10 During the first session of the Working Group, held from 19 to 30 October 1992,9 the issues of composition and structure of the SPT were discussed under Articles 2 and (p. 760) 4 to 7. Most delegations supported the principle of cooperation as being essential to the system envisaged by the Protocol.
11 The general trend of interventions considered that the eventual determination of the appropriate number of members should take into account all the relevant factors, including the workload of the body, the number of States parties, requisite qualifications of members, and financial matters. Many delegations considered that a maximum number of twenty-five members for the composition of the SPT was too high. Alternative proposals on the appropriate number of members were put forward based on other human rights treaty bodies and having regard for the potential financial implications of a large body. It was stated that the SPT would be able to rely on assistance from experts for missions and that a large number of members would, thus, not be necessary. Other delegations pointed out that, with regard to the comparison with other UN instruments, existing bodies were essentially committees which operated in meetings and conferences, whereas the body established under the Protocol would work in the field. They referred to the example of the CPT, which has one member per State party as well as experts, for the fulfilment of comparable responsibilities in a narrower framework.
12 With regard to paragraph 2, the trend of interventions emphasized the need to promote the election of persons with the greatest competence and the widest range of professional qualifications in relevant fields. It was stated that the present formulation could preclude the election of persons with professional qualities closely related to the needs of the body to be established. This included judges, lawyers, or academics, who might have solid experience in matters of concern but had not been ‘administrators’ in the field of police or prisons. A number of specific qualities were raised for consideration:
Most delegates saw the need for a wide range of different qualifications to be encompassed among the membership of the SPT.10
13 During the second session of the Working Group from 25 October to 5 November 1993,11 it continued to consider Article 4. Concerning paragraph 1, the Working Group agreed to change the wording of the paragraph in such a way as to allow for an increase in membership at a later stage but at the same time not require the number of members to equal that of the States parties. To that effect, the wording of the second sentence of paragraph 1 was changed to read as follows: ‘After the [number to be inserted] accession to the present Protocol, the number of members of the Subcommittee shall increase to [number to be inserted].’12 With regard to paragraph 2, the Working Group agreed that the qualifications for membership established were too limiting. A number of delegates considered it useful to include the possibility to nominate and elect members having experience in the administration of justice and in a wider field of human rights. Therefore, it was decided to insert before the word ‘prison’, the words ‘the administration of justice, in particular criminal law’. The Working Group also agreed to delete the words ‘the (p. 761) international protection of’. Concerning paragraphs 3 and 4, it decided to retain them in their present form.
14 With regard to Article 5, some delegations emphasized the need for a proper representation of women and suggested inserting provisions to that effect. Others underlined that any reference to such representation should not prejudice the principle of equitable geographical distribution and the qualifications and requirements for membership of the SPT. Some delegations argued, on the basis of the principle of non-discrimination, against any reference to sex. The Working Group agreed on a compromise text, inserting after the word ‘men’, the words ‘on the basis of the principles of equality and non-discrimination’.
15 During the fifth session from 14 to 25 October 1996,13 the Chairperson-Rapporteur called for comments on Articles 2, 3, 4, and 5, as adopted as the outcome of the first reading. The delegation of Denmark made a general statement in which it stressed the necessity for the independence, impartiality, and competence of those carrying out missions. The observer for Amnesty International said that the quality and independence of the proposed body would determine its effectiveness. She felt that there was a possible contradiction between the desire to appoint the best possible members for the position and the appointment of members by States parties who might be influenced by political considerations. Thus, she suggested that the Committee should play a role in the appointment of members of the proposed body or that other methods of providing independent experts be explored.14
16 With respect to Article 4, the delegation of Mexico expressed the view that the SPT should be comprised of the same number as, or fewer members than, the Committee. Similarly, the delegations of the Philippines and Japan stated that the SPT should comprise no more than ten members since it should not have more members than its parent body. The delegations of Korea, Canada, Australia, and Cuba found that the number of members of the SPT should be linked to the number of States parties to the OPCAT. The delegation of Japan considered the wording of Article 4(2) to be too detailed and proposed the following text: ‘The members of the Sub-Committee shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character, known for their competence in the field of prison or police administration or in the various medical fields relevant to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.’ The representative of Canada stated that, in her view, the wording of Article 4(2) was already sufficiently flexible to allow suitable candidates to be found.15
17 With regard to Article 6, several paragraphs had been moved from the text of Article 5.16 With regard to its paragraph 4, a reference was made to discussions on whether the words ‘different forms of civilization’ should be deleted. Due to the willingness of several delegations to show flexibility, the drafting group had finally agreed to retain these words. Finally, paragraph 6 addressed the implications of the decision to enable States parties to nominate non-nationals.17
18 During the ninth session from 12 to 23 February 2001, the composition of the international mechanism was discussed with regard to the alternative draft submitted by (p. 762) the delegation of Mexico with the support of GRULAC.18 Regarding the composition of the SPT, the alternative draft mainly contained the provisions adopted by the Working Group in the second reading of the original draft.
19 At its fiftieth meeting on 22 April 2002, the Commission on Human Rights finally adopted the text of the OP submitted by the Chairperson-Rapporteur at the tenth session of the Working Group by twenty-nine votes to ten.19