2021

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Ending Coercive Interrogation: The New Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering

Event

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Ample scientific evidence shows that traditional interrogation methods are often unreliable and violate human rights, particularly when they result in forced confessions and miscarriages of justice.

Based on rigorous science and experience of criminal investigators, the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles – provide guidance and solutions to States on moving away from confession based criminal justice systems, thereby reducing the risks of coercion, torture and ill-treatment.

The Principles are designed to protect the fundamental rights of persons suspected of crime as well as of victims and witnesses. Guided by the pursuit of truth and the operationalisation of the presumption of innocence, they enable the gathering of more reliable and accurate information and contribute to the respect of human rights in the administration of justice.

The Principles were finalized in May and officially launched on 9 June 2021, following a four years long expert-driven process, which was supported by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the Anti-Torture Initiative and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.

At this event – co-organized with the APT –,  experts, academics and practitioners will introduce and raise awareness on the new Principles and will discuss these four main issues:

  • Aims, purpose, process and main characteristics of the Principles
  • Interdisciplinary foundations of the Principles
  • Impact of the Principles on human rights protection and advancement
  • Implementation of the Principles, particularly from the perspective of National Human Rights Institutions.

Moderator

  • Pavle Kilibarda, Teaching Assistant, Geneva Academy, and PhD Candidate, Law Faculty, University of Geneva

Speakers

  • Barbara Bernath, Secretary General, Association for the Prevention of Torture;
  • Steven J. Barela, Associate Research Fellow, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights;
  • Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Swiss Human Rights Chair, Geneva Academy
  • Ruth Ssekindi, Director, Uganda Human Rights Commission.

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