Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
GR-J
Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation

GR-J(2007)CB5 16 July 20071
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Synopsis
Meeting of 10 July 2007

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1. The Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation (GR-J) met on 10 July 2007, with Mr Bruno GAIN, Permanent Representative of France, in the Chair. The revised agenda (GR-J(2007)OJ5) was adopted.

25/07 European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) – Draft Council of Europe Convention

    on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

(CM/Del/Dec(2007)989/10.4, Opinion No. 263, CM(2007)112 and CM(2007)112 Addendum

2. Introducing this item, the Chair reiterated the importance of the draft Convention under discussion, which demonstrated the value added by the Council of Europe’s standard-setting work and was consistent with one of its priorities: “Building a Europe for and with children”. He retraced the history of the draft convention and welcomed its rapid preparation, since the draft was a step forward in the protection of children and part of an effort carried on by the Council of Europe for fifteen years to help the member states combat this destructive phenomenon. The Chair invited the Group to examine the draft convention and the explanatory report thereto. He stressed that if agreement was reached within the Group, the item would be placed on the agenda of the Deputies’ 1002nd meeting (11 July 2007) so that the appropriate decisions could be adopted for opening the Convention for signature on the occasion of the 28th Conference of European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote on 25 and 26 October 2007. The Chair asked the representatives of the Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission about the feasibility of removing the square brackets around the references in the draft convention to the European Community’s possible participation.

3. The Portuguese delegation, on behalf of the Presidency of the European Union and the representative of the European Commission, expressed great satisfaction with the draft convention and gave their consent to the deletion of the square brackets. They made a declaration concerning the disconnection clause set out in Article 43, paragraph 3 of the draft convention. The text of the declaration, appearing in paragraph 279 of the explanatory report, is identical to the one in the explanatory report to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (paragraphs 375 and 376).

4 The Chair reminded the Group of the request by the delegation of the Russian Federation that the disconnection clause be examined within the Council of Europe as a general issue (see document DD(2007)382).

5 The delegation of the Russian Federation welcomed the draft convention and requested that the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) be instructed to examine the consequences of the so-called “disconnection clause” in international law.

6 At the end of the discussion, the Chair noted that the Group agreed to transmit to the Deputies the draft convention and the explanatory report, as they appeared in documents CM(2007)112 et CM(2007)112 Addendum respectively, with a view to adoption of the relevant decisions as set out in document CM/Notes/1002/10.1. The Chair also noted the Group's agreement to draft ad hoc terms of reference for the CAHDI to examine the question of the disconnection clauses, in the light of draft terms of reference that the Secretariat would present prior to the next meeting of the GR-J, in September. The Secretariat was instructed to inform the CAHDI that this question would be referred to it as early as September. The Portuguese delegation requested on behalf of the Presidency of the European Union that the draft terms of reference should mention the need for the CAHDI to consult the European Commission’s legal services having regard to the work in progress in Brussels concerning this question. This was agreed.

6. The Deputy Secretary General expressed her satisfaction over the positive and encouraging attitude taken by the delegations throughout the process. She welcomed the finalisation of this draft by the GR-J.

Any other business

Date of the next meeting

8 The next meeting would take place on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 at 10 am.

1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set out in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.



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