Action against Terrorism


1. Name of committee: Committee of Experts on the protection of witnesses and pentiti in relation to acts of terrorism (PC-PW)

2. Type of committee: Committee of Experts

3. Source of terms of reference: European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)

4. Terms of reference:

Pursuant to

- the decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers at its 111th Session (6-7 November 2002); and
- the decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers at the 816th meeting of their Deputies (13 November 2002, item 1.5);

Taking into account

- Recommendation No. R(97)13 concerning the intimidation of witnesses and the rights of the defence;
- Recommendation No. Rec(2001)11 concerning guiding principles on the fight against organised crime;
- Article 23 of the 2nd Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters;
- the reports of the Multidisciplinary Group on International Action against Terrorism (GMT) (documents CM(2002)57 and 148); and
- the Guidelines on Human Rights and Terrorism adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 11 July 2002;

study the means for strengthening the protection of witnesses and pentiti in relation to acts of terrorism, including those at international level, and to make proposals as to the feasibility of preparing an appropriate instrument, bearing in mind the links with other related criminal activities.

5. Membership of the committee:

  • a. States whose governments are entitled to appoint members: all member states.
  • b. Desirable qualifications of persons serving on the Committee: experts on criminal law, criminal procedure, individual rights and guarantees and international co-operation in criminal matters.
  • c. Two scientific experts to be appointed by the Secretary General.
  • d. One representative each of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ).
  • e. The Council of Europe budget will bear the travelling and subsistence expenses of:
    • i) one expert from each of the following member states:

      Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

    • ii) the two scientific experts appointed by the Secretary General
    • iii) the representatives of the CDDH and the CDCJ.
  • f. The European Commission and the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.
  • g. The Bureau of the CDPC may authorise the admission of observers to the Committee.

6. Structures and working methods:

The Committee may set up working parties and conduct hearings of experts.

7. Duration:

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2003.