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CM(2009)51E  / 27 May 2009 

Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2009)51 add2 rev 20 April 20091
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1055 Meeting, 22 April 2009

4 Human rights

4.4 Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)
c. Request for creation of terms of reference for two bodies answerable to the CDDH

Item prepared by the GR-H at its meeting of 14 April 2009
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The Committee of Ministers is invited, upon proposal of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) which met in Strasbourg from 24-27 March 2009 for its 68th session (see meeting’s abridged report to be issued under the reference CM(2009)51), to authorise the creation of the Committee of Experts on reform of the Court (DH-GDR) and the Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE), it being understood that its previous proposal for the possible creation of a committee on a Statute for the Court would then be postponed.

* * *

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on the reform of the Court (DH-GDR)

Fact-sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on the reform of the Court (DH-GDR)

Compliance with Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: Project(s)

2008/DGHL/1403 – “Enhancing the control system of the ECHR”.

Project relevance:

The action plan of the third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member states of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005; CM(2005)80 final 17 May 2005), notably chapter I.1. “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights”.

The Statute of the Council of Europe (1949, ETS No. 1) – Contribution to core values: protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and democratic pluralist system.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5) and Protocol No. 14 to the ECHR, amending the control system of the Convention (2004, CETS No. 194).

 

The sources of political justification and framework of the work of this Committee stem also from the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on sustained action to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national and European levels (adopted at its 116th Session on 19 May 2006) and Decision No. CM/873/11072007 containing the ad hoc terms of reference of the CDDH following the 117th Session of the Committee of Ministers, adopted by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 1002nd meeting on 11 and 12 July 2007.

Project added value:

Work carried out by the DH-GDR is specific to the Council of Europe. This Committee is instructed to pursue its reflection on possible further reform of the ECHR control system.

Financial information:

The Committee (18 members) will meet at least twice may meet up to twice in 2009.

The cost is about €61 000 = €36 000 (experts costs) + €16 000 (interpretation costs) + €2 000 (translation costs) + €4 000 (production of documents) + €3 000 (publication costs).

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on the reform of the Court (DH-GDR)

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on the reform of the Court (DH-GDR)

2.

Type of Committee:

Committee of experts

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers, upon proposals of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

-

Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 December 2005;

-

the Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005; CM(2005)80 final, 17 May 2005); in particular chapter I.1. “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights”;

-

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5) and Protocol No. 14 to the ECHR, amending the control system of the Convention (2004, CETS No. 194),

-

the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on sustained action to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national and European levels (adopted on 19 May 2006 at its 116th Session);

-

Decision No. CM/873/11072007 containing the ad hoc terms of reference of the CDDH following the 117th Session of the Committee of Ministers (adopted by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 1002nd meeting, 11-12 July 2007).

 

Under the authority of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and in relation to project 2008/DGHL/1403 – “Enhancing the control system of the ECHR”, of the Programme of Activities, the Committee is instructed to pursue its reflection on possible further reform of the ECHR control system.:

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives with the relevant qualifications concerning procedures in the framework of international human rights protection instruments, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of the 18 members appointed by the following member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.

The above-mentioned states may send (an) additional representative(s) to meetings of the Committee at their own expense. Representatives appointed by other member states may participate in the meetings of the Committee at the expense of these states.

Each member state participating in the meetings of the Committee has the right to vote in procedural matters.

5.B

Participants

i.

The following committees may each send a representative to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the corresponding Council of Europe budgetary article:

- the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ);
- the European Commission for Democracy through Law (“Venice Commission”).

ii.

The Parliamentary Assembly may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iii.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iv.

The Registry of the European Court of Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

v.

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the body that (s)he (they) represent(s).

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission and the Council of the European Union may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

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

iii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR);
- the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

5.D

Observers

The following non member state:

- Belarus;

 

and the following non-governmental organisations:

- Amnesty International;
- International Commission of Jurists (ICJ);
- International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH);
- European Roma and Travellers Forum;

and the European Group of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

6.

Working methods and structures:

 

In order to fulfil its tasks the Committee is:

-

entitled to invite other participants and/ or observers to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses. The DH-GDR will have to ask the CDDH for the authorisation necessary to admit observers (other than those already listed in these terms of reference);

-

authorised to seek, as appropriate and within its budgetary appropriations, the advice of experts, to have recourse to studies prepared by consultants and to consult relevant non-governmental organisations and other members of civil society.

7.

Duration:

The present mandate will expire on 31 December 2009.

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE)

Fact-sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: Project(s)

2008/DGHL/1403 – “Enhancing the control system of the ECHR”.

Project relevance:

The action plan of the third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), notably chapter I.1. “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights”.

