News archive [2012]


Council of Europe publishes first report ever on fighting corruption in Liechtenstein
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), one of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies established to protect democracy and the rule of law in Europe, has just released its first report on Liechtenstein. The report shows that the country is in the early stages of implementing effective anti-corruption measures. Its limited size is thought to prevent corruption but in a context of closer social relationships, there is a clear need to improve awareness of potential problems posed by situations that give rise to conflicts of interest. Also the current approach does not take into account the broad variety of forms of bribery, such as favours and gratuities, beyond strictly material bribes. (more ...)
GRECO Report on Liechtenstein
GRECO website

Council of Europe explains genetic testing - Under what circumstances is genetic testing foreseen? What does it look for? How should its results be interpreted?
All questions are intelligibly answered in a new brochure produced by the Council of Europe, with the support of the European Society of Human Genetics and Eurogentest.

Genetic testing is a source of considerable advances in human health, and will increasingly form part of standard medical practice. Its use is not without implications for the persons concerned, and for their family members. Results are complex to analyse and often with limited predictive value, so it is important to get appropriate support when a genetic test is envisaged and on subsequent receipt of results. The availability of direct-to-consumer genetic test, online especially, outside any individualised medical supervision, raises particular concerns. it is important for everyone to have access to objective general information about the nature of these tests, their application in the health field, and the extent but also the limits of results. The brochure, available online, will be translated into some twenty European languages.
Bioethics website

The Regional Court of Antwerp, winner of the 2012 Crystal Scales of Justice Prize
The 2012 European Crystal Scales of Justice prize for innovative court practices was awarded today to the Regional Court of Antwerp (Belgium) for its efforts consented to the follow-up of judicial expertises. Three special mentions were also given to projects from France, Spain and Slovenia: the co-hearing of the judge to family affairs – Auditor of children, presented by the Regional Court of Tarascon (France) ; Lexnet, presented by the General Secretariat of justice administration (Spain) ; Judicial data warehouse and performance dashboards, presented by the Supreme Court of Slovenia The jury of eminent individuals from the judicial world, examined 38 applications from some 18 European States. The Crystal Scales of Justice Prize is jointly awarded by the Council of Europe, through the European Commission for efficiency of justice (CEPEJ), and the European Commission.
Press release
European Crystal Scales of Justice Prize
European Day of Civil Justice

The European Day of Civil Justice is celebrated today in Europe
The European Day of justice is celebrated every year on 25 October. It is aimed for European citizens, students and professionals in the field of justice and is organised jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The Crystal Scales of Justice prize, rewarding innovative practices in the field of justice, is also awarded on this occasion. The main event of this day will take place in Vilnius, in presence of the Minister of Justice of Lithuania. One of the Council of Europe’s missions is to support initiatives aimed to bring justice closer to citizens by offering them the opportunity to inform them on their rights and to better undestand the functioning of the judicial systems through events organised mainly by courts. The work of the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) which represents a real support for justice professionals, are highlighted on this occasion.
Video message of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjřrn Jagland
More information about the European Day of Justice
More information about the Crystal Scales of Justice
More information about the evaluation report of judicial systems

Latest News from the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
CPT examines treatment of foreign nationals during deportation flight from United Kingdom
CPT publishes report on Switzerland

1st Evaluation Round: GRETA visits Spain
[24/10/2012] A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out a country visit to Spain from 15 to 19 October 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). During the visit, the GRETA delegation met the State Secretary for Security, Mr Ignacio Ulloa Rubio, and the Ambassador for Human Rights, Mr Juan Manuel Cabrera Hernández. It also held consultations with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Special Government Delegation against Gender-based Violence, which leads and co-ordinates action against human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equality, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Office for Asylum and Refugees, the National Police, the Guardia Civil, the General Prosecutor's Office, and the General Council for the Judiciary. (More...)

Multilateral Meeting on probation and its role in improving the social reintegration of offenders
[23/10/2012] Organised on 25-26 October 2012 in strasbourg by the Prison and Police Reform Unit within the multilateral co‑operation activities of the Council of Europe in the penitentiary field, the meeting is intended for participants from a number of member States which are currently in the process of developing their probation policies and practices for reducing recidivism and prison overcrowding and for supporting the social reintegration of offenders in the community. The aim of the Multilateral Meeting is to bring together representatives of countries with different experiences regarding policies for the broader implementation of alternatives to custody and to give them the possibility to share their experiences and best practices and also to identify ways of introducing new developments in their systems. (More ...)

Sixth European Anti-Trafficking Day: "We will never win the war against trafficking if we fail to empower victims"
[18/10/2012] In Brussels today to speak at a conference organised by the Cyprus Presidency and the European Commission to mark the Sixth EU Anti-Trafficking Day, Mr Nicolas Le Coz, President of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), declared: “The fight against trafficking in human beings continues to be slowed down by persisting prejudices and misconceptions. There cannot be effective prevention of human trafficking without education, empowerment and anti-discrimination measures.” The President of GRETA recalled that the construction of a system to fight human trafficking should follow a human rights-based and victim-centred approach. He noted that in certain countries, the identification of victims of trafficking is primarily done from a law enforcement or irregular migration perspective, without the involvement of multidisciplinary expertise. Many victims remain undetected and unassisted. "We will never win the war against trafficking if we fail to empower the victims," he said. Mr Le Coz also stressed the need to improve co-ordination between all stakeholders and to step up proactive investigations. (More ...)

Petition to Council of Europe member states to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention
[04/10/2012] On October 4, 2012, the Global Fund for Women, together with WAVE Europe, handed over to the Secretary General an online petition to Council of Europe member states, calling on them to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention. This petition was signed by over 10.000 supporters of the Istanbul Convention from over 30 countries in the world.

Council of Europe's anti-trafficking monitoring body publishes its 2nd General Report
[04/10/2012] In its 2nd General Report, published today, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) highlights some issues emerging from the first 10 country-by-country monitoring reports published since September 2011. "In our free-market societies, human beings are an easy target for traffickers and exploiters who consider that women, men or children are mere commodities and that exploitation is justified by the economic situation and their alleged consent", said Nicolas Le Coz, President of GRETA. "Fortunately, the European public order based on human rights – enshrined in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings – provides a powerful framework for the fight against human trafficking", he added. (More)

Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
[03/10/2012] Publication of the report on Armenia and response of the Armenian Government
[03/10/2012] Visits to the United Kingdom - Greenland Iceland