Project Information: Inadmissibility of Evidence Tainted by Torture

This forum facilitates the exchange among participants of the project “Inadmissibility of Evidence Tainted by Torture”.

The online exchange is organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR).

The use of torture not only amounts to a serious human rights violation in itself but also leads to the violations of other provisions. One of them is the inadmissibility of evidence obtained by torture, explicitly enshrined in the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) under Article 15.

This exclusionary rule is an important provision supplementing the absolute prohibition of torture. Although it seems to be firmly established in most legal frameworks, the research conducted so far highlights several challenges concerning its application in law and practice.

Gaps were shown, inter alia, in the following key areas:

  • Evidence obtained by acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment (other forms of ill-treatment), falling short of torture

  • Evidence indirectly deriving from torture and ill-treatment

  • The use of evidence obtained from the torture of a third party

  • Procedural obligations and domestic procedures to exclude evidence

To bring forward discussions on the matter, ODIHR and the LBI-GMR started a project to facilitate discussion among international experts and civil society organizations.

The project aims to further disseminate existing research and consolidate practical knowledge about the exclusion of torture tainted evidence and the barriers to adopting changes in law and practice among relevant stakeholders. There will be two main complementary activities: an Online Discussion on the Atlas of Torture Exchange Platform and an Online Workshop.

During the Online Discussion we will publish the written contributions of a number of renowned national and international stakeholders on selected topics concerning the Inadmissibility of Evidence Tainted by Torture. Moreover, we invite all experts and interested members of the public to contribute and participate in the discussion. The online discussion will last one week (21 to 25 February 2022).

The event will be followed by an Online Workshop, taking place on 13.5.2022, 10:00 – 13:00 CET. The workshop aims to bring together the different experts and further facilitate the exchange on the topic, enabling a lively discussion, as well as mutual learning among the participants. Finally, the online workshop will aim to create a common understanding of existing recommendations and priorities by identifying the most pressing issues concerning the exclusion of torture tainted evidence and how different stakeholders can address them. If you are an expert working on torture prevention and are interested in joining the event, please contact: