France - OPCAT Situation

OPCAT Status

OPCAT ratification date
OPCAT ratification comment

OPCAT ratification law n°0176 on 30 July 2008

UNCAT ratification Date
NPM Type

New Specialised Institution

NPM Designated

General Controller of Places of Deprivation of Liberty (Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté)

France decided to create a specialised institution dedicated to torture prevention  before ratifying the OPCAT. In October 2007, a legislation was passed to establish the General Controller of Places of Deprivation of Liberty and the mandate-holder was appointed in 2008 for a six-year term. Shortly after, France ratified the OPCAT. In May 2014, an amendment to the Act on the General Controller was adopted to expand its mandate.

The General Controller cannot receive any instruction from any authority, cannot be prosecuted for his opinions he formulates or for the actions he carries out in his functions, and is not allowed to carry out any other duties or elected mandates.

The SPT member who is the SPT Focal Point for France is available here.

NPM Structure

The General Controller is assisted in his mandate by an experienced and multi-disciplinary team of controllers. All staff, including administrative staff, participate in the monitoring places of detention.

The French NPM has adopted two documents of reference that regulate its daily work:

  • Internal regulations (available in French)
  • Deontological principles (available in French)
Annual reports

The French NPM drafts an annual report every year and submits it to the President of the Republic and to the Parliament. These reports are made available on the French NPM website.

Other Reports

Visit reports are available on the NPM's website.

The French NPM has the power to publish specific recommendations and thematic opinions in the Official Gazette, which may be available on the NPM's website.