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The Treatment of Prisoners under International Law$

Nigel Rodley and Matt Pollard

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199693566.001.0001

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(p.598) Annex 5D European Code of Police Ethics [excerpts]

(p.598) Annex 5D European Code of Police Ethics [excerpts]

(Recommendation Rec(2001) 10, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 19 September 2001)

The Treatment of Prisoners under International Law
Oxford University Press

Definition of the Scope of the Code

This code applies to traditional public police forces or police services, or to other publicly authorised and/or controlled bodies with the primary objectives of maintaining law and order in civil society, and who are empowered by the state to use force and/or special powers for these purposes.

V. Guidelines for Police Action/Intervention

A. Guidelines For Police Action/Intervention: General Principles

35. The police, and all police operations, must respect everyone’s right to life.

36. The police shall not inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under any circumstances.

37. The police may use force only when strictly necessary and only to the extent required to obtain a legitimate objective.

38. Police must always verify the lawfulness of their intended actions.

39. Police personnel shall carry out orders properly issued by their superiors, but they shall have a duty to refrain from carrying out orders which are clearly illegal and to report such orders, without fear of sanction.

B. Guidelines For Police Action/Intervention: Specific Situations

2. Arrest/deprivation of liberty by the police

54. Deprivation of liberty of persons shall be as limited as possible and conducted with regard to the dignity, vulnerability and personal needs of each detainee. A custody record shall be kept systematically for each detainee.

56. The police shall provide for the safety, health, hygiene and appropriate nourishment of persons in the course of their custody. Police cells shall be of a reasonable size, have adequate lighting and ventilation and be equipped with suitable means of rest.

57. Persons deprived of their liberty by the police shall have the right to have the deprivation of their liberty notified to a third party of their choice, to have access to (p.599) legal assistance and to have a medical examination by a doctor, whenever possible, of their choice.

58. The police shall, to the extent possible, separate persons deprived of their liberty under suspicion of having committed a criminal offence from those deprived of their liberty for other reasons. There shall normally be a separation between men and women as well as between adults and juveniles.