Criminal law co-operation

www.coe.int/criminal-law-coop

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Projects underway

Publications

Highlights 2015 - Criminal Law Co-operation Unit

   in English

Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries

   in English

Combating Ill-treatment in Prison

   in English
   in Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian

Prison health care and medical ethics

   in English
   in Russian
   in Georgian
   in Armenian
   in Ukrainian
   in Romanian
   in Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian

Standards and Ethics in Electronic Monitoring

   in English
   in Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian

Compendium of the Council of Europe Documents on Preventing Prison Overcrowding

   in Russian
   in Georgian
   in Ukrainian
   in Romanian
   in Azeri
   in Armenian

European Prison Rules

   in English
   in French

Projects completed

Bilateral activities/Police

- Seminar "Police interactions with citizens in crime investigation and community engagement - Delivering Professional Standards" (Yerevan, Armenia, 30-31 March 2016) - Agenda -

- Workshop on "CPT standards and the rights of persons in police custody" (Krakow, Poland, 10-11 May 2016) - Agenda -

- Workshop on domestic violence (Tirana, Albania, 28-29 June 2016) - Agenda (Albanian version) - (French version)

Legal instruments

Recommendations

Conventions

CriminalLawCooperationUnit_Logo

Through bilateral co-operation activities and projects, the Criminal Law Co-operation Unit plays a major role in assisting the beneficiary countries to integrate the Council of Europe standards in their penitentiary, probation and law enforcement institutions. The work related to prisons, probation and the police is an integral part of the overall work of the Council of Europe related to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the three pillars of the raison d’être of the Organisation, in accordance with its Statute. The main objective is to help the 47 member states improve their legislation and practice related to the work of the police as well the execution of penal sanctions and measures. These efforts are part of the overall aim of the Organisation to create a common European space where societies function in conformity with the standards set by the Council of Europe and where individual human rights and fundamental freedoms, including of persons who have transgressed the law, are respected.

NEWS

Skopje: Launching of the Horizontal Facility Project “Enhancing human rights policing”

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The Project "Enhancing human rights policing" co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe as part of the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and implemented by the Council of Europe, was launched on 21 September 2016 in Skopje. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the protection of human rights in the country in line with the Council of Europe and international standards. (Read more)

World Suicide Prevention Day in Georgia – opportunity for joint actions conjointes

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The Council of Europe marked the World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2016) with a high-level meeting where the representatives of the different state institutions and independent experts debated the current situation in suicide prevention in Georgia and suggested possible future steps. (Read more)

Training of trainers in Armenia

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On 5-9 and 11-15 July 2016, the Council of Europe organised two five-day training of trainers sessions (ToTs) on prison healthcare in Arthur’s Aghveran Resort, Armenia. Thirty three participants representing penitentiary institutions, the Ministry of Justice, the Yerevan State Medical University, the Ombudsman’s Office, NGOs, the Law Institute of MoJ, and the National Institute of Health were trained on two modules developed by CoE experts, namely Health prevention and promotion activities in prisons and Medical ethics and human rights for prison medical and non-medical staff. (Read more)

Review of the prisoners' complaint mechanism in Ukraine

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Kyiv, 7 July 2016 - The Council of Europe experts provided a review of the existing prisoners’ complaint mechanism in Ukraine and presented their findings and recommendations to the key actors concerned with implementation of criminal sanctions. The expert discussion attracted representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, National Preventive Mechanism, General Prosecutor’s Office and human rights defence organisations. (Read more)

Highlights 2015 are now available online

        Highlights 2015_Web

Assessment of the prison healthcare reform in Georgia

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On 1 July 2016 the Council of Europe presented a mid-term assessment of the 2014-2017 Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan. To further guide the enhancement of the penitentiary health care system, the Ministry of Corrections and Probation (MoC), in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, developed a Strategy and an Action Plan for the period of 2014-2017 with the support of the European Union (EU)/Council of Europe (CoE) Joint Programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. (Read more)

Launching conference in Skopje – HF Project “Strengthening the protection of the rights of sentenced persons”

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June 29, 2016, SKOPJE – The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the protection of the rights of sentenced persons in line with the Council of Europe standards.
This objective shall be accomplished through introduction of effective mechanisms for dealing with cases of ill-treatment and corruption in prisons, further enhancement of the internal prison inspection system, improvement of the treatment of sentenced persons, introduction of an effective prison management and mechanisms for combatting inter-prisoner violence and other activities aiming to strengthen the protection of the rights of sentenced persons. (Read more)

