Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/1048/4.4 6 February 20091
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1048 Meeting, 11-12 February 2009
4 Human rights


4.4 Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

a. Abridged report of the 67th meeting (Strasbourg, 25-28 November 2008)
b. CDDH preliminary opinion on the question of putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity
c. Terms of reference for the CDDH and bodies answerable to it:

    - Request for renewal of the terms of reference of:
    * the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH);
    * the Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV);
    * the Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of human rights (DH-PR);
    * the Committee of Experts on issues relating to the protection of national minorities (DH-MIN)
    - Request for extension of the terms of reference of:
    * the Working group on human rights protection in the context of accelerated asylum procedures (GT-DH-AS);
    * the DH-DEV Group on human rights of members of the armed forces (DH-DEV-FA)
    - Request for creation of terms of reference for:
    * the Committee of experts on impunity (DH-I);
    * the Committee of experts on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (DH-LGBT);
    * the Committee of experts on a draft statute for the European Court of Human Rights (DH-PR-STAT)

Item prepared by the GR-H on 3 February 2009

Reference documents
CM(2009)7, CM(2009)7 add, DD(2008)678

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Action

To take note of the abridged report of the 67th meeting of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and to adopt the relevant decisions

To approve the draft terms of reference for the CDDH and bodies answerable to it.

At its meeting of 3 February 2009, the GR-H examined the abridged report of the 67th meeting of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) which appears in document CM(2009)7, including the activity report of the Committee of experts on issues relating to the protection of national minorities (DH-MIN) which appears in document CM(2009)7 add, as well as the CDDH preliminary opinion on putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity, which appears in document DD(2008)678.

It also examined the requests for renewal, extension and creation of terms of reference of the CDDH and bodies answerable to it as they were set out in appendices 5-13 of document CM(2009)7. Following a discussion, the Group decided to modify the draft terms of reference of the DH-DEV (Appendix 6) and the DH-PR (Appendix 7) to indicate that they will expire on 31 December 2009. The revised terms of reference of these two subordinate groups are appended to the present Notes. The Deputies are invited to approve them together with those of the other groups appended to document CM(2009)7.

The GR-H agreed to transmit these documents to the Deputies for adoption of the relevant decisions at their 1048th meeting on 11-12 February 2009 without further debate (item placed in the box), with the exception of the draft terms of reference.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISIONS

1048th meeting – 11-12 February 2009

Item 4.4a,b

Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

a. Abridged report of the 67th meeting (Strasbourg, 25-28 November 2008)
b. CDDH preliminary opinion on the question of putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity
(CM(2009)7, CM(2009)7 add and DD(2008)678)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. took note of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) Preliminary Opinion on putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity, as it appears in document DD(2008)678;

2. took note of the CDDH practical proposals for the supervision of the execution of judgments of the Court in situations of slow execution (CM(2009)7, Appendix 2) and agreed to revert to them in the context of a forthcoming Human Rights meeting (DH);

3. in the light of above decisions, took note of the abridged report of the 67th meeting of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) as a whole, as it appears in documents CM(2009)7 and CM(2009)7 add.

DRAFT DECISIONS

1048th meeting – 11-12 February 2009

Item 4.4c

Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

c. Terms of reference for the CDDH and bodies answerable to it:

      - Request for renewal of the terms of reference of:
      * the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH);
      * the Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV);
      * the Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of human rights (DH-PR);
      * the Committee of Experts on issues relating to the protection of national minorities (DH-MIN)
      - Request for extension of the terms of reference of:
      * the Working group on human rights protection in the context of accelerated asylum procedures (GT-DH-AS);
      * the DH-DEV Group on human rights of members of the armed forces (DH-DEV-FA)
      - Request for creation of terms of reference for:
      * the Committee of experts on impunity (DH-I);
      * the Committee of experts on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (DH-LGBT);
      * the Committee of experts on a draft statute for the European Court of Human Rights (DH-PR-STAT)

(CM(2009)7)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. approved the terms of reference of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 5, document CM(2009)7 >>;

2. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 1 to the present Notes on the agenda >>;

3. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of human rights (DH-PR), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 2 to the present Notes on the agenda >>;

4. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts on issues relating to the protection of national minorities (DH-MIN), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 8, document CM(2009)7 >>;

