Criminal law co-operation

www.coe.int/criminal-law-coop

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Slideshare

Projects underway

Publications

Highlights 2015 - Criminal Law Co-operation Unit

   in English

Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries

   in English

Combating Ill-treatment in Prison

   in English
   in Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian

Prison health care and medical ethics

   in English
   in Russian
   in Georgian
   in Armenian
   in Ukrainian
   in Romanian

Standards and Ethics in Electronic Monitoring

   in English
   in Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian

Compendium of the Council of Europe Documents on Preventing Prison Overcrowding

   in Russian
   in Georgian
   in Ukrainian
   in Romanian
   in Azeri
   in Armenian

European Prison Rules

   in English
   in French

Projects completed

Bilateral activities/Police

- Seminar "Police interactions with citizens in crime investigation and community engagement - Delivering Professional Standards" (Yerevan, Armenia, 30-31 March 2016) - Agenda -

- Workshop on "CPT standards and the rights of persons in police custody" (Krakow, Poland, 10-11 May 2016) - Agenda -

- Workshop on domestic violence (Tirana, Albania, 28-29 June 2016) - Agenda (Albanian version) - (French version)

Legal instruments

Recommendations

Conventions

CriminalLawCooperationUnit_Logo

Through bilateral co-operation activities and projects, the Criminal Law Co-operation Unit plays a major role in assisting the beneficiary countries to integrate the Council of Europe standards in their penitentiary, probation and law enforcement institutions. The work related to prisons, probation and the police is an integral part of the overall work of the Council of Europe related to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the three pillars of the raison d’être of the Organisation, in accordance with its Statute. The main objective is to help the 47 member states improve their legislation and practice related to the work of the police as well the execution of penal sanctions and measures. These efforts are part of the overall aim of the Organisation to create a common European space where societies function in conformity with the standards set by the Council of Europe and where individual human rights and fundamental freedoms, including of persons who have transgressed the law, are respected.

NEWS

Council of Eureope reviews prisoners’ complaint

mechanism in Ukraine

pcf ukraine

The Council of Europe experts provided a review of the existing prisoners’ complaint mechanism in Ukraine and presented their findings and recommendations to the key actors concerned with implementation of criminal sanctions. The expert discussion attracted representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, National Preventive Mechanism, General Prosecutor’s Office and human rights defence organisations.  (Read more)

Highlights 2015 are now available online

       

Assessment of the prison healthcare reform in Georgia

News_GEO_Assessment_1July2016
On 1 July 2016 the Council of Europe presented a mid-term assessment of the 2014-2017 Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan. To further guide the enhancement of the penitentiary health care system, the Ministry of Corrections and Probation (MoC), in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, developed a Strategy and an Action Plan for the period of 2014-2017 with the support of the European Union (EU)/Council of Europe (CoE) Joint Programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. (Read more)

Launching conference in Skopje – HF Project “Strengthening the protection of the rights of sentenced persons”

FYROM_Launching-event_29June2016
June 29, 2016, SKOPJE – The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the protection of the rights of sentenced persons in line with the Council of Europe standards.
This objective shall be accomplished through introduction of effective mechanisms for dealing with cases of ill-treatment and corruption in prisons, further enhancement of the internal prison inspection system, improvement of the treatment of sentenced persons, introduction of an effective prison management and mechanisms for combatting inter-prisoner violence and other activities aiming to strengthen the protection of the rights of sentenced persons. (Read more)

Helping prisoners in Ukraine understand their rights

A practical Question and Answer handbook on prisoners’ rights in Ukraine has been developed jointly by the Council of Europe experts, prisoners’ advocates, human rights defenders, representatives of the Ombudsman Office and the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine. This self-help handbook is to be disseminated among prisoners aiming to raise their awareness on rights in confinement. It is also designed to be used by all actors involved in execution of criminal sanctions including policy-makers, prisoners’ advocates, prison personnel and non-governmental organizations.
The handbook was developed and produced in the framework of implementation of the EU/CoE Joint Project “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine” 2015-2017, which is funded through the CoE/EU Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. (Ukrainian version)

Launching of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme “Atlantis”

WEB_Atlantis-launching_20May2016
May 20, 2016, TBILISI – The Ministry of Corrections of Georgia (MoC) launched the psychosocial rehabilitation programme ”Atlantis” in two prisons of Georgia. The programme “Atlantis” (12 steps) supports convicts dependent on psychoactive substances in their rehabilitation. Those involved in the programme are lead through 12 stages of the rehabilitation process, starting from acknowledging drug (substance) dependence and leading to full recovery.
It has been piloted in several penitentiary establishments since 2005, but has not been systematically introduced. Recognising its initial success and importance, it has been included in the Penitentiary Healthcare Strategy for 2014-2017. (Read more)

