Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2009)121 addendum 13 August 20091
——————————————

1066 Meeting, 23 September 2009
10 Legal questions


10.3 Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

b. Draft terms of reference of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

Item to be prepared by the GR-J at its meeting on 8 September 2009
——————————————

Draft terms of reference of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

“Fact-sheet”

Name of Committee:

Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

Yes

Programme of Activities: project(s)

I.3.3 “Protection of persons against threats to their dignity and integrity”, Project - 2008/DG3/1377 - “Bioethics”

Project relevance:

Action Plan: II.6 “Promoting ethics in biomedicine”
· The Warsaw action Plan underlines the importance of continuing the standard-setting work of the Council of Europe on bioethics. The Madrid Declaration (12 May 2009) reaffirms the need for a concerted response at European level with regard to unregulated use of biotechnology.
· The work of the CDBI focuses on the protection of human dignity and fundamental rights in the field of biomedicine (human genetics, transplantation of organs and tissues, biomedical research…).
· The Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164) and its four additional protocols develop, in this field, the principles enshrined in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This approach can also be found in the Recommendations drafted by the CDBI.
· The relevance of these legal instruments is acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights, which refers to them in several of its decisions as reflecting generally accepted principles.
· The Action Plan encourages in particular the continuation of its normative work, notably in the field of genetics, underlining the risks of discrimination in access to employment and insurance, thereby testifying to the relevance of the work carried out by the CDBI to ensuring the protection of the fundamental values of human rights when facing the challenges of biomedicine – an ever-evolving field.

Project added value:

· The CDBI has been a pioneer in bioethics, but above all, it has developed the only international legally binding body of texts. Its recent and current normative work, as well as its participation in the follow up of the implementation of the adopted principles, are contributing to the reinforcement of the leadership of the Council of Europe in this field at international level.
● The importance and impact of the normative work carried out by the CDBI is acknowledged by Members States, as testified by the replies to the questionnaire and the overview of the results of the pilot survey of intergovernmental steering and ad hoc committees (GT-REF.INST(2009)1 final).
· The influence of the Oviedo Convention (ETS No. 164) goes much further than its 22 Party States; as a reference text for national legislation of many other Members States as well as in Observer States. It is also a reference for other intergovernmental organisations such as WHO and UNESCO, as well as for the European Commission which requires respect for its principles when giving financial support to any project within its research framework programme.
· While some topics dealt with by CDBI are also discussed within other intergovernmental organisations, the work of the Steering Committee remains unique by its human rights based approach and the binding status of the instruments elaborated.
· At European level, there is no comparable intergovernmental or supranational body. The European Commission actively participates in the work of the CDBI and there is willingness on both sides to reinforce this very fruitful collaboration.
· At international level, non European countries (e.g. the United States of America and Canada), as well as WHO and UNESCO are active and regular participants in the CDBI’s work. This cooperation with other intergovernmental organisations aims in particular at promoting consistency between normative texts and complementarity of the work.
· Within the CoE, the CDBI is the only committee to work at defining individual rights in the field of biomedicine. It acts as a steering committee, an expert committee and a conventional committee simultaneously.

Financial information:

· Number of meetings per year:

    2 plenary meetings of three days 
    2 meetings of the Bureau of two days 

· Number of participants per meeting (without Secretariat and interpreters):

    Plenary meeting: 47 participants + the chair
    Bureau meeting: 9 participants

· Experts travel and subsistence cost  per year:

    Two plenary meetings: 93.400 Euros
    Two Bureau meetings: 16.200 Euros

· Interpretation cost per year:

    Two plenary meetings: 18.000 Euros
    Two Bureau meetings: 7.800 Euros

· Translation cost per year 14.000 Euros
· Production of documents cost per year: 3.000 Euros
· Total cost for the duration of the mandate: 457.200 Euros

Draft terms of reference of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)

1.

Name of committee:

STEERING COMMITTEE ON BIOETHICS (CDBI)

2.

Type of committee:

Steering Committee

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

-

The Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods;

-

the Declaration of Warsaw and its Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), in particular Chapter II.6 – “Promoting ethics in Biomedicine”;

-

the Declaration of Madrid adopted at the 119th Session of the Committee of Ministers on 12 May 2009;

-

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164);

-

the relevant Recommendations adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly, in particular Recommendation 1160 (1991) on the preparation of a convention on bioethics, and the work of Ministerial Conferences2.

 

Within the framework of the Programme of Activities, under Programme I.3.3 “Protection of persons against threats to their dignity and integrity”, the Committee is instructed:

i.

to study the set of problems posed for ethics, law and human rights by applications of biology and medicine, including research;

ii.

to work with a view to harmonising the policies of member states as far as possible and, where appropriate to prepare appropriate legal instruments on ethical and legal issues, aiming at defining a framework for the protection of fundamental rights and related to specific fields, inter alia human genetics, organ and tissue transplantation, biomedical research and the protection of human embryo and foetus. This may include the elaboration of additional protocols to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164);

iii.

to work with a view to facilitating the implementation of the principles of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and its Additional Protocols, as well as of the other legal instruments elaborated by the Committee; to evaluate the implementation of those principles at national level;

iv.

to contribute to the preparation of the conferences of the European Ministers addressing issues relevant to the field of competence of the Committee, having regard to the relevant decisions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;

v.

to co-operate with other steering committees and ad hoc committees in the implementation of the Projects involving several fields of activity;

vi.

to co-operate with the European Union and relevant intergovernmental bodies, in particular with a view to promoting consistency between the normative texts.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

 

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives of the highest possible rank, with expertise in bioethics and with the following qualifications:
- biologists
- medical practitioners, researchers and other scientists
- specialists on ethics
- lawyers
- any other persons qualified in biomedical questions and able to consider them from a human rights viewpoint

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative from each member state (two in the case of the state whose representative has been elected Chair).

5.B

Participants

i.

Each of the following committees may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-head:

    - Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)
    - European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
    - European Health Committee (CDSP)
    - European Committee (Partial agreement) on Blood Transfusion (CD-P-TS)
    - European Committee (Partial agreement) on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO)

ii.

The Parliamentary Assembly may send representatives to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission may send representatives to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The states with observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, and United States of America) may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

iii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

    - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    - Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    - World Health Organization (WHO)
    - International Commission on Civil Status (CIEC)

5.D

Observers

 

The following non member states and non governmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses :
- Australia
- Israel
- European Science Foundation (ESF)
- Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (KEK)

6.

Working Methods and Structures

 

The CDBI Bureau comprises 9 members.

In order to obtain and share information the CDBI may request, where appropriate and within the limits of budgetary appropriations, the service of one or more consultants or scientific experts and organise hearings, seminars, conferences and colloquies.

7.

Duration

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2012.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 1st European Ministerial Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 19-20 March 1985); 17th Conference of European Ministers of Justice (Istanbul, 5-7 June 1990) and of informal meetings of European Ministers of Justice (Edinburgh, 14 June 1985; Ottawa, 17-19 June 1991)


 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Meetings
 
   Other documents
 
   External links