5. approved the terms of reference of the Working Group on human rights protection in the context of accelerated asylum procedures (GT-DH-AS), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 9, document CM(2009)7 >>;

6. approved the terms of reference of the DH-DEV Group on human rights of members of the armed forces (DH-DEV-FA), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 10, document CM(2009)7 >>;

7. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts on impunity (DH-I), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 11, document CM(2009)7 >>;

8. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (DH-LGBT), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see Appendix 12, document CM(2009)7 >>;

9. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of experts on a draft statute for the European Court of Human Rights (DH-PR-STAT), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions. << see Appendix 13, document CM(2009)7 >>

* * *

Appendix 1

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

2008/DGHL/1408 “Coherence and synergies in the development of HR law and policy of different fora (UN, EU, OSCE)”
2008/DGHL/1409 “Substantive legal analysis of HR issues and input in the development of COE policies on such issues”

Project relevance:

The action plan of the third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005; CM(2005)80 final 17 May 2005), notably chapters I.2. “Protecting and promoting human rights through the other Council of Europe institutions and mechanisms”, and III.6. “Fostering intercultural dialogue”.

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 source of political justification and framework of the current work of the DH-DEV stem also from the political texts adopted at the European Ministerial Conference on Human Rights (Rome, 3-4 November 2000): Declaration “The European Convention on Human Rights at 50: what future for the protection of human rights in Europe?”; Resolution II “Respect for human rights, a key factor for democratic stability and cohesion in Europe: current issues”.

Project added value:

The Council of Europe is the most suitable European body to achieve intergovernmental cooperation work in the field of human rights. Under the authority of the CDDH, the work of the DH-DEV contributes to the elaboration, promotion and implementation of Council of Europe standards in the field of human rights, in full compliance with the core values of the Organisation. For instance, Protocols No.12 (general prohibition of discrimination) and No. 13 (abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances) to the ECHR.

Having particular regard to the evolving case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and emerging new challenges and issues, the DH-DEV plays a key role in examining these issues ( for example : recently published manual on human rights and the environment; examination underway of issues raised by hate speech and the wearing of religious symbols in public areas).

 

Work carried out by the DH-DEV lends itself to partnerships with other international organisations, governmental or otherwise, which are represented at its meetings. It pays particular attention at avoiding any duplication and providing contributions from its own specific “human rights” perspective (see also Project 2008/DGHL/1408 mentioned above).

Financial information:

The DH-DEV (47 members + president) meets once or twice a year, depending on the need of its agenda and other priorities of the CDDH.

The maximum yearly cost is about €121 000 = €90 000 (experts costs) + €20 000 (interpretation costs) + €4 000 (translation costs) + €4 000 (production of documents) + €3 000 (publication costs).

Minimum yearly cost (one meeting): about €61 000.

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV)

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts for the development of human rights (DH-DEV)

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:

-

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

-

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 chapters I.2. “Protecting and promoting human rights through the other Council of Europe institutions and mechanisms” and III.6. “Fostering intercultural dialogue”;

-

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, CETS No. 005) and the European Social Charter revised (1996, CETS No. 163).

 

Under the authority of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and in relation to Projects 2008/DGHL/1408 “Coherence and synergies in the development of HR law and policy of different fora (UN, EU, OSCE)” and 2008/DGHL/1409 “Substantive legal analysis of HR issues and input in the development of COE policies on such issues” of the Programme of Activities, the Committee is instructed to:

i.

contribute to the strengthening, extension and promotion of the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights through the preparation of appropriate instruments (e.g. conventions, protocols, recommendations, declarations or guidelines) or documents (e.g. reports or surveys);

ii.

carry out any other activity which the CDDH might submit to it in the execution of its own terms of reference.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives with the relevant qualifications in human rights law and policy.

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 expert has been elected Chairperson).

5.B

Participants

i.

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.

ii.

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.

iii.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) 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 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:

- the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) / the 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 (CIJ);
- International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH);
- European Roma and Travellers Forum;
- 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:

i.

Within the limits of available budgetary appropriations and to expedite the progress of its work, the Committee may entrust specific tasks to ad hoc advisory groups (i.e. groups of specialists, of limited composition, not necessarily drawn from the parent committee) and may, where necessary, call on external experts or consultants.

ii.