Helping prisoners in Ukraine understand their rights

A practical Question and Answer handbook on prisoners’ rights in Ukraine has been developed jointly by the Council of Europe experts, prisoners’ advocates, human rights defenders, representatives of the Ombudsman Office and the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine. This self-help handbook is to be disseminated among prisoners aiming to raise their awareness on rights in confinement. It is also designed to be used by all actors involved in execution of criminal sanctions including policy-makers, prisoners’ advocates, prison personnel and non-governmental organizations.
The handbook was developed and produced in the framework of implementation of the EU/CoE Joint Project “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine” 2015-2017, which is funded through the CoE/EU Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. (Ukrainian version) (English version)

Launching of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme “Atlantis”

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May 20, 2016, TBILISI – The Ministry of Corrections of Georgia (MoC) launched the psychosocial rehabilitation programme ”Atlantis” in two prisons of Georgia. The programme “Atlantis” (12 steps) supports convicts dependent on psychoactive substances in their rehabilitation. Those involved in the programme are lead through 12 stages of the rehabilitation process, starting from acknowledging drug (substance) dependence and leading to full recovery.
It has been piloted in several penitentiary establishments since 2005, but has not been systematically introduced. Recognising its initial success and importance, it has been included in the Penitentiary Healthcare Strategy for 2014-2017. (Read more)

Launching of the Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and other Closed Institutions

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 The second phase of the successful Council of Europe/European Union Project on “Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia II” has started. It will be dedicated to continuing to strengthen human rights of people in prisons, police detention and other facilities and improving access to healthcare including mental health for persons deprived of their liberty.
The Project’s steering committee met on 18 May 2016, it is the project’s decision-making body, composed of the Ministry of Corrections, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Health, Ministry of Justice, Chief Prosecutor’s Office and Public Defender’s Office. (Read more)

Multilateral Meeting on Mental Health Care in Prison

Strasbourg, 27-28 April 2016
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The meeting brought together representatives of prison administrations responsible for prison mental health care and prison psychiatrists and psychologists from Council of Europe member states to share policies and good practices for improving the care for prisoners affected by mental health problems.
Special references was made to the standards set out in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Recommendation (2006)2 on the European Prison Rules and Recommendation (98)7 concerning the ethical and organisational aspects of health care in prison as well as to the relevant CPT standards. For more information about the meeting, please refer to the Concept Paper

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Armenia


 A Round Table on “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Armenia” took place on 19 April 2016, in Yerevan.
The Round Table brought together representatives of the Ministry of Justice, penitentiary service, members of the Parliament, judges, prosecutors, staff of the Ombudsman and other officials, as well as civil society and international organisations, with an aim of presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Armenia and other countries of Eastern Partnership. (Read more)

Public Hearing on Probation legislation in Armenia

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Following the submission of the legislative package on Probation to the National Assembly on 7 April 2016, a public hearing was organized on 15 April 2016 by the CoE Office in Yerevan in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.
The CoE has previously contributed to the preparation of the new legislation by supporting the drafting of the Concept Paper on the “Introduction of Probation Service in the Republic of Armenia” and by submitting a Legal Opinion on the draft Probation Law to the Ministry of Justice. (Read more)

Seminar on Police Interaction with Citizens in Armenia


In the framework of bilateral activities in the field of police, the Council of Europe, together with the Police of the Republic of Armenia, organised a seminar for police officers on "Police interactions with citizens in crime investigation and community engagement - Delivering Professional Standards", which took place 30 and 31 March 2016 in Yerevan, Armenia.
Seminar programme. Video in Armenian (from 1:14 to 3:00 min)

Improving rehabilitative approaches in Prison regimes in Ukraine

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On 10-11 March 2016 the prison governors and prison staff responsible for regime and rehabilitation of prisoners attended a seminar held at the Personnel Training College of the State Pentitentiary Service in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. The aim of the seminar was to deepen the insights of the project partners into the topics of their mini-projects, such as pro-social modelling, safety of more vulnerable prisoners, prevention of suicide and self-harm and how these initiatives could eventually contribute to a framework of higher objectives. (Read more)

Outcomes and overview of the European Union and Council of Europe joint Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia


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Video in Georgian with English subtitles:

Police Code of Ethics in Georgia

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 The Council of Europe is assisting the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in re-visiting the current Police Code of Ethics and its teaching strategies. For that purpose, two Council of Europe international experts carried out bilateral meetings with various stakeholders in Tbilisi as well as facilitated a workshop at the Police Academy on 20-21 September. (Read more)

Training of Georgian prison staff in modern First Aid standards

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  On 20 September, the Council of Europe launched a series of training sessions on modern first aid standards with the aim to assist the Ministry of Corrections in preparing the non-medical staff of prisons to provide first aid for prisoners. The sessions cover the training of future trainers selected from the medical staff of the penitentiary service as well as training of the non-medical staff. (Read more)

Council of Europe continues to support the suicide prevention programme in Georgian prisons

