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Christine Bicknell takes part in international Prison Oversight Conference

On 2 April 2020, Christine Bicknell was an invited expert participant in an international Conference convened by the 'Prisons: the Rule of Law, Accountability and Rights' (PRILA) research group at Trinity College Dublin. The Conference, entitled 'Prison Oversight in International and National Context: Dynamics, Dilemmas and Opportunities' brought together a select group of experts working in prison oversight at national, regional and international level. Participants included representatives from national preventive mechanisms and other national oversight mechanisms, NGOs, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC).

The Conference, due to take place in Dublin, was necessarily moved online and included presentations, feedback and rich discussion around the PRILA's research findings and recommendations of PRILA. The findings were welcomed as well researched and illuminating, including that on the lived experience of prison inmates and staff and their understanding of and engagement with prison oversight bodies. Participants offered their own insights, particularly to reinforce and inform further development of recommendations on Best Practices in Prison Oversight. Moreover, the Conference provided a timely opportunity for members of the CPT, SPT and national oversight bodies to share information and experiences relevant to continued monitoring during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PRILA is headed by Dr Mary Rogan with funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. More detail on the PRILA project.

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