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DSG Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche

Prison Litigation Network

Prison Litigation Network

Responsabile -  Prof. Emilio Santoro

Ente finanziatore - EU
Anno - 2013
Contributo - € 259.281,00

Prison litigation network JUST/2013/JPEN/AG DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE GIURIDICHE UNIVERSITÀ DI FIRENZE (Partners: Université Catholique de Louvain Observatoire International des Prisons - Section française Irish Prison Reform Trust GRADO Bulgarian Helsinki Committee University Jaume I Associate Partners: Garante delle persone sottoposte a misure restrittive o limitative della libertà personale - Regione Emilia Romagna)

The project aims at establishing a European network of practitioners and researchers working to defend prisoners’ rights in order to heighten the judicial protection of prisoners’ fundamental rights in the EU Member States. The network of practitioners is intended to improve the knowledge of EU law requirements, shed light on the systems existing in the various countries with a view to better sharing those standards offering the best protection, and pool the knowledge gained from actions brought before national courts for the defence of fundamental rights in prison.


This project is the first step in setting up this network. It focuses on those countries that have been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for violations described by the European judge as deriving from structural/systemic issues pertaining to the national penitentiary system (pilot judgments, quasi-pilot judgments or similar), and requiring the implementation of effective redress mechanisms. Such countries include, in particular, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria, whose detention conditions have been qualified as inflicting inhuman and degrading treatment, and which, in judgments rendered against them, have been ordered to implement a redress mechanism capable of dealing with such issues.

To support the implementation of such a mechanism, this project aims to clarify the European expectations of national authorities and to describe the various models existing in Europe, with a view to analysing their mechanisms and highlighting those that seem the most suitable. This project will thus also study the rights applicable in Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania and Bulgaria.

Direct beneficiaries of the project are lawyers, NGOs and universities active in penitentiary law, as well as judges and the authorities charged with drafting prison policies. Bodies in charge of implementing the provisions of the ECHR, the Committee of Ministers, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and more may also benefit from this project.

End beneficiaries are prisoners in the countries the project concerns, with special attention being paid to particularly vulnerable categories (women, under-18s, foreigners, ethnic minorities, elderly or ill people), from the moment they encounter difficulties in gaining access to a judge.

The network is ultimately to be extended to all Members of the European Council.

Website: Twitter: prisonlitigationnet

last update: 21-Mar-2016
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