Ministers' Deputies
    Notes on the Agenda

    CM/Notes/909/2.3 10 December 2004
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    909 Meeting, 15 December 2004
    2 Political questions


    2.3 Follow-up to the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004) – Contribution of the Council of Europe to international action against terrorism

    a. Implementation of the activities of the Council of Europe against terrorism
    b. Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) – Abridged report of the 6th meeting (Strasbourg, 13-15 December 2004)

    Reference documents
    CM/Del/Dec(2004)902/2.3b, 904/2.7, 907/2.9 and 908/2.5a, CM(2004)180

    CM(2004)218

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    Action

    a. To resume consideration of this item with a view to taking a decision on draft specific terms of reference to be given to a Group of Specialists on Assistance to Victims and Prevention of Victimisation (PC-S-AV);

    b. To take note of the abridged report of the 6th meeting of the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) (document CM(2004)218 to be issued).

    a. Implementation of the activities of the Council of Europe against terrorism

    Draft specific terms of reference – latest development

    1. In the light of the discussions by the Deputies at the 907th meeting, the comments of the CDDH and the CODEXTER and following additional consultations among delegations and within the Secretariat, in the interest of expediency and compromise, the Secretary General now proposes to revert to the draft terms of reference first presented in document CM/Notes/902/3.2b, amended in the light of subsequent developments. He therefore invites the Deputies to approve the draft terms of reference contained in the Appendix to these Notes.

    Background

    2. It is recalled that for the Deputies 900th meeting (20 October 2004, item 2.3), the Secretariat, in consultation with the members of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), submitted draft specific terms of reference for a Group of Specialists on Assistance to Victims and Prevention of Repeat Victimisation (PC-S-AV) for adoption. At that meeting, the Secretariat proposed to leave the reference to the CDPC in the draft specific terms of reference, while adding that the work should be carried out in close co-operation with the CODEXTER. It is also recalled that on 22 October 2004, the Spanish delegation confirmed in writing the proposals it had announced during the 900th meeting for amending these draft specific terms of reference.

    3. As delegations will recall, the Secretary General carefully considered these proposals and, in turn, made a proposal contained in document CM/Notes/902/3.2b, Appendix III.

    4. At the Deputies' 902nd meeting (3 November 2004, item 2.3b), the Spanish delegation maintained its proposal that the Group of specialists should report to CODEXTER. It was also of the opinion that the Group should examine only questions relating to victims of terrorism and not the more general issues concerning victims referred to in the proposal. Another delegation underlined that in such case the Group would risk duplicating the work of the Group of Specialists on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism (DH-S-TER), which had elaborated Guidelines on the protection of victims of terrorist acts, to be examined by the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) at its coming meeting. The Deputies decided to resume consideration of the draft specific terms of reference to be given to the Group of Specialists on Assistance to Victims and Prevention of [Repeat] Victimisation (PC-S-AV) at their 904th meeting (17 November 2004).

    5. Having considered this item again at the latter meeting, the Deputies agreed to resume consideration of this item at their 907th meeting (24 November 2004), in the light of any comments that may be made by the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) on the draft terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on Victims of Terrorism (TER-S-AVT). The CDDH and CODEXTER were meeting on 23-26 November and 22-23 November 2004, respectively. Their comments were submitted to the Deputies on 24 November 2004 (documents DD(2004)637 and CM(2004)211).

    6. Following consultations with Delegations and within the Secretariat, the Secretary General put forward a revised proposal for draft specific terms of reference to be given to a Group of Specialists on Victims of Terrorism (TER-S-AVT) to be set up under CODEXTER (see Appendix to document CM/Notes/907/2.9a).

    7. However, at their 907th meeting, the Deputies were unable to agree to this revised proposal either, and decided to resume consideration of this item at their 908th meeting (7 December 2004) on the basis of further reflection and consultations. At the time of the 908th meeting, however, consultations among delegations and with capitals were still taking place. The Deputies therefore postponed the item again, this time until their 909th meeting (15 December 2004).

