CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Initial reports of States parties due in 1991
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
acceded in 1982 to the European Convention on Human Rights, article
3 of which prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or
signed on 26 November 1987 and subsequently ratified the European
Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force for Liechtenstein
on 1 January 1992.
3. The Parliament
of Liechtenstein gave, on 12 September 1990, authorization of ratification
of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984 (hereafter referred to
as "the Convention"), which had been signed on 27 June 1985.
Liechtenstein deposited its instrument of ratification on 2 November
1990 and the text of the Convention, which entered into force for
Liechtenstein on 2 December 1990, was published in Liechtenstein on
21 September 1991.
has subscribed to the principle stated in article 5 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly on 10 December 1948.
has committed itself to the mechanism of examination by the Committee
established under the provisions of the European Convention against
Torture of the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by means
of visits, with a view to strengthening, if necessary, the protection
of such persons from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
6. When ratifying
the Convention, Liechtenstein made the relevant declarations in accordance
with articles 21 and 22 of the Convention regarding the competences
of the Committee against Torture to receive claims from States parties,
as well as from individuals under the jurisdiction of Liechtenstein.
7. In the
legal system of Liechtenstein, international law forms an integral
part of national law and is directly applicable, provided it lends
itself to that purpose. Any person can therefore invoke the legal
texts referred to above before the courts and the competent authorities.
8. Any victim
of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
has the right to bring proceedings against the perpetrator of such
acts. Complaints containing such allegations can be lodged with the
Government. No such complaints have been lodged during the reporting
9. In order
to expand and deepen the relationship in the field of legal assistance,
Austria and Liechtenstein concluded, on 4 June 1982, a treaty on the
accommodation of prisoners, which entered into force on 1 September
1983. According to this treaty, Austria will give, upon request by
Liechtenstein, legal assistance by executing imprisonment sentences
and preventive measures pronounced by a Liechtenstein court and accommodate
persons who have to be held in custody pursuant to an order by a court
of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
10. The practical
implementation of the Convention in Liechtenstein is not affected
by any difficulties.
II. INFORMATION IN RELATION TO EACH OF THE ARTICLES IN PART I OF THE
article defines the term "torture" for the purposes of the
Convention and is the first such definition contained in an international
instrument. Since there is no definition of the term "torture"
in either the Constitution of Liechtenstein or in the relevant legislative
texts, the present definition has to be considered valid in Liechtenstein
since the entry into force of the Convention.
against torture and similar acts is guaranteed by the Constitution,
article 33, paragraph 2 of which reads as follows: "Nobody may
be threatened with or subjected to penalties other than those provided
by the laws". This right can be invoked by any individual under
the jurisdiction of Liechtenstein.
and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are punishable
under the Penal Code of Liechtenstein by virtue either of reference
to wilful infliction of bodily harm (paras. 83-89) or of provisions
regarding the treatment of prisoners (para. 312). Paragraph 312 of
the Penal Code reads as follows:
"(1) An official
who inflicts physical or mental suffering on a detainee or on
any other person held in custody upon official order, a person
under his authority or a person to whom he has access in the performance
of his duties, shall be punished with imprisonment up to two years.
an official shall be punished, who grossly neglects his duty of
care or custody towards such a person and has thus, even if only
through negligence, impaired considerably the health or physical
or mental development of this person.
"(3) If the act
committed results in grievous bodily harm [as defined in the relevant
provisions of the Penal Code], the perpetrator shall be punished
with imprisonment up to three years, if it results in bodily harm
with grave and lasting consequences [as defined in the relevant
provisions of the Penal Code], with imprisonment up to five years,
if it results in the death of the injured person, the perpetrator
shall be punished with imprisonment up to ten years."
cases covered by the Convention are dealt with under the provisions
of the Penal Code designed to protect physical integrity, which have
been referred to above.
2 and 3
provisions are, in accordance with the legal system of Liechtenstein,
directly applicable and therefore do not require any specific legislative
provision is also directly applicable under Liechtenstein law. Due
to certain difficulties in practice, however, discussions on drafting
a law on the granting of asylum are currently being undertaken.
