European Prison Rules

The European Prison Rules were drawn up by the Council of Europe . They are intended to provide non-legally binding standards [1] on the principles and practices of treatment of detainees and the management of detention facilities .

History and description

The European Prison Rules [2] were adopted by the Committee of Ministers in 1973 (Resolution 73.5). The Prison Rules were reformulated in 1987 (R 87.3). In January 2006, the Committee of Ministers on the European Prison Rules recommended that the 1987 version needed „to be substantively revised and updated in order to reflect the developments in criminal law, sentencing practice and the overall management of prisons in Europe“ . Revisions can also be seen in the member states in 1973, 21 in 1987, and 46 by 2005. A new version of the European Prison Rules was adopted in 2006, replacing all previous versions entirely. [3] [4]The 2006 European Prison Rules contain a much expanded section of the prison. For the first time, They SPECIFICALLY Refer to the jail autorités obligation to safeguard the health of all prisoners (rule 39) and the need for jail medical services to be Organized in close relationship with the general public health administration (rule 40). [5]

The European Prison Rules are based on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners . They are not legally binding for the Member States of the Council of Europe, but provide for the recognition of standards in the treatment of detainees and the management of detention facilities. One observer suggests that it is unlikely that it will be able to achieve this goal. [6] In 2006 the Quaker Council for European Affairs produced a gender critique of the European Prison Rules as part of its Women in Prison Project. [7]In recent years, the European Prison Rules have been formulated in the United States of America [8] and Ireland, [9] [10] and have set officially recognized standards for prison reform in Armenia. [11] There are 108 rules in nine parts. Part I (rules 1 to 13) sets out basic principles and the scope and application. Part II (rules 14 to 38) covers conditions of imprisonment, including: nutrition, hygiene, access to legal advice , education, contact with the outside world, freedom of thought , conscience and religion . Part III deals with health and health carein prisons. Part IV deals with order and security; Part V Management and staff; Part VI Inspection and monitoring; Part VII Untried prisoners; Part VIII Sentenced prisoners; and Part IX the requirements for updating the Rules.


  1. Jump up^ „Council of Europe“ . Legislation Online . OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  2. Jump up^ Council of Europe (11 January 2006). „Recommendation Rec (2006) 2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the European Prison Rules“. Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  3. Jump up^ „European Prison Rules“ . Eurochips . Archived from the original on 6 August 2013 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  4. Jump up^ van Zyl Smit, Dirk; Sonja Snacken (2009). Principles of European Prison Law and Policy (PDF) . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN  9780199228430 .
  5. Jump up^ Møller, Lars; Heino Stöver; Ralf Jürgens; Alex Gatherer; Haik Nikogosian, eds. (2007). Health in prisons: A guide to the essentials in prison health(PDF) . World Health Organization.
  6. Jump up^ Walmsley, R. (1995). „The European Prison Rules in Central and Eastern Europe“ . European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research . 3 (4): 73-90. doi : 10.1007 / BF02243035 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  7. Jump up^ Wetton, Charlotte (2006). „The European Prison Rules: A Critical Gender“(PDF) . Women in Prison Project . Quaker Council for European Affairs . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  8. Jump up^ „EPSU backs Norwegian prison officers‘ complaint to the Council of Europe“ . European Federation of Public Service Unions . May 26, 2010 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  9. Jump up^ „Concern over cell-sharing and increased capacity at Cork Prison“ . Irish Penal Reform Trust . 14 June 2013 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  10. Jump up^ „Human rights of St. Patrick’s prisoners ‚ignored or violated ‚ “ . RTÉ News . 16 October 2012 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .
  11. Jump up^ „Armenia’s prison system to comply with European Prison Rules“ . . June 27, 2013 . Retrieved 20 October 2013 .