Book Chapter

Effective torture prevention


A four-year multi-country study aimed to determine whether the torture prevention methods had a positive impact in reducing the incidence of torture. The research also aimed to determine if some torture prevention methods contained in international human rights instruments or routinely advocated by human rights bodies were more effective than others. Based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, it was concluded that torture prevention was broadly effective, provided that the prescribed measures were implemented in practice, not merely enacted in law. One preventive approach was found to have significantly more impact than others: safeguards applied in the first hours and days after arrest, including notification of a third party, access to a lawyer, and the right to a medical examination. The investigation and prosecution of torturers and the existence of independent monitoring mechanisms were also found to be useful, but ombudsman-style complaints mechanisms had no discernible preventive impact.

Attached files


Carver, Richard
Handley, Lisa

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-03-25

"This is a draft chapter/article. The final version is available in Research Handbook on Torture / edited by Malcolm D. Evans and Jens Modvig, published in 2020, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only."

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Effective torture prevention
This RADAR resource is Part of Research handbook on torture: Legal and medical perspectives on prohibition and prevention [ISBN: 9781788113953] / edited by Malcolm D. Evans and Jens Modvig (Edward Elgar, 2020).


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