    8. In the intervening time, these consultations have progressed, leading the Secretary General to conclude that the proposal detailed at paragraph 1 of these Notes could meet with the agreement of the Deputies.

    b. Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) – Abridged report of the 6th meeting (Strasbourg, 13-15 December 2004)

    9. The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) will be holding its 6th meeting in Strasbourg on 13-15 December 2004 to continue its work on the draft specific legal instrument for the prevention of terrorism. It is recalled that the Deputies have already decided to transmit the draft legal instrument resulting from that meeting to the Parliamentary Assembly and to the Commissioner for Human Rights for an opinion. The abridged report of CODEXTER's meeting will be contained in document CM(2004)218, which will be distributed to delegations in the meeting room on 15 December 2004. The Deputies are invited to take note of it.

    Financing:
    The financing can be met with reallocation within existing appropriations for 2004 and within proposed appropriations for 2005.

    DRAFT DECISIONS

    909th meeting – 15 December 2004

    Item 2.3a

    Follow-up to the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004) – Contribution of the Council of Europe to international action against terrorism

    a. Implementation of the activities of the Council of Europe against terrorism
    (CM/Del/Dec(2004)902/2.3b, 904/2.7, 907/2.9 and 908/2.5a, CM(2004)180)

    Decision

    The Deputies approved the specific terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on Assistance to Victims and Prevention of Victimisation (PC-S-AV), as they appear at Appendix …. to the present volume of Decisions <see Appendix to the present Notes>.

    Item 2.3b

    Follow-up to the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004) – Contribution of the Council of Europe to international action against terrorism

    b. Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) – Abridged report of the 6th meeting (Strasbourg, 13-15 December 2004)
    (CM(2004)218)

    Decision

    The Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 6th meeting of the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) as it appears in document CM(2004)218.

    Appendix
    (Item 2.5)

    Draft specific terms of reference

    1. Name of the Committee:

    Group of Specialists on Assistance to Victims and Prevention of Victimisation (PC-S-AV)

    2. Type of Committee:

    Group of Specialists

    3. Source of terms of reference:

    European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)

    4. Specific Terms of Reference:

    According to Recommendation No. R (96) 8 on crime policy in Europe in a time of change, member States of the Council of Europe should have a coherent and rational crime policy directed towards, inter alia, the provision of assistance to victims. Member States' policies in the field have to date been guided by, inter alia, Recommendation No. R (87) 21 on assistance to victims and the prevention of victimisation. Recommendation No. R (87) 21 was meant to complement the 1983 European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crime (ETS 116) and Recommendation No. R (85) 11 on the position of the victim in the framework of criminal law and procedure; since in many cases the intervention of the criminal justice system was not considered sufficient, alone, to eliminate the serious physical, psychological, social and financial consequences of victimisation, the aim of Recommendation No. R (87) 21 was to promote other forms of assistance to victims of criminal offences in order to meet their needs in the most appropriate way, and to coordinate the efforts made in this connection by public and private services.

    Since the adoption of Recommendation No. R (87) 21, there have been significant developments in the field in Europe. Member States' legislation and practice have evolved, as documented in several surveys conducted in this connection (under, inter alia, the European Union Phare Horizontal Project and Grotius Programme). The Committee of Ministers has adopted Recommendations Nos. R (91) 11 concerning sexual exploitation, pornography and prostitution of, and trafficking in, children and young adults and R (2000)11 on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, both of which provide for assistance to particular categories of victims. The European Ministers of Justice have invited the Committee of Ministers, where necessary, to adopt new rules concerning the improvement of, inter alia, the support of victims of terrorist acts and their families (resolution No. 1 on Combating Terrorism of the 25th Conference of European Ministers of Justice, Sofia, 9-10 October 2003) – a matter currently under review by the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) (cf. documents CODEXTER (2004) 16, CODEXTER (2004) 25 and CODEXTER (2004) 34 and the Country profiles on legal and institutional capacity against terrorism). The Council of the European Union has issued a Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings, Article 13 of which concerns specialist services and victim-support organisations. Moreover, the European Forum for Victim Services has been established.

