Sport Conventions

Recommendation on guidelines to the Parties for the implementation to Article 5 of the Convention: identification and treatment of offenders (90/1)

(adopted by the Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in Particular at Football Matches during their 7th meeting, 1990)

The Standing Committee:

Recalling that Article 5 of the Convention creates obligations for Parties to identify persons involved in wrongdoing as spectators at sports events, and, subject to existing legal procedures and the principle of the independence of the judiciary, to prosecute them in accordance with the due process of the law;

Encouraging Parties to act vigorously on the basis of this article;

Recalling that the Union of European Football Associations has laid down "binding instructions" to the organisers of certain matches on the exclusion of troublemakers;

Recalling that sports organisations, clubs, stadium owners and others concerned, including police forces, may have a range of possible powers enabling them to exclude from grounds various categories of potential spectators;

Aware that the use of video-recorders and closed-circuit television greatly facilitates the possibility of acting in accordance with the terms of Article 5.

Recommends the Parties:

1. that those Parties which have not yet ratified the European Conventions referred to in Article 5.2 namely:

a. European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters;

b. European Convention on Extradition;

c. Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons should consider the early ratification of each of these instruments;

2. that they, where appropriate in conjunction with the local organising committees of major sports events, particularly international events, draw the attention of the appropriate police and prosecuting authorities to Article 5 of this Convention, and to this recommendation, and encourage them to make contingency plans for the use of some or all of the various measures advocated, should acts of spectator violence or misbehaviour be committed;

3. that for events when visiting foreign spectators are to be expected, the appropriate authorities of the visiting country or countries contact the local organising committee with a view to the preparation of ad hoc, bilateral agreements for the identification of offenders in accordance with Article 5;

4. that, in those states where the temporary police detention of troublesome supporters is possible, on the grounds, for example, of helping to maintain public order, such temporary detention should not be seen as an alternative to the prosecution of offenders if such prosecution is considered sustainable;

5. that, in the case of successful prosecution of offenders, courts should be empowered to give consideration to the imposition of non-custodial penalties, such as community service, exclusion orders or other measures which have the effect of preventing individual offenders from attending sports events or particular sports events for a stated time, (for example, having to report to a police station at certain times) or forbidding access to grounds where such events take place.

Instructs the Secretary General to transmit this recommendation to the other member states and to the non-member states party to the European Cultural Convention.