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Legal Investigations of Torture Allegations: A Practical Guide to the Istanbul Protocol – for Lawyers
Author(s) REDRESS Trust
Publisher International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
Place of Publication Copenhagen
Year of Publication 2004
ISBN/ISSN 87-88882-75-6
Language(s) English, Spanish
Keywords guide, reference, health professionals, lawyers, medical personnel, human rights documentation, human rights reporting, prison conditions, torture, torture victims, Istanbul Protocol
Description The Istanbul Protocol is the first set of international guidelines for the investigation and documentation of torture. The Protocol provides comprehensive, practical guidelines for the assessment of persons who allege torture and ill treatment, for investigating cases of alleged torture, and for reporting the findings to the relevant authorities. The resource materials presented here were developed as a source of practical reference for health and legal professionals. The Istanbul Protocol highlights the important role of medical professionals in the documentation of torture and sets out detailed guidelines on methodology for obtaining medical evidence, including the recommended content of medical reports. It is important for lawyers working with torture survivors to know how torture can be medically documented and what are the physical and psychological symptoms of torture. This will not only help them to better understand their clients and assist them but equally, such insight is extremely important when lawyers lodge complaints of torture or other forms of ill-treatment on the survivors’ behalf. As recognised in the Istanbul Protocol lawyers and doctors need to work closely together to effectively investigate and document acts of torture. Medical evidence will help prove that torture has occurred. It will also assist lawyers to determine victims’ claims for reparations (e.g., restitution, compensation and rehabilitation). Similarly, lawyers will need to assess whether the official investigation of the police or other competent body took into account proper medical evidence or whether they need to arrange for independent medical examinations to attest to the victim’s version of the events.
URL(s) PDF  English
PDF  Spanish
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