    Nevertheless, in 2003 the Criminological Scientific Council (PC-CSC), having commissioned a study on the relevance today of Recommendation No. R (87) 21 [PC-CSC (2003)1] and held a hearing of experts on this matter, concluded that member States needed further guidance on the development of general victim assistance and victim services. It considered that a new recommendation should be prepared on this topic that would update Recommendation No. R (87) 21, to the exclusion of its provisions on the prevention of victimisation, which, in the Criminological Scientific Council's view, concerned the more general topic of crime prevention (with the exception of the issue of repeat victimisation).

    Under the authority of the CDPC, the PC-S-AV is called upon to elaborate a draft Recommendation (updating Recommendation No. R (87) 21) setting out, inter alia, appropriate standards and principles in this area. In carrying out this work, it should take into account, in particular:

    The European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crime (ETS 116);

    Recommendation N° R (83) 7 on the participation of the public in crime policy;

    Recommendation N° R (85) 11 on the position of the victim in the framework of criminal law and procedure;

    Recommendation N° R (91) 11 concerning sexual exploitation, pornography and prostitution of, and trafficking in, children and young adults;

    Recommendation N° R (97) 13 concerning the intimidation of witnesses and the rights of the defence;

    Recommendation N° R (99) 19 concerning mediation in penal matters and the follow-up study commissioned in this connection by the Criminological Scientific Council (PC-CSC) [PC-CSC (2002)12rev]

    Recommendation N° (2000) 11 on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation;

    Resolution No. 1 on Combating Terrorism of the 25th Conference of European Ministers of Justice and the relevant reports of the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER);

    the Guidelines on human rights and the fight against terrorism adopted by the Committee of Ministers in July 2002;

    [the Guidelines on the protection of victims of terrorist acts adopted by the Committee of Ministers in December 2004];

    the work of the CODEXTER regarding the elaboration of an international instrument on the prevention of terrorism, which includes provisions on protection of victims of terrorism;

    the European Union Council Framework Decision of 15 March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings as well as the European Union Council Directive 2004/80/EC of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims;

    and any other texts adopted or work in progress within the Council of Europe or the European Union which could have an impact on the work of the Group of Specialists.

    In order to do so, it should consider:

    · the situation and practice regarding the protection and compensation of victims of terrorism in member states with a view to making appropriate proposals to the Committee of Ministers
    · the available comparative analysis of levels of victim services and their effectiveness, including the use of 'new media' to raise awareness of the availability of those services
    · the role of governmental and non-governmental bodies in providing comprehensive dedicated services for victims of all crimes, including 'new crimes' involving technology and economic crimes
    · the training and supervision given to volunteers and paid staff
    · the information and assistance given to victims, including their own determination of what they need
    · the protection of victims' privacy
    · the question of private insurance, including collective insurance arrangements available in some member States
    · the problem of repeat victimisation, especially in connection with domestic violence, trafficking and property offences.

    5. Membership of the Group of Specialists:

    a. The Group shall be composed of seven (7) specialists to be appointed by the Secretary General;

    b. two representatives of the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER);

    c. two representatives of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH);

    d. the Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses for each of the aforementioned specialists and the representatives of the CODEXTER and the CDDH;

    e. the Council of the European Union and the European Commission may participate in the work of the Group of Specialists, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses;

    f. the following may also send a representative to meetings of the Group of Specialists, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

    The International Criminal Court (ICC).

    g. The Bureau of the CDPC may authorise the admission of other observers to the Group of Specialists including relevant associations of victims of terrorism.

    6. Working structures and methods:

    In order to carry out its functions, the Group may seek the advice of external experts, have recourse to studies by consultants and consult with relevant associations of victims.

    The PC-S-AV will follow a twin-track approach: firstly, it will give priority, in terms of time and content, to assistance to the victims of terrorism, on which the PC-S-AV will report both to the CDPC and to the CODEXTER by 30 June 2005 while keeping the CDDH informed, and only subsequently, will it concentrate on the wider aspects of assistance to victims, on which it will report to the CDPC.

    7. Duration:

    These terms of reference will expire on 30 June 2006.



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