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Terms of Reference

1. Name of Group:
Group of Specialists on the Protection of the Human Embryo and Foetus (CDBI-CO-GT3)

2. Type of Group:
Ad hoc Advisory Group

3. Source of terms of reference:
Committee of Ministers on a proposal by the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

4. Terms of reference:

Having regard to:

  • Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods;
  • the Declaration of Warsaw and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, May 2005) and in particular its chapter II.6 "Promoting ethics in biomedicine";
  • the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164).
Under the authority of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI), and in relation with the implementation of Project 2008/DG3/1377 "Bioethics", of the Programme of Activities, the Group is instructed:
  • i. to examine the ethical and legal questions related to the protection of the human embryo and foetus; to make proposals (and, where appropriate, alternative proposals) to the CDBI on any question related thereto;
  • ii. to prepare for the CDBI's consideration, a draft instrument(s) concerning ethical and legal questions related to the protection of the human embryo and foetus.

5. Composition of the Committee:

5.A Members

The Group shall be composed of 7 members designated by the CDBI or its Bureau, taking into account the expertises required to address scientific, medical, ethical and legal questions related to the protection of the human embryo and foetus.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses for the 7 members of the Group.

5.B Other participants

i. The European Commission may send representatives to meetings of the Working Party, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii. The following intergovernmental organisations may be invited, upon decision of the Working Party or its Chair, to send representatives to participate in meetings of the Working Party, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
  • World Health Organisation (WHO).

6. Working methods and structures:

To fulfil its terms of reference, the Group or its Chair may request, within the limits of budgetary appropriations, the Secretary General to have recourse, where appropriate, to the service of one or more consultants. The consultants may, at the request of the Group or its Chair, take part in the works of the Group.

This Group will only meet upon specific authorisation by the Committee of Ministers.

7. Duration:
These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.

Documents in progress. Reserved for intergovernmental delegations.