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Extract from Committee of Ministers’ document CM(2012)911
Name of committee: Committee of Experts on Rights of Internet Users (MSI-DUI)
Category: Subordinate body
Set up by the Committee of Ministers under Article 17 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and in accordance with Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods (Resolution CM/Res(2011)24)
Duration: 6 July 2012 - 31 December 2013

Main tasks

Under the supervision of the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), the MSI-DUI will:

    - contribute to the implementation of Part II “Maximising rights and freedoms for Internet users” and other relevant parts of the Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015;
    - examine the application of existing Council of Europe standards on human rights and fundamental freedoms regarding the Internet, including relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the policies and standards of inter-governmental organisations and, if appropriate, of state and non-state actors;
    - advise the CDMSI, upon its request, on all questions related to rights and responsibilities of Internet users, intermediaries and others Internet actors.

Pillar / Sector / Programme

Pillar: Rule of Law
Sector: Common standards and policies
Programme: Information society and Internet governance

Expected results

A compendium of existing human rights for Internet users is prepared to help them understand and exercise their rights when, considering their rights and freedoms have been adversely affected, they communicate with and seek effective recourse from key Internet actors and government agencies (2013).


The Committee shall be composed of 13 experts, comprising seven government or member States’ representatives, designated by the CDMSI, and six independent experts, appointed by the Secretary General, with recognised expertise in the fields of human rights and users’ rights on the Internet. The Council of Europe shall bear the travel and subsistence expenses of all 13 members.
The composition of the Committee will reflect an equitable geographic distribution amongst the member States and will take account of the gender equality dimension.
Other member States may designate representatives without defrayal of expenses.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Section III.B.a. of Resolution CM/Res(2011)24, the following may send representatives, without the right to vote and at the charge of their corresponding administrative budgets:
- European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ);
- Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (T-PD).

The following may send representatives, without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:
- European Union (including, as appropriate, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA));
- European Audiovisual Observatory;
- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- UN agencies (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – UNESCO);
- representatives of civil society, private sector, technical, professional and academic communities;
- Observers from states or organisations other than those referred above shall be admitted to the Expert Committee in the manner and according to the conditions provided in Resolution CM/Res(2011)24).

Working methods

13 members, 2 meeting in 2012, 2 days
13 members, 2 meetings in 2013, 2 days
Additional working methods:
The Committee shall not take decisions by voting except on procedural matters, in which case the Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 will apply. The Committee shall state its conclusions in the form of unanimous recommendations or, if this proves impossible, it shall make a majority recommendation and indicate the dissenting opinions.
Multi-stakeholder dialogue, permitting to interact with different stakeholder groups, at different stages of the tasks assigned to the MSI-DUI.

1 https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Del/Dec(2012)1147/5.1&Language=lanEnglish&Ver=original&BackColorInternet=DBDCF2&BackColorIntranet=FDC864&BackColorLogged=FDC864