The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine celebrates its 20th anniversary

Council of Europe 10 October 2017 Strasbourg

How can human rights be safeguarded in the face of scientific and technological developments in the biomedical field? The Committee on Bioethics of the Council of Europe will discuss the challenges ahead at an international conference being held on 24 and 25 October in Strasbourg to mark the 20th...

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The Committee of Ministers shares the Assembly’s ambition to raise the Council’s profile and step up its activities

Parliamentary Assembly Session 9 October 2017 Strasbourg

“The Committee of Ministers shares the Assembly’s ambition to raise the Council of Europe’s profile and step up its activities to help member States meet the challenges they currently face,” said Lubomír Zaorálek, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic and Chairperson of the Committee of...

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Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017 awarded to Murat Arslan

Parliamentary Assembly Session 9 October 2017 Strasbourg

The fifth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to Turkish supporter of the independence of the judiciary Murat Arslan. The €60 000 prize was presented at a special ceremony today at the Palais de l’Europe in...

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Human Rights Commissioner calls on Spain to investigate allegations of disproportionate use of police force in Catalonia

Commissioner for Human Rights 9 October 2017 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks published a letter sent on 4 October to Mr Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez, Minister of the Interior of Spain, in which he raises concerns regarding allegations of disproportionate use of force by law enforcement authorities in Catalonia on 1...

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Europe against the death penalty

Council of Europe 9 October 2017 Strasbourg

The 47-nation Council of Europe and the 28-member European Union have published a joint statement to mark the European and World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October. The statement underlines the two organisations’ firm opposition to capital punishment in any circumstances. It also calls...

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Turkey: Emergency Decree Laws are obstructing local democracy

European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) 6 October 2017 Venice

In an opinion adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) assessed the extent to which Turkey’s Emergency Decree Laws – passed in the wake of the failed 2016 coup attempt – include measures that go beyond what is permitted by international standards...

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Venice Commission invites the President of Ukraine to submit a revised draft law on anti-corruption courts to Parliament, based on its recommendations

European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) 6 October 2017 Venice

In its opinion on the draft law on anti-corruption courts in Ukraine adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) said that many of the provisions of the draft law provide a good basis for the establishment of a high specialised anti-corruption court,...

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Pedro Agramunt resigns as PACE President

Parliamentary Assembly 6 October 2017 Strasbourg

In a letter, Pedro Agramunt today announced his resignation as President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). A motion for his dismissal had been scheduled for debate at the opening of the plenary session in Strasbourg on 9 October. This debate will now not take place....

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Sweden: move beyond emergency mode in migration-related areas to strengthen human rights

Commissioner for Human Rights 6 October 2017 Strasbourg

Declaration by Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks at the end of a five-day visit to the country

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Autumn session: Czech and Ukrainian Presidents to address PACE, Václav Havel Prize awarded

Parliamentary Assembly 29 September 2017 Strasbourg

Addresses by the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and a debate on two reports calling for a Council of Europe Summit are among the highlights of the autumn session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which takes place in...

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Conference on harmonisation of case law and judicial practice

Council of Europe 29 September 2017 Athens

A high-level conference on the harmonisation of case law and judicial practice tackles inconsistent interpretations of legal instruments that adversely affect their implementation – and result in numerous complaints brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Most such cases do not...

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The law on freedom of assembly in the Russian Federation needs thorough revision

Commissioner for Human Rights 29 September 2017 Strasbourg

Human rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks publishes memorandum

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Award of "Meritorious for Justice " medal to President of Consultative Council of European Judges Nils Engstad

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) 28 September 2017 Warsaw

Nils Engstad, President of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE), was awarded the medal of the National Council of the Judicial of Poland “ Meritorious for Justice – Bene Merentibus Iustitiae” for his work on behalf of the CCJE in defending the independence of judges and courts in...

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Fighting corruption in France: what progress?

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) 28 September 2017 Strasbourg

In a report published today, the Council of Europe's anti-corruption group (GRECO) reviews a number of measures taken by France since 2009. While it welcomes France's implementation of recommendations on the criminalisation of acts of corruption, particularly the extension of the limitation...

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Council of Europe publishes its first monitoring reports on violence against women: Austria and Monaco

Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) 27 September 2017 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) have published their first two evaluation reports: on Austria and Monaco. In Austria, among other findings, GREVIO notes a “stark contrast” in the number, scale and regional spread of...

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Civil participation in decision-making in the spotlight

Committee of Ministers 27 September 2017 Strasbourg

The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states. At a time when democracy is challenged by diminishing trust of people towards politicians and elites in general, one of the...

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Prague international conference to end the immigration detention of children

Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on Migration and Refugees 27 September 2017 Strasbourg

”The cost of alternatives is much lower than that of migration detention. In addition, alternatives are less dangerous than detention; for the children themselves, in terms of the harm that deprivation of liberty inevitably causes. They are also less dangerous for our societies; the message...

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Arbitrary Internet blocking jeopardises freedom of expression

Commissioner for Human Rights 26 September 2017 Strasbourg

“Internet blocking is a widespread phenomenon in Council of Europe member states”, says Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Human Rights Comment published today. “Its impact on freedom of expression was highlighted already in 2011, when the former UN...

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Greece: Anti-torture committee criticises treatment of irregular migrants – and continued detention of migrant children

Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) 26 September 2017 Strasbourg

In a report on its April and July 2016 visits to Greece, published today, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) raises concerns over the situation in the “hotspots” on the Aegean islands. It is highly critical of the...

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European Day of Languages 2017: statement from Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland

Secretary General 26 September 2017 Strasbourg

"This year's European Day of Languages celebrates innovation in language learning and teaching. This provides us with the perfect opportunity to highlight the huge value of Europe's cultural diversity. Europe's nations are always at their strongest and most prosperous when we are open and...

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