News archive [2012]
 

April

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Bosnia and Herzegovina
[26/04/2012] The Council of Europeís Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published today the report on its visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2011 together with the response of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The CPTís delegation received a considerable number of credible allegations of severe physical ill-treatment by the police. The alleged ill-treatment mostly concerned kicks and punches to the body and blows with batons; however, detailed allegations were also received of handcuffing in stress positions, the placing of plastic bags over the heads of suspects and the infliction of electric shocks. The majority of the allegations concerned the time when suspects were being questioned by crime inspectors in their offices, and the information gathered indicates that the infliction of ill-treatment is a frequent practice at Banja Luka Central Police Station. (more)

Round table on action against trafficking in human beings, St. Petersburg, 18 April 2012
[24/04/2012] Trafficking in human beings remains a burning issue, which is why the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Interparliamentary Assembly and the Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) organised together, for the first time, a round table on this subject on 18 April 2012 in St. Petersburg. The event brought together some one hundred participants, including parliamentarians, public officials from CIS countries, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, researchers and representatives of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations. (More)

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on France and response of the French Government
[20/04/2012] The Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) has today published the report on its visit to France from 28 November to 10 December 2010, together with the French Government's response. These documents have been made public with the authorisation of the French authorities. In its visit report, the CPT notes a number of positive developments. Legal reforms had been adopted or initiated in several fields of considerable interest to the Committee (e.g. police custody, prison matters and psychiatric care). However, some of the CPTís long-standing concerns had only been partly met by the action taken by the French authorities. (More)

Brighton High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights
[12/04/2012]The United Kingdom is organising, within the framework of the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, a high level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights in Brighton on 18-20 April 2012.
More infor mation
Declaration

Launch of the ONE in FIVE Campaign in Saint Petersburg
[18/04/2012] The ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children was succesfully launched at the Russian State Herzen Pedagogical University in Saint Petersburg by the Deputy Secretary General, Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio and Mrs Svetlana Orlova, Vice President of the Russian Federation Council and President of the National Committee of Support for Motherhood and Childhood. This was the first regional event in the context of the Russian Campaign which was officially launched on 29 March in the Council of the Federation in Moscow. Mrs Orlova announced that the Russian Federation would sign the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse later this year.
Link to the speech

New Handbooks on the European Convention on Human Rights
[16/04/2012] Three new handbooks have just been published by the Justice and Legal Co-operation Department for the attention of legal professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights. They focus on the right to a fair trial, the right to respect for private and family life and the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These handbooks have been conceived as practical tools to support judges and prosecutors to apply the Convention at national level and assist lawyers to use Convention-based arguments in national litigation. They are based on the most updated case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The authors include an academic, a national lawyer, a human rights consultant, and a lawyer of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights.
Link to the New Handbooks on the European Convention on Human Rights  

Sharing common concepts for the evaluation of the functioning of judicial systems
[16/04/2012] At the CEPEJ's study session, devoted to the sharing of commun concepts for the evaluation of the functioning of judicial systems, 4 groups worked on the following themes: the funding of the court system, judicial and non-judicial staff, case flow management and the evaluation of the court and judge activity. This session allowed an exchange of updated practices in terms of efficiency of the functioning of European judicial systems.
Study session

Execution of Strasbourg Court judgments: considerable progress but concern about major structural problems
[12/04/2012] In 2011 the number of Strasbourg Court judgments found by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to have been fully executed by member states grew by almost 80% compared to 2010 (up to 816). Whilst the number of new cases remained high (1, 606), for the first time in ten years it decreased (by 6 %). The number of repetitive cases decreased by even more. The number of old cases still not fully executed after more than five years continued to grow (by 48 % from 2010 to 2011), and is a special source of concern. Most of these cases concern important structural problems. (More)
Annual report 2011

Human rights should be protected also on search engines and in social networks
The Council of Europe has adopted two Recommendations in which it calls on its members states to safeguard human rights, notably freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of association and the right to private life, with regard to search engines and social networking services. (More)
Recommendation on search engines
Recommendation on social networking services

Pompidou Group - Policy paper providing guidance to policy makers
[12/04/2012] The Policy paper providing guidance to policy makers for developing coherent policies for licit and illicit drugs was unanimously adopted by the Pompidou Group in December 2011. It aims to offer decision makers and policy managers an overview of the basic principles, instruments and tools that will support them in developing, reviewing and implementing drug policies, strategies and action plans. It summarises key elements for coherent drug policies and effective strategies in the form of a series of guiding principles. (More)
Link to the document in English, in French, in Russian

Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption calls on Italy to improve transparency in political party funding and to sanction corruption vigorously
[12/04/2012] The Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) identified critical shortcomings in the party funding system of Italy which must be addressed as a matter of priority. The control performed by public authorities over political funding is fragmented and formalistic, consisting of three different institutions with limited powers and no co-ordination either among themselves or with law enforcement bodies. GRECO urges political parties to develop their own internal control systems and to subject their accounts to independent audit. (More)
Links to the report: Theme I / Theme II

The decision on admissibility in the case International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) v. Belgium has been adopted
[10/04/2012] The European Committee of Social Rights adopted a decision on admissibility with regard to the case International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) v. Belgium, (Complaint No. 75/2011) at its last session on 22 March 2012. The decision is now available on line. (more information)
Decision on admissibility
Collective Complaint Web site

Children to be seen and heard in Europe
[10/04/2012] The Council of Europe adopted a recommendation addressed to member states on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18 in decision-making (CM/Rec(2012)2 adopted on 28 March 2012). This ground-breaking recommendation was developed following comprehensive reviews of the reality of child participation in several member states and, for the first time in the Councilís history, with the direct involvement of children in the work of the drafting Committee. The recommendation covers the rights of children and young people to be heard in all settings, including in schools, in communities and in the family as well as at the national and European level.
Link to the Recommendation

The Czech Republic ratifies the Additional Protocol providing a system of collective complaints
[04/04/2012] Ambassador TomŠö Boček, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, transmitted the instrument of ratification of the Additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints to Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, today. This instrument will enter into force on 1 June 2012. Czech Republic is the 15th State Party to the Charter to accept to be bound by this treaty.

Luis Jimena Quesada pays tribute to the Czech Republicís ratification of the Additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints
[04/04/2012] Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights noted with satisfaction that the Czech Republic has made a major step forward in safeguarding and promoting social rights by accepting to be bound by the 1995 Additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints. (more)
Interview with Mr Jimena Quesada on the ratification

GRECOís first decade: some lessons to be learnt through eight thematic articles
[03/04/2012] The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes today a compendium on the themes that have been dealt with over the first decade of its existence (from 2000 to 2011). GRECO has learned some key lessons from the analyses conducted on the spot, during the evaluations carried out in its member States[1], and has assembled them in a compendium which ranges from the fight against corruption within public administration to the independence of party funding monitoring, also covering revolving doors/pantouflage and the protection of whistleblowers, just to cite a few titles. This compendium is intended for any reader wishing to widen his / her knowledge relating to the fight against corruption and to the safeguarding of public integrity, be it for personal reasons or in the framework of his / her professional or civic activities.
Link to the Compendium
Link to the different activity reports
[1] Currently 49 Ė 48 European States and the United States of America. To see the complete list of members, click here.

1st Evaluation Round: GRETA visits France
[03/04/2012] A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out a country visit in France from 26 to 30 March 2012. The visit was organised in the context of the first round of evaluation of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2010-2013). (More)