Roundtable on the rule of law, justice sector reform and the UN Convention against Torture

As a contribution to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, being held in London from 16-20 April, the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) is collaborating with the High Commission of Ghana and the Commonwealth Secretariat on an evening roundtable discussion on the rule of law, justice sector reform and the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT). As UNCAT is an instrument that advances the goals of the Commonwealth Charter’s shared vision of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law, it is opportune that the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth States* and the CTI form closer links.


The roundtable discussion will share - through a panel discussion - the experiences of how a variety of Commonwealth States have implemented the Convention, and the many benefits that have been spurred by ratifying this Convention. It will also showcase some dynamic practices that have been developed by States in the areas of the rule of law and justice sector reform.

Hosts and partnerships

The seminar will be hosted by the Ghana High Commission and the CTI Secretariat, and in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat.


Invited panelists will be covering topics including safeguards in police custody, prison reform and independent monitoring and will share their good practices in the fields of legislative and institutional frameworks:

Fiji – speaking about their decision to ratify UNCAT and benefits to domestic processes (first hour procedure) - H.E. Ms. Nazhat Shameem Khan, Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji to the UN, Geneva

Ghana – sharing reasons for ratifying OPCAT and latest prison reform - Mr. Sylvester Rabbles, Director of Prisons, Ghana Prisons Service, Accra, Ghana

UK – showing good practices for independent police complaints and inspection - Ms. Anne Owers, National Chair of Independent Monitoring Boards, UK


Opening remarks

H.E. Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana High Commissioner, UK

H.E. Ramses Joseph Cleland, Ghana’s Ambassador to the UN, Geneva

Chair – Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat, Geneva


The roundtable is an event for government officials and others attending CHOGM and invited international and other organizations.

The event will be conducted under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution, which encourages active exchanges in an open and constructive “no name, no shame” environment. 

More on CTI

More information about the CTI and the Group of Friends is available here:




* Despite the fact that the large majority of States that have not yet ratified the UNCAT are stable democratic countries with good human rights records, 19 out of the 32 States have not yet taken the step to do so are Commonwealth countries.