National Laws and Institutions

International standards relating to the prohibition of torture and reparation for survivors of torture and related international crimes must be applied at the national level.

To achieve this, REDRESS works collaboratively with local organisations to promote strong laws and practices that reflect international standards.

This also involves working to strengthen national institutions to make sure that international standards are enforced in practice.

Our work aims to overcome a number of typical challenges in this area, including:

  • Inadequate laws. For example, those with an unrealistic timeframe that limits the ability of torture victims to raise complaints, or that protect certain high officials from prosecution
  • Absence of law. For example, where torture is not defined in the criminal code, or laws providing for compensation do not exist
  • Institutional barriers. For example, where the training of police forces is insufficient to prevent and prohibit torture, or where investigations of torture allegations are not conducted, or where prosecutors are unaware of best legal practice that informs their work

Our collaboration with local partners can take several forms, including providing training to civil society as well as government actors; advocacy towards national policy makers and litigation to seek justice and reparation for survivors and establish useful precedents for later cases.