University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Denmark, U.N. Doc. A/52/44, paras. 171-188 (1997).



Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

I. Denmark

171. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Denmark (CAT/C/34/Add.3) at its 287th and 288th meetings, on 1 May 1997 (CAT/C/SR.287 and 288), and formulated the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction
172. The Committee thanks the Government of Denmark for its frank cooperation, demonstrated among other things by its third periodic report, which was submitted on time. Not only was the report prepared in accordance with the general guidelines regarding the form and content of periodic reports to be submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention, but it also contained abundant information which facilitated a constructive dialogue.

173. The Committee also thanks the Danish delegation for its frank replies to the questions raised by members of the Committee.

2. Positive aspects
174. The Committee notes with satisfaction the commitment of the Government of Denmark to the reforms of the judicial system in Greenland.

175. The Committee also considers the State party's efforts to ensure that the composition of the police corps reflects the diversity of the population to be another very positive aspect.

176. The Committee views as very important the fact that the subject of "human rights" appears in the basic training of the police.

177. The Committee can only welcome the fact that the Government grants subsidies to independent, private organizations involved with the rehabilitation of torture victims.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention
178. The Committee notes the difficulties of Denmark in incorporating the provisions of the Convention into Danish law, given its commitment to the "dualist" system.

4. Subjects of concern
179. The Committee is concerned that there may still be some doubts as to the legal status of the Convention in domestic law, particularly with regard to the possibility of invoking the Convention before the Danish courts and the competence of the courts to apply its provisions ex officio.

180. The Committee is also concerned that Denmark has still not introduced the offence of torture into its penal system, including a definition of torture in conformity with article 1 of the Convention.

181. The Committee is concerned about the institution of solitary confinement, particularly as a preventive measure during pre-trial detention, but also as a disciplinary measure, for example, in cases of repeated refusal to work.

182. The Committee expresses its concern about the methods used by the Danish police both in their treatment of detainees and during public demonstrations, for example, the use of dogs for crowd control.

183. The Committee is further concerned about the real degree of independence of the mechanisms used to deal with detainees' complaints.

5. Recommendations
184. The Committee recommends that the State party consider incorporating the provisions of the Convention into domestic law, as it has already done for the European Convention on Human Rights.
185. The Committee reiterates the recommendation it made during consideration of the first and second periodic reports of Denmark that it should incorporate into its domestic law provisions on the crime of torture, in conformity with article 1 of the Convention.

186. Except in exceptional circumstances, inter alia, when the safety of persons or property is involved, the Committee recommends that the use of solitary confinement be abolished, particularly during pre-trial detention, or at least that it should be strictly and specifically regulated by law (maximum duration, etc.) and that judicial supervision should be introduced.

187. The Committee recommends that the State party reconsider the methods used by police in their treatment of detainees or during crowd control.

188. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that complaints of ill-treatment lodged by detainees are handled by independent bodies.



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