Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights
National Preventive Mechanism

Information for institutions and authorities falling under OPCAT concerning the inspections by the National Preventive Mechanism and the Subcommittee on Prevention

The Parliament adopted Act CXLIII of 2011 on the Promulgation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter referred to as the "Protocol"), aimed at providing protection against such treatment and punishment, on October 24, 2011.

As of January 1, 2015, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights shall proceed, either personally or with the cooperation of his colleagues, as an independent national body (hereinafter referred to as the "National Preventive Mechanism"). The special procedural rights and the scope to act of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his colleagues acting as National Prevention Mechanism are regulated in Chapter III/A of Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.

According to the Protocol, places of detention include, in addition to places of penitentiary and police detention, any and all institutions maintained by the state, local governments, foundations or other operators which detainees are not permitted to leave at will by order of any judicial, administrative or other authority.

The National Preventive Mechanism shall be entitled to select the places to inspect and the persons to interview at his discretion. In addition to the public servants working at his Office, the Commissioner shall also be entitled to authorize, either provisionally or temporarily, outside experts to cooperate in the implementation of his tasks. Unrestricted access shall be granted to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his colleagues to any and all places of detention, their installations and facilities, to all information referring to the treatment of detainees as well as their conditions of detention. In addition to the persons deprived of their liberty, the National Preventive Mechanism may have interviews with any other person who he believes may supply relevant information without witnesses, either personally or with a translator if deemed necessary. During the inspections the Commissioner or his authorized colleagues may inspect without any restriction all documents concerning detention, and make copies thereof; all classified information shall be treated confidentially. No personal data shall be published by the National Preventive Mechanism without the express consent of the person concerned.

Another body established by the Protocol is the Subcommittee on Prevention, consisting of 25 independent experts, operating under the auspices of the UN. The states shall receive the Subcommittee on Prevention in their territory and enable it to select the places of detention to visit and the persons to interview without any restriction. Unrestricted access shall be granted to the delegates of the body to any and all places of detention, their installations and facilities, to all information referring to the treatment of detainees as well as their conditions of detention. In addition to the persons deprived of their liberty, the Subcommittee on Prevention may have interviews with any other person who it believes may supply relevant information without witnesses, either personally or with a translator if deemed necessary.

No sanction may be ordered, applied or permitted against any person or organization for having communicated to the Subcommittee on Prevention or to its delegates any information, whether true or false, and no such person or organization shall be otherwise prejudiced in any way.

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