17. All acts
of torture are offences under the criminal law of Liechtenstein according
to the provisions referred to in paragraph 11. Paragraph 12 of the
Penal Code stipulates the following: "A punishable act is not
only committed by its immediate perpetrator, but also by any person
who induces another person to commit such an act or in any other way
contributes to the commission of the act".
12 and 312 of the Penal Code thus ensure that complicity or participation
in acts of torture is an offence under criminal law.
15 of the Penal Code stipulates the following:
"(1) The penalties
for intentional acts apply not only to the offence committed,
but also to an attempt to commit an offence and any participation
in the event.
"(2) Attempt exists
when the perpetrator shows his intention to commit an offence
or to cause another person to do so [cf. paragraph 12 referred
to above] by committing an act immediately prior thereto.
"(3) Attempt and
participation in an attempt are not punishable, when the offence
could not have been completed under any circumstances due to a
lack of personal capacities or when the conditions required by
law for an act did not exist or due to the nature of the act or
the purpose of the offence."
15 and 312 of the Penal Code thus ensure that attempts to commit any
acts of torture are an offence under criminal law.
attempts to commit torture and any act constituting participation
or complicity in acts of torture are punishable in accordance with
paragraph 312 of the Penal Code.
22. For punishable
acts committed abroad, paragraph 64 of the Penal Code stipulates the
to Liechtenstein criminal law, the following acts committed abroad
are subject to penalties, independently of the criminal laws of
the place, where the offence was committed:
"(6) Other punishable
criminal acts which Liechtenstein is obliged to prosecute, even
when they have been committed abroad, independently of the criminal
laws of the place, where the offence was committed."
the direct applicability of the provisions of the Convention, those
contained in article 5 have to be considered such an obligation. Paragraph
64.1.6 of the Penal Code and article 5 of the Convention together
thus ensure the fulfilment of the provisions contained in article
1 and 2
24. The provisions
contained in these paragraphs did not require specific legislative
measures, since they are directly applicable in Liechtenstein law.
Violations of the prohibition of torture are prosecuted by the competent
judicial authorities in accordance with the provisions of the Penal
Code as well as with those of the Convention and other relevant international
instruments having entered into force for Liechtenstein.
regard to the period of time during which a person alleged to have
committed an offence referred to in article 4 is to be held in custody,
article 16 of the European Convention on Extradition of 1957, which
entered into force for Liechtenstein on 26 January 1970, is relevant.
Paragraph 3 of this article provides that provisional arrest may be
terminated if, within a period of 18 days after arrest, the requested
party has not received the request for extradition; that period shall
not, in any event, exceed 40 days from the date of arrest.
to article 135 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, any person held
in temporary custody is authorized to communicate with any person
through writing as well as by receiving visits of such persons, in
a way and to an extent which do not have a negative impact on the
ongoing inquiry. Under any circumstances, a person held in temporary
custody is entitled to communicate in writing with the national courts,
other national authorities or the European Commission of Human Rights.
legislation does not contain any specific provision regarding the
contact with representatives of the State of which a person held in
custody is a national. It has to be pointed out, however, that this
is covered by article 36, paragraphs 1(b) and (c) and 2, of the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963, which entered into
force for Liechtenstein on 19 March 1967:
"1. With a view
to facilitating the exercise of consular functions relating to
nationals of the sending State:
"(b) if he [i.e.
the person concerned] so requests, the competent authorities of
the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular
post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a
national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to
custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any
communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested,
in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the
said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform
the person concerned without delay of his rights under this sub-paragraph;
officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending
State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and
correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation.
They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending
State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district
in pursuance of a judgment... .
"2. The rights
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised
in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State,
subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations
must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which
the rights accorded under this Article are intended."
28. It should
be added that the provisions of this article also apply to nationals
of States which have not ratified the Vienna Convention on Consular
29. For the
purposes of the Convention, stateless persons are equated with nationals
of the State where they usually reside.
30. The provision
contained in this paragraph is directly applicable and the authorities
conducting an inquiry are therefore bound to act in the manner indicated
in this paragraph.