The Statute of the Council of Europe (1949, CETS No. 001) - Contribution to core values: protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and democratic pluralist system.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5).

Recommendation Rec(2004)6 of the Committee of Ministers’ to member States on the improvement of domestic remedies.

The source of political justification and framework of the current work of the CDDH stem also from the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on sustained action to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national and European levels (adopted on 19 May 2006 at its 116th Session).

Project Added value:

Work carried out by the DH-RE is specific to the Council of Europe.

The Committee is instructed, in particular, to draft a Recommendation on existing effective domestic remedies concerning excessive length of proceedings. The activities of the Committee will essentially be based on the relevant case-law of the Court and conclusions of the CEPEJ and the Venice Commission on good practices and omissions in this field.

This instrument would represent an important development to reinforce the functioning of the European Convention on Human Rights system, by allowing the acceleration of the domestic proceedings and consequently decreasing the volume of applications before the Court.

Financial Information:

The DH-RE (16 members) will meet once in 2009.

The cost is about €30 700 = €16 000 (experts costs) + €11 700 (interpretation costs) + €2000 (translation costs) + €1 000 (production of documents).

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE)2

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE)

2.

Type of Committee:

Committee of experts

3.

Source of terms of reference:

The Committee of Ministers on the proposal of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

4.

Terms of reference:

Having regard to:

-

Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 December 2005;

-

the Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005; CM(2005)80 final, 17 May 2005), in particular chapter I.1. “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights”;

-

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5);

-

Recommendation Rec(2004)6 of the Committee of Ministers’ to member States on the improvement of domestic remedies;

-

the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on sustained action to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national and European levels (adopted on 19 May 2006 at its 116th Session).

 

Under the authority of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and in relation with the implementation of the project 2008/DGHL/1403 “Enhancing the control system of the ECHR” of the Programme of Activities, the Committee is instructed to draft a Recommendation, along with a detailed appendix, and supporting documents on existing effective domestic remedies concerning excessive length of proceedings, by giving examples of good practices, in particular those already mentioned by the European Court of Human Rights in its case-law.

The draft Recommendation and/or supporting documents should notably include concrete examples under Article 13 of the ECHR of effective domestic remedies to accelerate the proceedings and/or to compensate for the delays and, if possible to expand the aforementioned Recommendation Rec(2004)6 by pointing out practical modalities allowing national authorities to regularly assess the efficiency of existing remedies.

If the Committee finds it advisable, it could also include in the draft Recommendation and/or supporting documents structural measures at national level to prevent violations of Article 6 of the ECHR resulting from an excessive length of proceedings.

The Recommendation should in particular be based on the relevant case-law of the Court and also reflect the work and conclusions of the CEPEJ and the Venice Commission on good practices and omissions in this field.

The Recommendation itself should be succinct. The Committee should present the examples of good practice and other explanatory material in the most appropriate manner, whether as an appendix to the Recommendation or as a separate guide.

It should also be succinct and accompanied by a guide of good practice, as well as, if need be, an explanatory memorandum.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives with the relevant qualifications concerning procedures in the framework of international human rights protection instruments, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of 16 members appointed by the following member states: Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

The above-mentioned states may send (an) additional representative(s) to meetings of the Committee at their own expense. Representatives appointed by other member states may participate in the meetings of the Committee at the expense of these states.

Each member state participating in the meetings of the Committee has the right to vote in procedural matters.

5.B

Participants

i.

The following committees may each send a representative to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the corresponding Council of Europe budgetary article:

- the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ);
- the European Commission for Democracy through Law (“Venice Commission”);
- the European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ);
- the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC).

ii.

The Parliamentary Assembly may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iii.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iv.

The Registry of the European Court of Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

v.

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the body that (s)he (they) represent(s).

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission and the Council of the European Union may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

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

iii.

The following bodies and intergovernmental organisations may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR);
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

5.D

Observers

The following non member state:

- Belarus;

and the following non-governmental organisations:

- Amnesty International;
- International Commission of Jurists (ICJ);
- International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH);
- European Roma and Travellers Forum;

and the European Group of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

6.

Working structures and methods:

 

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Committee is:

-

entitled to invite other participants and/ or observers to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses. The DH-RE will have to ask the CDDH for the authorisation necessary to admit observers (other than those already listed in these terms of reference);

-

authorised to seek, as appropriate and within its budgetary appropriations, the advice of experts, to have recourse to studies prepared by consultants and to consult relevant non-governmental organisations and other members of civil society.

7.

Duration:

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 2 The amendments to these draft terms of reference were proposed by the delegation of the United Kingdom.


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