Participatory status in the Council of Europe

In July 2017 the Prison Litigation Network was granted participating status with the Council of Europe.

Holding participatory status will allow the PLN to submit a request for entitlement to lodge collective complaints before the European Committee of Social Rights.

In addition, the INGOs enjoying participatory status make up the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe which meets twice a year in Strasbourg during the January and June Sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly. The PLN has participated in the last session of the Conference which took place on 27-30 June 2017.

For more information see

Conference at the ECtHR: “Protection of Rights of Detained Persons in Europe” – 14-15 June 2016

As closure event of the research project Prison Litigation Network on mechanisms of access to legal remedies for detained persons in European prisons, carried out by ten European NGOs and research centres alongside the association Prison Litigation Network, the PLN and partners of the project organised on 14 and 15 June 2016 a final conference at the European Court of Human Rights  on the topic of The Protection of Rights of Detained Persons in Europe. 

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Intermediary report of the monitoring mission on Kopeysk trial

In November 2012 hundreds of prisoners of the Penal Colony of Kopeysk (Russia, Ural Region) collectively protested against the use of torture and extortion in the prison. Four years after 17 of its participants are on trial and face 10 years of imprisonment. An international mission is observing the hearings to monitor the respect of the rights of the persons concerned.

Please read here the intermediary report of the monitoring mission.

Kopeysk International Monitoring Mission – intermediary report 22 June 2016


Annual review of ECtHR Judgments – 2016

In 2016 the Court delivered several judgements of major importance regarding prisons. It identified a few “systemic problems”, namely: the detention conditions in Moldova (Mescereacov v. the Republic of Moldova, no. 61050/11); the detention of mentally-ill detainees in Belgium (W. D. v. Belgium, no. 73548/13); and the overuse of pre-trial detention without due justification in Russia (Zherebin v. Russia, no. 51445/09). The Grand Chamber delivered the awaited [GC] Muršić v. Croatia (no. 7334/13) judgment in which it clarified its position regarding prison overcrowding; and specified its criteria concerning life sentences in [GC] Murray v. the Netherlands (no.10511/10). Last, in the case of [GC] Blokhin v. Russia (no. 47152/06) the Court addressed several aspects of the detention of juvenile offenders – it refined its definition of a “detention for the purpose of educational supervision” as referred to in Art.5, specified the procedural rights of juveniles under Art.6 and detailed the contracting States’ obligations regarding the protection of the health of juvenile detainees.

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