FAIR TREATMENT OF PERSONS IN POLICE CUSTODY - International Conference, Oranienburg/Berlin, Germany, 16 - 17 October 2018


The Brandenburg University of Applied Police Sciences is hosting a conference on FAIR TREATMENT OF PERSONS IN POLICE CUSTODY. This event will bring together a variety of participants and distinguished speakers from academia, the police forces, other government authorities, international organisations and the human rights movement.

In order to fulfil their primary task – providing security and protecting citizens’ rights – police forces have the power to arrest and detain persons for a brief period, in order to bring them before a competent judicial authority. While many of these persons are being treated correctly, complaints are raised, more or less frequently, all over the world about inappropriate treatment and human rights violations in police custody, including verbal abuse or physical assaults, which may amount to inhuman treatment or even to torture. Again and again, such allegations are confirmed by the findings of national or international courts, or other institutions. While the police is an institution of central significance for upholding the Rule of Law, additional safeguards have to be put in place at the same time to ensure that this institution acts only within the legal powers conferred to it.

In the last decades, the international community has introduced many instruments and institutions designed to ensure correct treatment of detainees, and, in particular, to implement and enforce the prohibition of torture. While activities of international courts, inspection committees, special rapporteurs, national preventive mechanisms and others have indeed contributed to securing humane treatment of persons in police custody, there is still a large potential for improving the human rights performance of police forces in the world.

This conference will analyse and evaluate these international activities and efforts, in order to provide an assessment of how far the world has come in preventing torture and other ill-treatment of persons in police custody. In workshops and plenary sessions, international experts and participants will share their experiences and discuss success stories and setbacks. They will develop visions and ways on how fair treatment of all persons in police custody may be ensured in a global perspective.

The conference language will be English. The Brandenburg University of Applied Police Sciences is located in Oranienburg on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany.


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This conference is a follow-up to the first Oranienburg Human Rights Conference held in 2016, whose proceedings have recently been published: Ralf Alleweldt/Guido Fickenscher, The Police and International Human Rights Law, Berlin: Springer 2018.


Enquiries may be directed to Prof. Ralf Alleweldt, humanrights [at] .

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