Thematic Report on Forensic and Medical Sciences

Thematic Report on Forensic and Medical Sciences




The Special Rapporteur’s new thematic report focuses on the role of forensic and medical sciences in the investigation, prosecution, and prevention of torture and other ill-treatment, with a particular focus on individual responsibility and the fight against impunity.


The Special Rapporteur presented his report to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in October 2014, and held a press conference and side-event, exploring the report and its recommendations in depth.  The Special Rapporteur highlighted in particular his the conclusions that forensic services must be independent from law enforcement and that investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment must be prompt, impartial, independent, and thorough, and comply with the high standards set out in the Istanbul Protocol.

For more information about the Special Rapporteur’s activities in Geneva, visit our page dedicated to the General Assembly session and refer to the videos and documents below.

  • The full text of the report is available here.
  • A video of the Special Rapporteur’s presentation of the report before the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the interactive dialogue with State Parties is available here.
  • A video of the press conference held by the Special Rapporteur is available here.
  • The press release accompanying the Special Rapporteur’s report is available here.

Side-Event on the Thematic Report on Forensics

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the Anti-Torture Initiative co-organized a side-event on the role of forensic and medical sciences in the investigation and prevention of torture and other ill-treatment together with the UN OHCHR and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), which sought to sensitize UN member states to the important role played by forensic sciences in the fight against torture and ill-treatment.

The side-event featured a panel discussion with the Special Rapporteur and other experts, including the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee Sir Nigel Rodley, Dr. Steen Holger Hansen, a forensic pathologist from the University of Copenhagen’s forensic medicine department, and Ms. Miriam Reventlow, Director of IRCT’s legal and advocacy team. You can watch the discussion here, and find more information about the event in this flyer.