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 On 23-24 July 2016, the Council of Europe (CoE) has organised a working group meeting for the newly appointed coordinators and members of the Suicide Prevention Council. This was the first working meeting of the Council after the Suicide Preverogramme was antion Pdopted by Order of the Minister for Corrections and Probation. At the meeting, the new members of the Council and suicide programme coordinators took stock of the current situation in prisons, identified the future steps needed to reinforce suicide prevention activities, and analysed the best ways of implementing the new regulation. (Read more)

Round table in Armenia to present two training-courses developed by the CoE

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A Round Table to present the modules of two training courses on health promotion and prevention and medical ethics for penitentiary medical and non-medical staff, to beneficiaries and national stakeholders took place on 4 July 2016, in Erebuni Plaza Business Centre in Yerevan. The Round Table brought together thirty representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Penitentiary Department, Ministry of Health, Law Institute of the Ministry of Justice, Yerevan State Medical University, Ombudsman Office, as well as members of Public Monitoring Group, civil society and international organizations acting in Armenia.
The presentations of the two training courses were delivered by international experts and local experts, and the Yerevan State Medical University presented the syllabus for professional training for medical staff of penitentiary institutions. (Read more)

Regional Workshop on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding

 A Regional Workshop “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries” took place on 22-23 June 2016 in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Regional Workshop brought together high officials of the Ministries of Justice of Armenia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine and Ministry of Corrections of Georgia with an aim of presenting and discussing draft strategies on implementation of the country specific recommendations defined by the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Eastern Partnership countries. (Read more)

Outcomes of two projects on Prison Reform carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina



http://www.coe.int/en/web/sarajevo/news

Study Visit to the Swedish Prison and Probation Service

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 A study visit to Sweden for six high-level representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia was organised from 13 to 17 June 2016.
The aim of the visit was to acquire first-hand knowledge about the legal and institutional framework of Swedish prison healthcare services, capacity building activities for medical and non-medical staff working in prisons, as well as material conditions of prison infirmaries. (Read more)

Final Conference in Sarajevo "Prison Reform: the key element in the criminal justice system"

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 Sarajevo, June 3, 2016 – The final event of two complementary projects on the prison reform was held in Sarajevo last Friday. The Council of Europe implemented both projects in parallel over the past four years: the Joint EU/CoE Programme “Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards” and the Voluntary Contribution from the US authorities “Support to prison staff training in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
The Joint EU/CoE Programme focused on improving the implementation of community sanctions, establishment of probation services, prison staff training and development of treatment programmes for vulnerable prisoners.
The US-funded project focused on training of various categories of prison staff and enhancing security in both the prison environment and society as a whole.
(Read more) (Link to the project website) (Final brochure)

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in the Republic of Moldova

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 A Round Table “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Moldova” took place on 22 April 2016, at the Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel in Chisinau (Republic of Moldova). The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Justice, penitentiary service, People Ombudsman and other officials, as well as civil society and international organizations acting in Moldova for presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Moldova and other three countries of Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia).
The country-specific problems defined by the study were highlighted, followed by very topical and open discussions. (Read more)

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Ukraine

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 A Round Table “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Ukraine” took place on 21 April 2016, at the Radisson Blu Kiev Hotel in Kiev (Ukraine) further to the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Ukraine. (Read more)

Round table on identification of the most appropriate model for an External Oversight Mechanism over police work

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A 1-day Round Table to discuss and present to the wider professional audience the most suitable model of independent external oversight mechanism over the police work, was organised in Skopje on 20 April 2016. A total of 40 participants were present, including high level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the Ombudsman office, judges, prosecutors, university professors, lawyers, and representatives from the NGO sector and international community. (Read more)

Study visit to Slovenia regarding the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism over police work

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 A study visit to Slovenia for eight high-level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsman, Public prosecution’s Office and the civil society from ‘’the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’’, was organised from 5th to 7th of April 2016. (Read more)

Enhanced rehabilitation activities in prisons in Ukraine: launching film clubs in pilot prisons

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 On 22-23 March 2016, a two-day training “Media clubs DOCUDAYS UA as a tool for human rights education” for future managers of film clubs in pilot prisons was held in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine in the framework of the Project "Further Support for penitentiary Reform in Ukraine". (Read more)

Cascade training sessions on probation in Armenia

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 The Council of Europe office in Yerevan conducted during the second half of March 2016 six cascade training sessions on probation for the staff of pilot project units located in the town of Vanadzor and Shengavit district of Yerevan.
The sessions were delivered by three local experts who earlier in the year attended a series of Training of Trainers sessions based on the manual developed within the project "Support to the Establishment of Probation Service in Armenia” supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway”. (Read more)

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