Ending Coercive Interrogation

Date: 10 December 2021 

Time: 17.30 - 19.00 

Location: This event will take place both in Geneva (Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne) and online via Zoom.


About the event

Ample scientific evidence shows that traditional interrogation methods are often unreliable and violate human rights, particularly when they result in forced confessions and miscarriages of justice.

Based on rigorous science and experience of criminal investigators, the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles – provide guidance and solutions to States on moving away from confession based criminal justice systems, thereby reducing the risks of coercion, torture and ill-treatment.

The Principles are designed to protect the fundamental rights of persons suspected of crime as well as of victims and witnesses. Guided by the pursuit of truth and the operationalisation of the presumption of innocence, they enable the gathering of more reliable and accurate information and contribute to the respect of human rights in the administration of justice.

The Principles were finalized in May and officially launched on 9 June 2021, following a four years long expert-driven process, which was supported by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the Anti-Torture Initiative and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.

At this event – co-organized with the APT –,  experts, academics and practitioners will introduce and raise awareness on the new Principles and will discuss these four main issues:

  • Aims, purpose, process and main characteristics of the Principles
  • Interdisciplinary foundations of the Principles
  • Impact of the Principles on human rights protection and advancement
  • Implementation of the Principles, particularly from the perspective of National Human Rights Institutions.



  • Gloria Gaggioli, Director, Geneva Academy


  • Barbara Bernath, Secretary General, Association for the Prevention of Torture;
  • Steven J. Barela, Associate Research Fellow, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights;
  • Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Swiss Human Rights Chair, Geneva Academy
  • Ruth Ssekindi, Director, Uganda Human Rights Commission.


The event will be followed by a cocktail reception.




Register here to follow this event online. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

In Geneva

Register here to follow this event at the Geneva Academy headquarters Villa Moynier.

Due to sanitary measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the Scientific Colloquium will be limited to those who have a valid Swiss COVID Certificate; an EU Digital COVID Certificate; or a paper or digital document proving that s.he has been tested negative following a rapid antigen test or a PCR one conducted within 48 hours and 72 hours respectively prior to the start of the event.