Depending on its agenda and within the limits of available budgetary appropriations, the Committee may invite to its meetings or organise hearings with representatives of NGOs and of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (NHRIs), as well as any other third party in a position to contribute to its work.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.

* * *

Appendix 2

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of Human Rights (DH-PR)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of Human Rights (DH-PR)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

2008/DGHL/1402 “Enhancing the effectiveness of the ECHR protection at national level”
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 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, CETS No. 001) – Contribution to core values: protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and democratic pluralist system.

The source of political justification and framework of the current work of the DH-PR stem also from the political texts adopted at the European Ministerial Conference on Human Rights (Rome, 3-4 November 2000): Declaration “The European Convention on Human Rights at 50: what future for the protection of human rights in Europe?”; Resolution I “Institutional and functional arrangement for the protection of human rights at national and European level”. More recently, the Ministers’ Deputies submitted their report CM(2006)39 final to the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers on “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights – The implementation of the reform measures adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 114th Session (12 May 2004)”. Finally, at its 116th Session, the Committee of Ministers adopted on 19 May 2006 the “Declaration on sustained action to ensure the effectiveness of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national and European levels”.

 

This work is necessary given the need to preserve the effectiveness of the human rights’ protection system in Europe, which is faced with a constant influx of applications, as well as to improve the implementation of the ECHR at the national level.

Project added value:

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

Under the authority of the CDDH, the work of the DH-PR contributes not only to the improvement of the human rights protection system at the European level (the best recent examples being Protocol No. 14 to the ECHR amending the control system of the Convention and the Rules of the Committee of Ministers for the supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements, adopted on 10 May 2006), but also at national level.

The DH-PR is also instructed to submit to the Ministers’ Deputies concrete proposals to address situations of slow and negligent execution of judgments of the Court.

Financial information:

The DH-PR (47 members + president) meets once or twice a year, depending on the need of its agenda and other priorities of the CDDH.

The maximum yearly cost is about €121 000 = 90 000 (experts costs) + €20 000 (interpretation costs) + €4 000 (translation costs) + €4 000 (production of documents) + €3 000 (publication costs).

Minimum yearly cost (one meeting): about €61 000.

Draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of Human Rights (DH-PR)

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts for the improvement of procedures for the protection of Human Rights (DH-PR)

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:

-

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

-

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 report CM(2006)39 final by the Ministers’ Deputies to the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers on “Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights – The implementation of the reform measures adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 114th Session (12 May 2004)” ;

-

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, see document Dec-19.05.2006E) ;

-

the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, CETS No. 005) and Protocol No. 14 to the ECHR, amending the control system of the Convention (2004, CETS No. 194).

 

Under the authority of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and in relation with the implementation of the Projects 2008/DGHL/1402 “Enhancing the effectiveness of the ECHR protection at national level” and 2008/DGHL/1403 “Enhancing the control system of the ECHR” of the Programme of Activities, the Committee is instructed to:

i.

carry out activities concerning the improvement of the procedure for safeguarding human rights concerning the Intergovernmental Programme of Activities, through the preparation of appropriate instruments (e.g. conventions, protocols, recommendations, declarations or guidelines) or documents (e.g. reports or surveys) ;

ii.

study in particular improvements in the procedures under the European Convention on Human Rights;

iii.

carry out any other activity which the CDDH might submit to it in execution of its own terms of reference.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

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

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 expert has been elected Chairperson).

5.B

Participants

i.

The following Committees may each send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the expense of the corresponding CoE budget sub-heads:

- European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ);
- European Commission for Efficiency though Justice (CEPEJ);
- European Commission for democracy though 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 sending body.

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:

- the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) / the 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 (CIJ);
- International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH);
- European Roma and Travellers’ Forum;
- 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:

i.

Within the limits of available budgetary appropriations and to expedite the progress of its work, the Committee may entrust specific tasks to ad hoc advisory groups (i.e. groups of specialists, of limited composition, not necessarily drawn from the parent committee) and may, where necessary, call on external experts or consultants.

ii.

Depending on its agenda and within the limits of available budgetary appropriations, the Committee may invite to its meetings or organise hearings with representatives of NGOs and of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (NHRIs), as well as any other third party in a position to contribute to its work.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.

Note 1 This document was 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.


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