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Law Council hosts Australian Human Rights Commission networking event on OPCAT implementation

5 June 2024
 

Caption L-R: Ben Buckland, Juliana Warner, Lorraine Finlay, Sam Gluckstein, and Stephanie McFarlane.

On 22 May 2024, the Law Council hosted a welcome event for participants of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC’s) training workshop on the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).

Apart from the AHRC and the Law Council, participants included representatives of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office (which has the role of National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) Coordinator under the OPCAT), and NPM participants who monitor closed environments in the ACT, NT, SA, Tasmania and WA. There were also international guests – Sam Gluckstein, Head of the UK’s NPM, and Ben Buckland, from the Association for the Prevention of Torture (a Geneva-based NGO whose work focusses on the OPCAT).

The event provided President-Elect Juliana Warner with an opportunity to assure the audience of the Law Council’s steadfast commitment to full OPCAT implementation in Australia, which is now overdue. The Law Council was pleased to make connections with the key actors in the implementation of this important treaty, which has the potential to raise standards in closed environments and avoid the kind of costly missteps and abuses in closed environments Australia has seen in recent years.

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