In its Concluding Observations in August 2017, the UN Committee against Torture called for follow-up from the State on three issues: ratification of the OPCAT; strengthening the independence of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission; and the investigation of allegations of ill-treatment of women in the Magdalen laundries and ensuring all victims obtain redress. The State follow-up report to the Committee was published in August 2018.
As of 27 November 2018, there are four public submissions to the State’s follow-up report, all of which outline the need to ratify the OPCAT and develop a comprehensive NPM. These were issued by:
- the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) (read submission here);
- the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) (read submission here);
- the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) (read submission here);
- and Sage (read submission here).
It is important to note that the IHREC submission cites IHREC as being the most appropriate body to carry out the co-ordination function of the Irish NPM – this is a recommendation echoed in both the IPRT and ICCL submissions:
” As an A Status National Human Rights Institution, the Commission recommends that it should lead as the co-ordinating body within the NPM framework in line with Article 18(4) OPCAT.”
IPRT’s position is that research on OPCAT carried out by IHREC and the IPRT Statement of Principles should act together as a roadmap for legislation to establish the framework of the NPM and enhance the constituent inspection mechanisms’ powers and independence to comply with OPCAT.