CAT concluding observations 2019, paragraph 29
Plain English recommendation
Ensure that the use of electrical discharge weapons (tasers) follows the principles of necessity, subsidiarity, proportionality, advance warning (where possible) and precaution. Ensure that tasers are used only in exceptional circumstances on groups at particular risk of harm, such as children and young people. Investigate the reasons for the disproportionate use of tasers against people belonging to minorities. Ban the use of tasers in ‘drive stun’ mode, in which the weapon is placed directly on the body. Staff in prisons and other places of deprivation of liberty, including mental health settings, should not carry tasers.
Original UN recommendation
The Committee considers that the State party should ensure that the use of electrical discharge weapons is strictly compliant with the principles of necessity, subsidiarity, proportionality, advance warning (where feasible) and precaution. The State party should provide clear presumptions against the use of tasers on vulnerable groups, such as children and young people; investigate the causes for their disproportionate use against members of minorities; and, prohibit their use in drive stun mode. The Committee is of the view that electric discharge weapons should not form part of the equipment of custodial staff in prisons or any other place of deprivation of liberty, including mental health settings.
Date of UN examination
UN article number
16 (cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment)