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

GR-H(2009)8 23 April 20091
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Annotated Agenda
Meeting of 24 April 2009 at 10 a.m.

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09/13 Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

      b. Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights
      CM(2009)51 add prov, DD(2009)156, DD(2009)186, DD(2009)189, GR-H(2009)7, CM(2009)58, CM(2009)58 add, CM(2009)70, CM(2009)71, CM(2009)51 add2 rev, DD(2009)215, CM/Del/Dec(2009)1054/4.3

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

The Group is invited to hold an exchange of views on the CDDH activity report as it appears in CM(2009)51 add prov (see p.7 onwards) with a view to preparing relevant draft decisions from the Deputies to be submitted to the 119th Ministerial Session (see hereunder – (ii)).

This item could be examined together with item 09/13 c. – Terms of reference for two bodies answerable to the CDDH.

      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

The Group is invited to examine the draft explanatory report to draft Protocol No. 14 bis (CM(2009)58 add), the draft rules of procedure of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties, as they appear in document (CM(2009)70) and the detailed modalities for the provisional application of certain provisions of Protocol No. 14 as they appear in document CM(2009)71. If an agreement is reached within the Group, the Deputies could be invited to adopt the following decisions (see hereunder – (i)) at its 1056th meeting (6-7 May 2009).

The Group is also invited to consider recommending to the Deputies to agree, at its 1056th meeting (6-7 May 2009), on draft decisions to be submitted to the 119th Ministerial Session in Madrid on 12 May (see hereunder – (ii).

In addition, the Group could wish to propose to the following draft elements for a statement to be made by the Ministers at the 119th Session (see hereunder – (iii)).

These elements have been prepared by the Secretariat with the aim of facilitating discussion. The text of these elements is based on the non-paper presented by the Russian Federation on 14 April 2009 (DD(2009)189), of which it reproduces the first and second paragraphs with minor linguistic changes. Compared to the non-paper, the main changes are in the third paragraph, which has been considerably shortened. The revised third paragraph would do away with the need for a further agreement after the Madrid meeting.

(i) Draft decisions to be adopted by the Deputies

      “The Deputies

      1. invited the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to convene a Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights in Madrid on 12 May, in the margins of the 119th Ministerial Session;

      2. took note of the draft rules of procedure of the Conference as they appear in document CM(2009)70;

      3. adopted the “Detailed modalities for the provisional application of certain provisions of Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights” as they appear in document CM(2009)71, subject to an agreement being adopted by the High Contracting Parties to the Convention;

      4. invited the Secretary General to transmit the draft rules of procedure and the “detailed modalities” referred to in decisions 2 and 3 above to the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights;

      5. having examined the Parliamentary Assembly’s opinion on draft Protocol No. 14 bis, took note of this opinion while expressing their appreciation for the speed with which the Assembly had responded to their request;

      6. invited the Ministers to adopt Protocol No. 14 bis as it appears in document CM(2009)58final on the occasion of the 119th Ministerial Session (Madrid, 12 May 2008) and to open it for signature at […] on […];

      7. invited the Ministers to take note of the Explanatory Report to the Protocol No. 14 bis, as it appears in document CM(2009)58 add final, on the occasion of their 119th Ministerial Session.”

(ii) Draft decisions (from the Deputies) to be submitted to the 119th Ministerial Session

      “The Committee of Ministers

      1. welcomed the report “Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights”;

      2. urged the States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights to endeavour to implement rapidly and efficiently those measures foreseen in the report that do not require amendment of the Convention;

      3. asked the Minister’s Deputies to prepare a non-binding instrument on domestic remedies for excessive lengths of proceedings;

      4. adopted Protocol No. 14 bis as it appears in document CM(2009)58 final and decided to open Protocol No. 14 bis for signature on …. on the occasion of …;

      5. took note of the Explanatory Report to the Protocol No. 14 bis, as it appears in document CM(2009)58 add final.”

(iii) Draft elements for a statement by the Ministers at the 119th Ministerial Session

    “The Ministers noted that in spite of the efforts undertaken by all member states as collective guarantors of the Convention, the conditions for the entry into force of Protocol No. 14 have still not been met. The Ministers recalled their position on this issue expressed at their 118th Session in May 2008, stressing in particular that the entry into force of Protocol No. 14 should remain the first priority of the States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The Ministers took note of the opinion of the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) 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 already envisaged to increase the Court’s case-processing capacity, in particular the new single-judge and Committee procedures, as well as the final opinion of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH).

    The Ministers noted that the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights, meeting in the margins of the 119th Ministerial Conference, agreed that the two above-mentioned new procedures contained in Protocol No. 14 are to be applied on a provisional basis with respect to those states that express their consent, according to the modalities set out in document CM(2009)71.”

c. Terms of reference for two bodies answerable to the CDDH
CM/Del/Dec(2009)1055/4.4.c (to be issued shortly), DD(2009)215, CM(2009)51 add2 rev

It is recalled that at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009), the Deputies adopted the draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on effective remedies for excessive length of proceedings (DH-RE) and decided to revert to the exam of the draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on reform of the Court
(DH-GDR) at its 1056th meeting (6-7 May 2009).

The group is invited to discuss the proposed draft terms of reference in the light, in particular, of DD(2009)215. If an agreement is reached within the Group, the Deputies will be invited to adopt the following decisions at their 1056th meeting (6-7 May 2009):

Decisions

The Deputies

1. approved the terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on reform of the Court (DH-GDR), as they appear at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions; << see document CM(2009)51 add2rev >>

2. agreed on the possibility of adopting, in the light of decisions taken at the 119th Ministerial Session, ad hoc terms of reference instructing the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to examine further specific measures envisaged in its activity report “Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the control system of the European Convention on Human Rights”.

09/19 Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) – Draft Declaration on the Achievement of de facto Gender Equality
CM(2009)68

With the agreement of the Chair of GR-H, the Thematic Coordinator on Equality between Women and Men (TC-EG) invites the Group to hold a preliminary exchange of views on the draft Declaration on the achievement of de facto gender equality (document CM(2009)68), which was prepared by the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) at its meeting of 15-17 April 2009.

After the discussion, the delegations who wish to do so will be invited to present their possible comments on this text in writing, at the latest by Thursday, 30 April 2009, at 1 pm.

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 1056th meeting (6-7 May 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 1056th meeting on 6-7 May 2009, without further discussion.

- Any other business

- Date of the next meeting

Thursday, 18 June 2009 at 10 a.m.

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.

* * *

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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