Joint Committee on Human Rights

26 July 2007

Session 2006-07 No. 50




The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) intends to conduct an inquiry into the use of restraint in secure training centres.

The Secure Training Centre (Amendment) Rules 2007 (2007/1709) (laid before Parliament on 13 June 2007) extend the range of circumstances in which force can be used against children in secure training centres.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has long taken an interest in the use of physical restraint in secure training centres. In its Report on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (June 2003), the Committee expressed its view that the degree of physical restraint experienced by children in detention contravened the UN Convention. The Committee wrote to the Minister for Justice on 25 June 2007, outlining its concerns about the proposed revisions to the Rules, namely that the Rules are incompatible with international human rights standards, including Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 3 of the UNCRC. On 10 July 2007, the Minster replied that ₓwe are quite confident that the 2007 Rules accord with both the ECHR and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Childâ‚?. Copies of both letters are available on the legislative scrutiny page of the Committee's website. A range of issues were raised in the debate on the Rules in the House of Lords on 18 July 2007.

As part of its scrutiny of the Secure Training Centre (Amendment) Rules 2007, the Committee will be holding an oral evidence session with the Rt Hon. David Hanson MP, Minister for Justice, on 10 October 2007.

In advance of its evidence session, the Committee would welcome written evidence from interested individuals or organizations on the compatibility of the Rules with international human rights standards and any observations regarding the use of force against children in secure training centres.

Evidence should reach the Committee by 24 September 2007. Submissions should be addressed to the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Electronic submission is acceptable, but a signed hard copy should also be sent. In any event, witnesses are asked wherever possible to accompany hard copy by an electronic version, preferably in Word format, and emailed to

Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed, placed on the Internet or circulated by the Committee at any stage. You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. Evidence published other than under the authority of the Committee does not attract parliamentary privilege.

Further information on the Joint Committee is available on its website at


Mr Andrew Dismore MP (Labour, Hendon) (Chairman)
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (Conservative)
Mr Douglas Carswell MP (Conservative, Harwich)
Lord Judd (Labour)
Nia Griffith MP (Labour, Llanelli)
Lord Lester of Herne Hill (Liberal Democrat)
Dr Evan Harris MP (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
The Earl of Onslow (Conservative)
Mr Richard Shepherd MP (Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills)
Lord Plant of Highfield (Labour)
Mark Tami MP (Labour, Alyn & Deeside)
Baroness Stern (Cross-Bencher)

Clerks of the Committee: Dr Mark Egan (House of Commons) 020 7219 2797 and Mr Bill Sinton (House of Lords) 020 7219 5358

ENQUIRIES: 020 7219 2797/2467 FAX: 020 7219 8393 E-MAIL:


MEDIA INQUIRIES: Ms Jessica Bridges-Palmer: 020 7219 0724