Launching of the Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and other Closed Institutions

WEB_Picture_SCmeeting_GEOII_18May2016

 The second phase of the successful Council of Europe/European Union Project on “Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia II” has started. It will be dedicated to continuing to strengthen human rights of people in prisons, police detention and other facilities and improving access to healthcare including mental health for persons deprived of their liberty.
The Project’s steering committee met on 18 May 2016, it is the project’s decision-making body, composed of the Ministry of Corrections, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Health, Ministry of Justice, Chief Prosecutor’s Office and Public Defender’s Office. (Read more)

Multilateral Meeting on Mental Health Care in Prison

Strasbourg, 27-28 April 2016
WEB_Picture_Multilateral_StG_April2016
The meeting brought together representatives of prison administrations responsible for prison mental health care and prison psychiatrists and psychologists from Council of Europe member states to share policies and good practices for improving the care for prisoners affected by mental health problems.
Special references was made to the standards set out in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Recommendation (2006)2 on the European Prison Rules and Recommendation (98)7 concerning the ethical and organisational aspects of health care in prison as well as to the relevant CPT standards. For more information about the meeting, please refer to the Concept Paper

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Armenia


 A Round Table on “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Armenia” took place on 19 April 2016, in Yerevan.
The Round Table brought together representatives of the Ministry of Justice, penitentiary service, members of the Parliament, judges, prosecutors, staff of the Ombudsman and other officials, as well as civil society and international organisations, with an aim of presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Armenia and other countries of Eastern Partnership. (Read more)

Public Hearing on Probation legislation in Armenia

Picture2  Picture 1
Following the submission of the legislative package on Probation to the National Assembly on 7 April 2016, a public hearing was organized on 15 April 2016 by the CoE Office in Yerevan in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.
The CoE has previously contributed to the preparation of the new legislation by supporting the drafting of the Concept Paper on the “Introduction of Probation Service in the Republic of Armenia” and by submitting a Legal Opinion on the draft Probation Law to the Ministry of Justice. (Read more)

Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries

A compilation of the reports developed within the PCF Regional project on prison overcrowding in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has been published. This compilation is available in English (Report)

Seminar on Police Interaction with Citizens in Armenia


In the framework of bilateral activities in the field of police, the Council of Europe, together with the Police of the Republic of Armenia, organised a seminar for police officers on "Police interactions with citizens in crime investigation and community engagement - Delivering Professional Standards", which took place 30 and 31 March 2016 in Yerevan, Armenia.
Seminar programme. Video in Armenian (from 1:14 to 3:00 min)

Improving rehabilitative approaches in Prison regimes in Ukraine

WEB_UKR_Improving-rehab-Approach
On 10-11 March 2016 the prison governors and prison staff responsible for regime and rehabilitation of prisoners attended a seminar held at the Personnel Training College of the State Pentitentiary Service in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. The aim of the seminar was to deepen the insights of the project partners into the topics of their mini-projects, such as pro-social modelling, safety of more vulnerable prisoners, prevention of suicide and self-harm and how these initiatives could eventually contribute to a framework of higher objectives. (Read more)

Working group meeting on “Necessary legislative reforms in the sphere of healthcare in prisons in the Republic of Armenia”

Picture-News_ARM_1March2016
A one-day working group meeting was held on 1 March 2016 in Yerevan with the aim to finalize the draft Concept Paper on the necessary legislative changes in the field of health care in prisons in Armenia, as well as to coordinate it with the amendments proposed under the legislative component of the project. The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister of Justice, two international and three local CoE consultants, members of the working group on the legislative component of the project, and representatives of civil society. (Read more)

Regional Conference “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries”

Prison-overcrowding-Reg-Conf_Tbilisi_18Feb2016
A Regional Conference “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries” took place on 18 February 2016, in Tbilisi (Georgia).
The conference brought together representatives of the Ministry of Corrections of Georgia and Ministries of Justice of Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine and their respective penitentiary and probation services, consultants and representatives of the Council of Europe, as well as civil society and internationals organizations with an aim of presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in the four countries of Eastern Partnership. (Read more)

