COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
106. The Committee considered the initial report of Portugal (CAT/C/9/Add.15)
at its 166th and 167th meetings, held on 16 November 1993 (see CAT/C/SR.166
and 167), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:
Committee notes with satisfaction that the report of Portugal is
in conformity with its general guidelines on the presentation of
the initial reports to be submitted by States parties under article
19, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
listened with interest to the oral statement and explanations and
clarifications of the Portuguese delegation. It greatly appreciated
the spirit of trust and fruitful cooperation that characterized
the dialogue with the delegation.
the Committee noted with regret that the report had been submitted
more than three years late, contrary to the provisions of article
19, paragraph 1, which stipulates that States parties should submit
initial reports within one year after the entry into force of the
Convention for the State party concerned.
B. Positive aspects
Committee expresses its appreciation for the efforts made by the
State party in the constitutional and legislative fields to ensure
that its legal system is in conformity with the Convention. Those
efforts seem to be the expression of a genuine desire to create
the conditions necessary to protect the physical and moral integrity
of individuals and to prevent the practice of torture and cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment.
Committee particularly appreciates the fact that the Constitution
that duly ratified international conventions are directly applicable
and directly binding on all public and private bodies;
the joint liability of the State, its public bodies and officials
in civil matters;
evidence obtained under torture to be invalid, as well as clearly
proclaiming that the right to physical integrity cannot be called
in question when the country is under a state of siege or a state
Committee considers as positive the objectives of the institutions
set up to protect and promote human rights, and the broad teaching,
training and information programme being carried out to that end.
C. Subjects of concern
Committee against Torture notes with regret that, despite those
and occasionally acts qualified as torture continue in police stations
and other places of detention throughout the country;
into such allegations are often embarked upon rather late and last
too long and offenders are not always brought to court. That situation,
together with the lightness of the sentences imposed, creates an
impression that the culprits act with relative impunity - an impression
highly prejudicial to the implementation of the provisions of the
Committee also considers that the duration of pre-trial detention,
both in law and in practice, is a negative factor.
it regrets the treatment of the territory of Macao, under Portuguese
administration until December 1999, owing to the non-application
of the Convention against Torture to that territory.
conclusion, the Committee recommends:
the next periodic report of the State party should be submitted
within the time-limit laid down in the Convention;
the State party should continue its efforts, particularly with respect
to the reform of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure,
to ensure that its legislation is fully in conformity with the provisions
of the Convention;
it should establish machinery for the systematic review of interrogation
rules, instructions, methods and practices, particularly at police
stations, as stipulated in article 11 of the Convention, and ensure
that such machinery is sufficiently effective, as required by article
2, to give full effect to the commitments assumed and to implement
the provisions of the Convention.
it should extend the application of the Convention to Macao, in
accordance with article 2, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
Committee against Torture takes note of the undertakings given by
the Portuguese delegation and is convinced that Portugal will spare
no effort to implement these recommendations.