France: "a change of tactics"
Can the issue of overcrowding in French prisons be resolved?
On 30 January 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found the material conditions and inhumane and degrading treatment in French prisons to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR called for France to resolve these structural issues and to adopt “general measures aimed at eliminating overcrowding and improving the material conditions of detention”.
The National Human Rights Advisory Commission (Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme, CNCDH) is an independent government watchdog in France that works to safeguard human rights. Two years after the ECHR’s verdict, the Commission has adopted an opinion on the effectiveness of fundamental rights in prison 1.
Arnaud Gaillard is a sociologist and has been a member of the board of directors for the French section of the International Prison Observatory (Observatoire international des prisons, OIP) since 2014. He has also sat on the National Human Rights Advisory Commission since 2019. He is a co-rapporteur for the CNCDH’s opinion on the effectiveness of fundamental rights in prison. Prison Insider asked him three questions.