CM/Notes/761/4.4 / Turkey and the European Court of Human Rights

Ministers' Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/761/4.4 (Restricted) 16 July 2001

761 Meeting, 18 July 2001
4 Human Rights

4.4  Turkey and the European Court of Human Rights

Revised draft reply to the Written Question No. 390 by Mr Jurgens and others

Reference documents
- CM/Del/Dec(2001)745/4.1, 748/4.5, 750/4.7

- CM(2001)39rev.,

- CM/Inf(2001)7


The Deputies are invited to consider the appended draft reply to Written Question No. 390
with a view to its adoption.

The Deputies considered Written Question No. 390 concerning execution by Turkey of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights at their 742nd, 745th, 748th and 750th meetings.


At the first of these exchanges of views, the Turkish authorities were invited to provide additional information about the various measures expected by the committee in the context of its supervision of the execution of the judgments mentioned in the Written Question (cf. the conspectus presented in document CM/Inf(2001)7 of 9 March 2001).


By letter of 27 March 2001, the Turkish Delegation provided the text of the “National Programme” drawn up in the framework of Turkey's candidacy for European Union membership (text distributed to all delegations on 28 March 2001). During the discussion at the 748th meeting (3 April 2001) the need for additional clarification was emphasised, particularly concerning the scope of the reforms envisaged in the programme and the time-scale for their adoption (cf. the Director General's letter of 2 April 2001 which was distributed to all delegations at the 748th meeting).


On 28 May 2001, the Turkish Representation sent the Secretariat certain additional information with a view to the preparation of a reply to Written Question No. 390.


Basing itself on the information available to date and on the observations made concerning them in the Committee of Ministers, the Secretariat has drawn up the appended draft reply in consultation with the delegations of Turkey and other states concerned.




Financing assured: YES





761th meeting – 18 July 2001



Item 4.4



Turkey and the European Court of Human Rights

Revised draft reply to the Written Question No. 390 by Mr Jurgens and others

(CM/Del/Dec(2001)745/4.1, 748/4.5, 750/4.7, CM(2001)39rev., CM/Inf(2001)7)




The Deputies adopted the following reply to Written Question No. 390 submitted by Mr Jurgens and his colleagues:


“1.        The Committee of Ministers acknowledges Written Question No. 390 submitted by Mr Jurgens and his colleagues. It can assure the honourable Parliamentarians that it is fully aware of the problems raised in the Question. Member States of the Council of Europe must take rapid and adequate action to comply with their obligation to abide by the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in cases to which they are parties.


2.         The execution of the judgments referred to in the Question is regularly supervised by the Committee of Ministers in accordance with its responsibilities under Article 46, paragraph 2 of the Convention. In the course of this examination, the Committee has acknowledged that significant progress has been achieved in certain areas, while also noting that certain specific individual and/or general measures referred to in the Written Question have not yet been adopted. The importance and urgency of such measures have been repeatedly emphasised, particularly, in view of the seriousness of the violations found and the time elapsed since the judgments concerned were delivered.


3.         The Turkish authorities have recently transmitted to the Committee of Ministers the Turkish National Programme which sets out a comprehensive framework of reforms envisaged for the adoption of the acquis communautaire in the context of Turkey's candidature to the EU (text transmitted to the Assembly on 18 April 2001 by the Chairman of the Ministers' Deputies).


4.         The Committee would emphasise that its examination of the National Programme is strictly limited to those aspects which may be relevant for the execution of the Court's judgments in cases before it, including those referred to in the Written Question. A preliminary examination of the National Programme suggests that it could contribute to the rapid adoption of a number of the reforms required in the context of the execution of these judgments. In this context, the Committee welcomes the fact that certain important reforms and initiatives mentioned in connection with pending cases are scheduled for the short-term, i.e. are to be implemented by March 2002. Of particular interest are the constitutional and legislative reforms aimed at improving freedom of expression (notably Article 312 of the Criminal Code, Articles 7 and 8 of the Anti-terrorism Act), as well as the training programmes in human rights for judges and prosecutors.


5.         That said, the National Programme does not in itself provide sufficient indications on a number of points for the purposes of the Committee of Ministers' specific duty under Article 46, paragraph 2 of the Convention of supervising the execution of the judgments in question. For example, despite the urgency of the matter, there is no guidance on the question of immediate measures to erase the continuing consequences for the applicants of criminal convictions imposed in violation of the freedom of expression. Certain other important reforms - which the Committee welcomes - only appear as medium term priorities, i.e. for 2 or 3 years hence. This is notably the case of the reforms aimed at creating efficient remedies against abuses by members of the security forces (reforms of the Criminal Code and of the Code of Criminal Procedure), preventing unjustified dissolutions of political parties (reform of the law on political parties) and reducing the length of police custody. Given the urgency of these reforms, the Committee of Ministers encourages the Turkish authorities to do their utmost to accelerate their adoption.


6.         With regard specifically to the non payment of just satisfaction in the Loizidou case, the Committee recalls its position as expressed in the recent third Interim Resolution DH(2001)80 of 26 June 2001.


7.         The Committee of Ministers will continue to pursue its examination of these and other outstanding points, until full and proper execution of the Court's judgments has been secured, notably in the context of its regular Human Rights meetings. It will define its strategy in the light of the additional information and clarifications which it expects from the Turkish authorities in the near future. In this context, the Committee will bear in mind the States' collective responsibility for the enforcement of the rights protected in the Convention and the recent call from the Rome Ministerial Conference that the Committee's execution control be made more effective and transparent.”



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