Outcomes of the European Union and Council of Europe Joint Project “Capacity Building of the Law Enforcement Agencies for Appropriate Treatment of Detained and Sentenced Persons” in “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

Publications and training manuals for police and prison staff
The last outputs developed in a form of publications and produced under the auspices of the completed Joint Programme “Capacity Building of Law Enforcement Agencies for Appropriate Treatment of Detained and Sentenced Persons”, are now available at the website of the Criminal Law Co-operation Unit, Action against Crime Department, DG Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe.
These publications are used by the national beneficiaries, namely the police and penitentiary system, for trainings and other capacity-building measures of their staff, including inter-agency coordination and fund-raising activities, thus ensuring sustainability of the results achieved under the Joint Programme.
The following publications are made available in English language:
1. Training Manual – In-service police training on human rights and police proceedings, Module 1: Ethical Conduct and Respect of Human Rights in Police Proceedings
2. Training Manual – In-service police training on human rights and police proceedings, Module 2: Apprehension and Use of Police Force
3. Training Manual – In-service police training on human rights and police proceedings, Module 3: Detention and Prevention of Ill-Treatment
4. National Strategy on the Development of the Penitentiary system (2015–2019)
5. Trainers' Manual on Prevention and Conflict Management
6. Trainers' Manual on Sentence Planning

Closing of the “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” programme in Georgia

WEB_GEO_Announcement closing event
On 3 February, the Council of Europe is inviting the representatives of the authorities, embassies, international and non- governmental organizations to the closing of the European Union and the Council of Europe Joint Programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. For more than 2 years, this programme has tackled main challenges for prisons, police detention and psychiatric facilities in Georgia - access to adequate health care, protecting human rights of persons in need of psychiatric care and preventing and combating ill-treatment and impunity. (Read more)

Launching conference - Support to the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism over the police work

FYROM_News_Launch_Police_January16

The Project ‘’Support to the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism’’ in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", funded by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and implemented by the Council of Europe, was launched in Skopje on 28 January 2016. The aim of the project is to provide assistance to the national authorities in the process of identifying and introducing an independent and effective External Oversight Mechanism (EOM) over the work of the police. (Read more)

"Further support for penitentiary reform in Ukraine" - Second Project Coordination Committee meeting in Kyiv

The second Project Coordination Committee meeting was held in Kyiv on 27 January 2016 to report on the work done over the first 6 months and to share the plans for the next half a year. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service, General Prosecutor’s Office, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Penitentiary Matters, the National Bar Association, and human rights protection organisations provided their feedback on the work done and gave useful comments on the planned activities. (Read more)

Second round of training of trainers on probation in Aghveran, Armenia

The Council of Europe office in Yerevan conducted the second round of training of trainers on probation on 25-29 January 2016 in Aghveran, Armenia. The training built upon the feedback received by the trainees during the first round of training conducted on 14-18 December 2015 and was based on the training manual that was revised accordingly. The aim of the training was to improve participants’ trainer skills with focus on the presentation and communication skills and the use and design of training tools. (Read more)

Workshop on best practices of prison management

On 25-26 January 2016 the Council of Europe has organised a workshop on best practices of prison management. This workshop was another activity under the European Union and the Council of Europe joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” in support of improving human rights situation in the Georgian penitentiary system. (Link to the website)

Call for tenders

A call for tenders is in progress for consultancy services on police and penitentiary reform, including psychiatric establishments in South-East Europe. This call-off is related to the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Montenegro, Serbia as well as Kosovo*.
For further information, please consult the Link to Call-off 2016/AO/38.

Regional Workshop on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding

 A Regional Workshop “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries” took place on 22-23 June 2016 in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Regional Workshop brought together high officials of the Ministries of Justice of Armenia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine and Ministry of Corrections of Georgia with an aim of presenting and discussing draft strategies on implementation of the country specific recommendations defined by the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Eastern Partnership countries. (Read more)

Outcomes of two projects on Prison Reform carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina



http://www.coe.int/en/web/sarajevo/news

Final Conference in Sarajevo "Prison Reform: the key element in the criminal justice system"

WEB_Picture_FinalConf_BiH_3June2016

 Sarajevo, June 3, 2016 – The final event of two complementary projects on the prison reform was held in Sarajevo last Friday. The Council of Europe implemented both projects in parallel over the past four years: the Joint EU/CoE Programme “Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards” and the Voluntary Contribution from the US authorities “Support to prison staff training in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
The Joint EU/CoE Programme focused on improving the implementation of community sanctions, establishment of probation services, prison staff training and development of treatment programmes for vulnerable prisoners.
The US-funded project focused on training of various categories of prison staff and enhancing security in both the prison environment and society as a whole.
(Read more) (Link to the project website) (Final brochure)

