Miss Marie Steinbrecher

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My research interests are around detention monitoring, torture prevention, human rights and international crimes. My PhD research focuses on the independence of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs). NPMs have the mandate to carry out preventive visits to places of deprivation of liberty with the aim to strengthen the protection of people deprived of their liberty. Places of deprivation of liberty include traditional places, such as prisons and immigration detention, but also non-traditional places, such as psychiatric facilities and homes for the elderly. As these places are under government control, it is important for NPMs to have an impartial and objective view to prevent torture effectively. To this end, I look at NPMs' independence, how they gain and maintain their independence and how they achieve to be perceived as independent by outsiders.

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I have focused in particular on the relationships NPMs have with their stakeholders, amongst which are governments, detention facilities and civil society. NPMs need to have constructive working relationships with their stakeholders, because their impact depends on the implementation of their recommendations. Yet, as they are required to be independent, they need to balance their obligations carefully in order to fulfil the OPCAT mandate. My dissertation shows the challenges that NPMs face in the daily fulfilment of their mandate and provides a framework for NPMs detailing how they can best protect their independence as well as work effectively.

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ID: 27167470