1073rd meeting – 9 and 14 December 2009

Item 10.4

29th Conference of the Council of Europe Ministers of Justice, “Breaking the silence – united against domestic violence” (Tromsø, Norway, 18-19 June 2009) –
Report of the Secretary General
(CM(2009)134 and CM/Del/Dec(2009)1067/10.2)

Decisions

The Deputies

a) concerning Resolution No. 1 on preventing and responding to domestic violence:

1. entrusted the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), in co-operation with the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) and the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), to examine the following objectives to be taken into account for inclusion in common rules related to the status and rights of victims in criminal proceedings:

a. ensuring, throughout the criminal justice process, respect for the personal situation, rights and dignity of victims and protection against any intimidation, harassment or abuse;

b. recognising and improving the status of victims in the investigation and the criminal proceedings;

c. ensuring effective access to justice by the provision of information, legal advice and, where appropriate, legal aid;

d. ensuring specific assistance and protection to the most vulnerable victims;

e. in cases where it is decided not to prosecute an alleged offender, considering ways for victims to have the decision re-examined;

f. providing for compensation schemes, including expenses incurred in relation to criminal proceedings;

2. entrusted the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), in co-operation with other competent bodies of the Council of Europe, to examine existing best practices in member states, in full respect of human rights, related to:

a. the assessment of the risk of re-offending and the danger to victims and society posed by perpetrators of acts of domestic violence;

b. the supervision and treatment of such perpetrators in serious and repeated cases, in closed settings and in the community, including surveillance techniques;

c. programmes and measures aimed at helping perpetrators improve self-control and behaviour-management and, where possible, repairing the harm done to victims;

3. entrusted the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), in co-operation with the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), in the light of the results of the work by the Ad hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO), to examine, taking into account the need to protect both the rights of victims and those of perpetrators:

a. forms of domestic violence directed in particular against children and the elderly, and propose responses to them;

b. challenges faced by victims of domestic violence and propose targeted solutions to increase their protection and reduce their vulnerability;

c. the effectiveness of existing civil and administrative legal remedies and measures and propose further ones aimed at preventing domestic violence or responding to it;

* * *

b) Concerning Resolution No. 2 on mutual assistance in criminal matters:

1. invited member states:

a. if they have not already done so, to sign and ratify the 2nd Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters as a matter of priority;

b. to review their reservations to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its Additional Protocols, with a view to withdrawing them if possible, in order to remove all obstacles to international co-operation;

2. invited the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) to strengthen its activities aimed at developing and enhancing measures to render judicial co-operation in criminal matters more effective all over Europe, in particular by intensifying co-operation with the European Union, including the European Judicial Network;

3. called on member states to consider contributing financially to the project on effective practical tools to facilitate judicial co-operation in criminal matters (VC/2248);

* * *

c) Concerning Resolution No. 3 on Council of Europe action to promote the rule of law:

instructed the Secretary General:

a. to make proposals to enhance co-ordination of the Council of Europe’s various activities regarding the rule of law;

c. to examine the feasibility of and methodology for a review of the rule of law situation, using the existing bodies and avoiding duplication with existing evaluation mechanisms, for the purpose of targeting better technical co-operation and the development of standards, and to report back to the Deputies before May 2010;

c. to explore ways and means to intensify co-operation with the European Union in this field, pursuant to the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, as well as with the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe;

d. to publish the study presented on the Council of Europe and the rule of law contained in document CM(2008)170;

* * *

d) having regard to the above decisions and to the decisions adopted on 7 October 2009, took note of the Secretary General’s report, as it appears in document CM(2009)134 as a whole.


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