27th Conference of European Ministers of Justice
VICTIMS: PLACE, RIGHTS AND ASSISTANCE
12-13 October 2006
Assistance to crime victims has always been high on the Council of Europe’s agenda for many years.
So far, the Council of Europe has adopted several conventions dealing with victims, including:
- the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes (CETS No. 116);
- the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196);
- the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197);
- a number of recommendations already adopted addressing the specific situations of crime victims (victims of sexual exploitation, of trafficking in human beings, protection of women against violence).
The Committee of Ministers adopted a new recommendation to the member States of the Council of Europe on the assistance to crime victims (Rec(2006)8). It reflects the specific needs of crime victims, as perceived daily notably by the specialists who contributed in the drafting of this text.
The increasing rate of criminality as well as the threat and the acts of terrorism show the actuality and the need for member States to elaborate and implement modern measures to assist victims. Such measures should aim at promoting the individual’s security and dignity, through States’ responses to criminality and violence and through social and judicial measures.
In this context, the Ministers of Justice of the member States of the Council of Europe met in Yerevan in order to identify new ways to promote and develop the support and assistance to victims, facilitate their access to justice and compensation, ensure that victims of crime do not also become victims of procedures and administrative burdens.
In addition, their 27th Conference opened a forum for exchanging views on the existing standards and practices as well as identify the possible gaps either in the existing standards or in their implementation and highlight needs for additional instruments.
The Ministers of Justice of the 46 member states of the Council of Europe recommended taking measures to improve assistance to victims, to reduce the chances of their also being victims of administrative procedures and red tape, and to facilitate their rehabilitation and compensation for the damage suffered. Meeting in Yerevan with the Armenian Minister of Justice Davit Harutyunyan in the chair, the European Ministers present stressed the need to identify good practices in terms of civil and administrative remedies to protect victims’ interests (such as legal aid and advice) and in terms of public and private insurance schemes. (more)
Speeches and Addresses
- Welcome address by Mr. Andranik MARGARYAN, Prime Minister of Armenia
- Ambassador Anna LAMPEROVÁ, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the Council of Europe, Representative of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
- Mr Armen RUSTAMYAN, Representative of the Parliamentary Assembly [French]
- Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Ministers (alphabetical order of countries)
- Ms Anotnia ANGUELOVA, State Expert, Department of international legal co-operation and european integration, Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria [French]
- Mrs. Ana LOVRIN, Minister of Justice of Croatia
- Mr. Anastasis PAPALIGOURAS, Minister of Justice of Greece
- Mrs. Judit FAZEKAS LÉVAY, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement of Hungary
- Mr. Petras BAGUSKA, Minister of Justice of Lithuania
- Mr Vitalie PIRLOG, Minister of Justice of Moldova [French]
- Mr. Andrzej DUDA, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Justice of Poland
- Mr. Štefan HARABIN, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic [French]
- Mr Luzius MADER, Deputy Director of the Federal Office of Justice of Switzerland [French]
- Mr Mihajlo MANEVSKI, Minister of Justice of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"