Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
GR-H
Rapporteur Group on human rights

GR-H(2009)6 1 April 20091
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Annotated Agenda
Meeting of 2 April at 10 a.m. and 14 April 2009 at 3 p.m.

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Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

    a. Debate on the draft resolution on the implementation of the Convention by:

09/10 - Albania (CM(2009)…)

As the document will not be ready for this meeting, the Chair will propose to postpone the examination of this item to the next meeting.

09/07 - Ukraine (CM(2009)33 rev – to be issued)

The GR-H is invited to examine a revised draft which has been drawn up on the basis of proposals for amendments put forward by delegations during the last meeting.

b. Election of an expert to the list of experts eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee – Candidates in respect of:

09/11 - Cyprus (CM(2009)44)
09/12 - the Russian Federation (CM(2009)35)

The GR-H is invited to hold an informal exchange of views on the candidates presented with a view to an election by the Deputies at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009).

09/13 Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

    a. Abridged report of the 68th meeting (Strasbourg, 24-27 March 2009)
    CM(2009)51 (document to be issued)

    b. Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights
    CM(2009)51 add prov

      i. Activity report “Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights”

      ii. CDDH final opinion on putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity

      iii. Opinion of the CAHDI (transmitted to the CDDH) on the public international law aspects of the advisability and modalities of inviting the European Court of Human Rights to put into practice certain procedures which are already envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity, in particular the new single judge and committee procedures
      CM(2009)56 add

In examining the abridged report of the 68th meeting of the CDDH (CM(2009)51 – to be issued), the group is invited to give priority to the examination of the CDDH’s work in relation to the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights, which appears in document CM(2009)51 add prov, and which is due to be transmitted to the 119th Ministerial Session (12 May 2009).

It should be recalled that, at the 118th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 7 May 2008), the Ministers “stressed the indispensable role of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the need to actively pursue the work to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention’s control system.” The Ministers expressed their wish to receive a full report at their 119th Session in 2009.

On 21 May 2008, the Deputies instructed the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to prepare such a report (CM/Del/Dec(2008)1027/1.5).

At its 68th meeting (24-27 March 2009), the CDDH adopted its report (Activity report “Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights”). In addition, the CDDH also adopted its “CDDH final opinion on the question of putting into practice certain procedures envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity”.

Concerning the “Final opinion”, it should be recalled that on 19 November 2008, the Ministers’ Deputies, having noted “with grave concern the continuing increase in the volume of individual applications brought before the Court and its impact on the processing of applications by the Court which creates an exceptional situation and threatens to undermine the effective operation of the Convention system” and having “agreed that it is urgent to adopt measures aimed at enabling the Court to increase its case-processing capacity”, “requested the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to give, before 1 December 2008, a preliminary opinion on the advisability and modalities of inviting the Court to put into practice certain procedures which are already envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity, in particular the new single-judge and committee procedures, and a final opinion on the same matter by 31 March 2009” (see CM/Del/Dec(2008)1041/4.7).

In the same decision, the Deputies requested the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) to give, by 21 March 2009, an opinion on the public international law aspects of this matter and to inform the CDDH of this opinion through the Secretariat.

The Deputies took note of the preliminary opinion of the CDDH at its 1048th meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1048/4.4).

The “Final opinion” of the CDDH fully takes into account the above-mentioned opinion of the CAHDI which itself appears in document CM(2009)56 add.

The group is invited to hold an exchange of views on document CM(2009)51 add prov with a view to preparing relevant draft decisions to be submitted to the 1054th meeting of the Deputies (15-16 April 2009).

09/14 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) – Examination of proposals for the nomination of a member and a deputy member in respect of France and of a member in respect of Liechtenstein
Resolution Res(2002)8, DG-HL(2009)1

The GR-H is invited to hold an informal exchange of views on the curricula vitae of the proposed member and deputy member in respect of France and member in respect of Liechtenstein, with a view to submitting them to the Deputies at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009) so that the appropriate decision may be taken without further debate (item placed in the box).

09/15 European Social Charter – European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) – Procedure for the election of a member
GR-H(2009)5

The group is invited to consider the details for the procedure regarding the election of one member of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), resulting from the fact that one seat is vacant in Group IV since 6 March 2009 following the resignation of Ms Annalisa Ciampi. The procedure proposed for the election in document GR-H(2009)5 is based on the one used for previous elections, including as regards the composition of the groups of states (see the draft decisions in that document).

09/16 Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)
CM(2009)…

a. Abridged report of the 9th meeting (25-26 March 2009)
b. Draft terms of reference for subsidiary groups to the CDMC:

    - Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)
    - Ad hoc Advisory Group on Public Service Media Governance (MC-S-PG)
    - Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross-border Internet (MC-S-CI)
    - Ad hoc Advisory Group on the Protection of Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations (MC-S-NR)

This item is postponed to a forthcoming meeting.

08/33 “Assessment of transit and processing centres as a response to mixed flows of migrants and asylum seekers” – Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1808 (2007)

    REC_1808 (2007), CM/AS(2009)Rec1808 prov, CM/AS(2009)Rec1808 prov2, CM/AS(2009)Rec1808 prov3

At the group’s meeting of 10 March last, the Chairman recalled the need to promptly provide the Deputies with a draft reply to that Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation adopted in October 2007. The group held an exchange of views on the draft contained in document CM/AS(2009)Rec1808 prov2 as well as on the amendments to the draft proposed by Malta in document DD(2009)78. A number of the proposed amendments were welcomed by the group but several delegations opposed adding new elements as suggested in document DD(2009)78.

