The advanced copy of the report of the third Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting held in Vienna on 25-28 March 2014 on the revision of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners is now available. It has been tabled at the 23rd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Crime Commission) in May 2014.
The report notes that ‘in view of the complexity of the issues discussed and the number and variety of proposals submitted to the Secretariat, the meeting considered several rules for revision in the nine areas identified, and achieved consensus on some of those it.’ (para. 7)
It recommends that the Crime Commission should consider:
- extending the Expert Group’s mandate so that it can continue its work;
- affirming that the revision of the Standard Minimum Rules is a time-intensive exercise of crucial importance and that a suitable time frame would be helpful in achieving an outcome of suitable quality;
- appealing to Member States to promote the participation of prison administration experts and practitioners in addition to other relevant experts in their delegations;
- acknowledging the contribution made by intergovernmental organizations and civil society and recommend that they should continue to be actively involved in the process;
- reiterating that any changes to the Standard Minimum Rules should not lower any of the existing standards, but should improve them so that they reflect the recent advances in correctional science and good practice.
The report gives a summary of the meeting’s deliberations including the outcome of the text agreed to specific Rules and those discussed but not yet agreed.
Download the report.
Read a blog by PRI’s Policy Director, Andrea Huber and Programme Officer, Olivia Rope on the meeting.