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Title: Rights of prisoners to contact the outside world : enforced disappearance, incommunicado detention and other forms of secrecy and isolation under international law
Author: Pollard, Matthew David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 0791
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis describes and analyses the rights of prisoners to have contact with the world outside the place where they are held. It reviews international human rights and humanitarian law sources relevant to secrecy of detention and isolation of prisoners from the outside world. The thesis examines the issues of incommunicado detention and secret detention, including through the lenses of the right to liberty, the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the right to humane treatment and respect for human dignity, and the prohibition of enforced disappearance. It also considers the wider range of human rights to which prisoners remain entitled subject to the inherent limitations of their situation, as possible sources of contact with the outside world: access to legal counsel, non- interference with family life, private life, and correspondence, freedom of religion, expression and association, the right to vote, and the right to health. Historical and theoretical context is provided by describing the purposes, practices and philosophies of imprisonment across history in the criminal justice, armed conflict, and administrative detention settings, with a particular focus on secrecy and isolation. The scope and interplay of the applicable legal frameworks is also discussed, considering the role of territoriality and the relationship between human rights and humanitarian law in relation to each of the issues addressed in the thesis. The thesis proposes a framework for answering legal questions about prisoners' rights of contact with the outside world and their restriction, identifying a series of cross-cutting factors that could inform an integrated approach. It concludes with possible explanations for the seemingly paradoxical trend towards recognition of ever-greater rights of prisoner contact with the outside world, when isolation and separation from society is the very objective for which deprivation of liberty is most often deployed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available