Expertises : présentation

Service de la coopération judiciaire et juridique


The Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building Department carries out legislative expertises on individual pieces of domestic draft legislation at the request of national authorities. The aim is to improve the compatibility of the drafts with European human rights standards, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), its Protocols and case law. Such expertises make it possible to address possible issues in domestic legislation which otherwise could give rise to problems that could lead to ECHR violations. In this way, they help strengthen the implementation of the ECHR at the national level and, ultimately, may prevent a large number of applications being lodged with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Legislative expertises may address only one topic and its implications vis-à-vis the ECHR, or focus on the legislation in a country and on the practice of the judiciary and the administration in applying that legislation. In the latter case, they are called compatibility studies.

In most cases, the activity is accompanied by fact-finding missions, round tables and discussions with the national authorities concerned in order to examine more thoroughly the comments made by CoE experts and their implications, obtain more elements on the drafting process and facilitate the inclusion of the CoE comments by national authorities to the greatest possible extent.

Legislative expertises focus on topics such as criminal and criminal procedure law, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion (including issues related to alternative service). Legislative expertises have also been carried out in the field of judicial reform, as regards for instance the organisation of judicial systems, the set-up and functioning of judicial self-governing bodies or training academies, the status and the role of legal professions. More information on these expertises may be found on the “judicial reform” and “activity report” webpages.