Convention Against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The Convention against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (external link)  (CAT) was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984 and entered into force on 26 June 1987. New Zealand ratified the CAT on 10 December 1989.

New Zealand has made the following reservation to the CAT:

The Government of New Zealand reserves the right to award compensation to torture victims referred to in article 14 of the Convention Against Torture only at the discretion of the Attorney-General of New Zealand.

Upon ratification, the Government of New Zealand also made the following declaration under articles 21 and 22 of the CAT:

1. In accordance with article 21, paragraph 1, of the Convention, [the Government of New Zealand declares] that it recognises the competence of the Committee Against Torture to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Convention; and

2. In accordance with article 22, paragraph 1, of the Convention, [the Government of New Zealand] recognises the competence of the Committee Against Torture to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the Convention.

Optional Protocol

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted on 18 December 2002 at the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly of the United Nations by resolution A/RES/57/199 and entered into force on 22 June 2006. New Zealand ratified the Optional Protocol on 14 March 2007.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for administering the CAT and its Protocol.

Monitoring

The CAT provides for:

  • a reporting procedure
  • an optional (opt-out) inquiry procedure (Article 28)
  • an optional individual complaints procedure (Article 22), and
  • an optional inter-state complaints procedure (Article 21).

The Optional Protocol to the CAT provides for:

  • establishment of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), which has a mandate to visit places where persons are deprived of their liberty in the States Parties, and
  • an independent national preventive mechanism.

Individual complaints procedure

The Committee against Torture has not adopted any views about complaints alleging violations of rights under the Convention by New Zealand.

Find out more

Read the latest reports relating to New Zealand, produced under the reporting procedure provided for by the Convention Against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading Treatment or Punishment (external link) .

Reporting procedure for the core human rights instruments of the United Nations

New Zealand's common core document: 'Human Rights Review 2010' [PDF, 4.7 MB]

Committee Against Torture (external link)

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