About this event

  • Date and time Thu 19 Oct 2023 from 10:45am to 12:45pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Retired Fellows Society

Torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are possibly the most widely prohibited practices under international human rights law. Yet they remain ubiquitous. Why? This is a question on which Sir Malcolm Evans has pondered deeply in the light of his experience of for ten years being Chair of arguably the most powerful legal instrument that the international community has yet devised to tackle torture, the UN ‘Subcommittee for Prevention of Torture’.

Join us for this lecture seeking to explain something of the background to this multidisciplinary (though largely legal and medical) UN Committee, the work of which is intensely practical and involves visiting places of detention in countries around the world and engaging in confidential discussions with those in authority concerning the treatment of detainees.

At the heart of these reflections lies a series of critical observations concerning the assumptions that underpin so much of the work ostensibly focussed on the prevention of torture, which makes that work far less effective than it should be and needs to be.

This event is available to attend in person or virtually. Please select your preference below.

A recording will be available for all registered delegates for up to 60 days after the event. The link will be sent 24 hours after the meeting.

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Show Virtual / In Person rates

Tickets (In Person)

Standard pricing available until 18 October 2023.


RSM Member
Day 1
£15.00 Meeting
£40.00 Optional lunch
RSM Retired Fellows Society (RFS)
Day 1
£8.00 Meeting
£40.00 Optional lunch

Non - Member

Day 1
£16.00 Meeting
£40.00 Optional lunch

Tickets (Virtual)

Standard pricing available until 18 October 2023.


RSM Member RSM Retired Fellows Society (RFS)
£15.00 £8.00

Non - Member


Key speakers

Sir Malcolm D Evans

Sir Malcolm D Evans KCMG

Principal at Regent’s Park College, Oxford

Speaker's biography

Malcolm Evans is the Principal of Regent’s Park College, Oxford. Until 2022, he was a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol, where he also served as Head of the School of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. His particular areas of academic expertise include torture and torture prevention, the protection of religious liberty under international law and the international law of the sea, in particular, the delimitation of maritime boundaries. From 2009 to 2020 he was a member, and from 2011 to 2020 Chair, of the UN Subcommittee for Prevention of Torture (the SPT). From 2015 to 2022, he was a Member of the Statutory Panel of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales (IICSA). From 2002 to 2013 he was a member of the OSCE ODIHR Advisory Council on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. He was General Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly from 2013 to 2023 and is Co-editor-in-chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group of Human Rights. In 2021, he was elected an Associate Member of the Institut du Droit Internationale.


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom


Registration for this event will close on 18 October 2023 at 8:00am (GMT) for the in-person event and on 19 October 2023 for the live stream.

Late registrations will not be accepted.

The agenda is subject to change at any time

All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations.

We are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. This is at the presenter and the RSM’s discretion.

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.

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