The group is invited to examine a revised draft reply, as contained in document CM/AS(2009)Rec1808 prov3, which the secretariat has prepared in consultation with the delegations concerned.

If an agreement can be reached within the group, this draft will be transmitted to the Deputies for adoption without further discussion at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009).

09/17 “Member states’ duty to co-operate with the European Court of Human Rights” – Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1809 (2007)
REC_1809 (2007), CM/AS(2009)Rec1809 prov

At their 1009th meeting (24 October 2007, item 3.1a), the Deputies adopted the following interim reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1809 (2007):

    “The Committee of Ministers congratulates the Parliamentary Assembly on the work accomplished in the preparation and adoption of Resolution 1571 (2007) and Recommendation 1809 (2007) on member states' duty to co-operate with the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee shares the view that the issues raised in these texts are of great importance for the effectiveness of the European system of human rights protection and accordingly intends to take without delay steps to examine the advisability of the action recommended by the Assembly”.

The Deputies also instructed the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to examine the advisability of drawing up a recommendation to member states along the lines proposed by the Assembly.

At its 68th meeting (24-27 March 2009), the CDDH adopted its opinion. The draft reply presented in document CM/AS(2009)Rec1809 prov has been drawn up in the light of these considerations.

If an agreement can be reached within the group, this draft will be transmitted to the Deputies for adoption without further discussion at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009). In that context the GR-H may also wish to propose that the Deputies adopt a decision giving ad hoc terms of reference to its Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to prepare a draft Resolution addressing the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly in its Resolution 1571(2007) and its Recommendation 1809 (2007), including with respect to the protection of applicants, their lawyers or family members, investigations to be carried out and measures to be taken. Draft ad hoc terms of reference appear in Appendix 1 to this annotated agenda.

09/18 “Indicators for media in a democracy” – Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1848 (2008)
REC_1848 (2008), CM/AS(2009)Rec1848 prov

Recommendation 1848 (2008), together with the related Resolution 1636, were adopted by the Assembly on 3 October 2008. At their 1038th meeting (15 October 2008), the Deputies decided to bring the Recommendation to the attention of their governments and agreed to communicate it to the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) for information and possible comments and invited the GR-H to prepare a draft reply for adoption at one of their forthcoming meetings.

The comments submitted by the CDMC on this recommendation are appended to this annotated agenda (see Appendix 2).

The Secretariat has prepared the draft reply contained in document CM/AS(2008)Rec1848 prov, which the Committee is invited to examine. If there is agreement within the group, the reply will be transmitted to the Ministers’ Deputies for adoption at their 1055th meeting on 22 April 2009, without further discussion.

- Any other business

- Date of the next meeting

Thursday, 18 June 2009 at 10 a.m.

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Appendix 1

Draft Ad hoc terms of reference with a view to examining human rights protection in the context of member states’ duty to cooperate with the European Court of Human Rights

1. Name of Committee: Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

2. Source: Committee of Ministers

3. Duration: These terms of reference shall expire on 31 December 2010.

4. Terms of reference:

To prepare a draft Resolution addressing the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly in its Resolution 1571(2007) and its Recommendation 1809 (2007), including with respect to the protection of applicants, their lawyers or family members, investigation to be carried out and measures to be taken.

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Appendix 2

Comments of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)2 on Recommendation 1848 (2008) of the Parliamentary Assembly

1. The Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) reaffirms the importance of free expression and information without which there can be no democracy. It agrees with the Parliamentary Assembly’s request that the Committee of Ministers endorses the list of media indicators for media in a democracy contained in its Resolution 1636 (2008).

2. The CDMC recalls the related Council of Europe standards as set out in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and in normative texts on freedom of expression and information adopted by the Committee of Ministers. It welcomes the initiative of the Parliamentary Assembly to compile these standards and translate them into a set of indicators, thereby highlighting the importance of these standards for a democratic society.

3. The CDMC believes that, when interpreting the indicators, regard should be had to the sources on which these standards are based – the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law and the Committee of Ministers’ normative texts in the media field, which set out the relevant standards in detail.

4. The CDMC recalls that, according to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, it is the obligation of member states to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression and information within their jurisprudence. It believes that the indicators will be a good tool to help member states to fulfil this obligation and to raise awareness on Council of Europe standards on freedom of expression and information. The list can be usefully relied upon by national authorities, media professionals, civil society organisations and monitoring bodies when assessing the situation of freedom of expression and information in member states.

5. The CDMC takes note of the Parliamentary Assembly’s Recommendation to the Committee of Ministers to establish indicators for a functioning media environment and to draw up periodical reports with country profiles of all member states concerning their media situations. The CDMC would like to recall in this context that it awaits further instructions from the Committee of Ministers on the subject of a possible future mechanism for promoting respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The PACE indicators would be of great help to such a mechanism, should it be created. The CDMC feels that it would be for the mechanism itself, and/or for other watchdog bodies or arrangements, to develop the specific tools for assessing media freedoms having regard to the PACE indicators and relevant Council of Europe standards generally.

1 This document has been 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.

2 Adopted at the 8th meeting of the CDMC (25-28 November 2008).


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