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in the Republic of Moldova

Web_PCF_Picture_22April2016

 A Round Table “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Moldova” took place on 22 April 2016, at the Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel in Chisinau (Republic of Moldova). The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Justice, penitentiary service, People Ombudsman and other officials, as well as civil society and international organizations acting in Moldova for presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Moldova and other three countries of Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia).
The country-specific problems defined by the study were highlighted, followed by very topical and open discussions. (Read more)

Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Ukraine

Picture_Kiev_RT_21April2016


 A Round Table “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Ukraine” took place on 21 April 2016, at the Radisson Blu Kiev Hotel in Kiev (Ukraine) further to the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in Ukraine. (Read more)

Round table on identification of the most appropriate model for an External Oversight Mechanism over police work

Picture_Skopje_RT_20April2016
A 1-day Round Table to discuss and present to the wider professional audience the most suitable model of independent external oversight mechanism over the police work, was organised in Skopje on 20 April 2016. A total of 40 participants were present, including high level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the Ombudsman office, judges, prosecutors, university professors, lawyers, and representatives from the NGO sector and international community. (Read more)

Study visit to Slovenia regarding the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism over police work

SV-Slovenia_FYROM_April2016

 A study visit to Slovenia for eight high-level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsman, Public prosecution’s Office and the civil society from ‘’the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’’, was organised from 5th to 7th of April 2016. (Read more)

Enhanced rehabilitation activities in prisons in Ukraine: launching film clubs in pilot prisons

News_UKR_Film-Club-for-rehabilitation

 On 22-23 March 2016, a two-day training “Media clubs DOCUDAYS UA as a tool for human rights education” for future managers of film clubs in pilot prisons was held in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine in the framework of the Project "Further Support for penitentiary Reform in Ukraine". (Read more)

Cascade training sessions on probation in Armenia

Web_Cascade_ARM_April2016

 The Council of Europe office in Yerevan conducted during the second half of March 2016 six cascade training sessions on probation for the staff of pilot project units located in the town of Vanadzor and Shengavit district of Yerevan.
The sessions were delivered by three local experts who earlier in the year attended a series of Training of Trainers sessions based on the manual developed within the project "Support to the Establishment of Probation Service in Armenia” supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway”. (Read more)

Outcomes of the European Union and Council of Europe joint Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia


http://www.coe.int/en/web/tbilisi/human-rights

Development of the brochure on prisoners' rights in Ukraine

brochure_UKRAINE

 The Council of Europe national and international experts work together on the development of the brochure on prisoners’ rights, including useful practical information on admission, transfer, prison regimes, work in prison, healthcare, legal aid, contacts with the family, women and juveniles in prisons, national and international HR protection mechanisms etc.
The round tables, led by the Council of Europe national experts in February and March 2016, were organised to identify the scope of information to be included in the brochure, a user-friendly formant and to discuss the content of the publication. (Read more)

3rd high level expert meeting on the draft Training strategy for prison staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina

News_Picture_BiH_18Feb2016

 The 3rd high level expert meeting on the draft Strategy to develop more permanent training structure(s) for prison staff in BiH was held with the senior Ministry of Justice officials tasked with execution of criminal sanctions and members of the CoE-supported prison staff training team on 18 February 2016 in Mostar, BiH. Although this activity is nominally a part of the EU/CoE Joint Programme (JP) ˝Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices in BiH with European standards˝, it builds also on the training activities undertaken within the scope of the US/CoE Voluntary Contribution project ˝Support to prison staff training in BiH˝, which runs in parallel in BiH. (Read more)

Training for Trainers on “Combating Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries”

WEB_PCF-Regional_Kiev_February16
On 4 and 5 February Training for Trainers on “Combating Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries” has been conducted in Kiev (Ukraine). The training has gathered 14 trainers charged with training of prison and probation staff from four countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
The structure of curriculum and relevant methodology has been discussed during the 2-day training in relation with the prevention and combating prison overcrowding. The Training was based on the CoE standards which are covering the issues on combating prison overcrowding. (Read more)

Overview of the "Human Rights in Prisons and other Closed Institutions" programme in Georgia



An overview of the Joint Programme of the European Union and Council of Europe on Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia (video in Georgian with English subtitles)

ARCHIVES