Terms of Reference of the Group of Specialists on Human Genetics
1. Name of Committee:
Group of Specialists on Human Genetics (CDBI-CO-GT4)
2. Type of Committee:
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) and its Additional Protocol concerning
Genetic Testing for Health Purposes (to be opened for signature on 27 November 2008).
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 human genetics; to make proposals (and, where appropriate, alternative
proposals) to the CDBI on any question related thereto;
ii. to prepare, for the CDBI's consideration, draft legal instruments on ethical and legal questions related to human genetics,
a draft legal instrument concerning genetic tests in the field of insurance (declassification in summer 2010, finalisation
a draft legal instrument concerning genetic tests in the field of employment;
iii. to examine and, where appropriate, make proposals for amending the draft explanatory reports to the above-mentioned instruments
to be prepared by the Secretariat;
iv. to follow developments of the issues addressed in the Additional Protocol concerning Genetic Testing for Health Purposes, in
particular in relation to Article 7 – Individualised supervision, and to make proposals to CDBI with a view to facilitate the
implementation of its principles;
v. to contribute to ensuring coherence of the texts at international level in the field of human genetics.
5. Composition of the Committee:
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 human genetics.
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 Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.
ii. The following intergovernmental organisations may be invited, upon decision of the Group or its Chair, to send representatives
to participate in meetings of the Group, 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.
These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2011.