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Communication on the activities of the Committee of Ministers

Statutory Report 2013


10. Legal questions

General
Replies to Recommendations
Conventions and Treaties
European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission)
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)
Crime
Domestic violence
Data Protection
Terrorism

 

General

At their 1180th meeting (9 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1180/10.4), the Deputies decided, without prejudice to any future such decisions, to establish a Council of Europe Programme Office on Cybercrime in Bucharest (Romania), in accordance with Resolution CM/Res(2010)5, which will be staffed and resourced from extra-budgetary projects. They invited the Secretary General to report annually on the activities of this office and on its cost, including a proposal regarding the continuation of its functioning, and to present quarterly overviews of its activities.

At their 1173rd meeting (11-12 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1173/10.4), the Deputies welcomed the progress review report (TC-ENF(2013)2 rev) and regretted that the current human resources do not make it possible for the Council of Europe to deliver on some of the more demanding issues, such as children and the Internet.

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.1), the Deputies took note of Opinion No. 15 (2012) of the CCJE on “The specialisation of judges” (CM(2012)172 add), which will be forwarded to the relevant bodies in the member States and to the relevant bodies of the Council of Europe in order that they may take account of it in their work. They then took note of the abridged report of the 13th meeting of the CCJE (CM(2012)172).

Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE)

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.2), the Deputies took note of Opinion No. 7 (2012) of the CCPE on “The management of the means of prosecution services” (CM(2012)175 add) which will be forwarded to the relevant bodies in the member States and to the relevant bodies of the Council of Europe in order that they may take account of it in their work. They then took note of the abridged report of the 7th plenary meeting of the CCPE (CM(2012)175).

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

At their 1187th meeting (11-12 December 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1187/10.1), the Deputies instructed the Secretariat to proceed with the elaboration and conclusion with the relevant services of the European Union of a contract for the CEPEJ to provide the European Commission with country specific information, based on the CEPEJ methodology, on the functioning of the justice systems of the EU member States in other than criminal justice matters. They instructed the CEPEJ to report regularly to the Deputies on the implementation and results of this co-operation.

At their 1178th meeting (17-18 September 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1178/10.1), the Deputies took note of the Guidelines on the creation of judicial maps to support access to justice within a quality judicial system (CM(2013)104 add1) and invited member States to ensure a wide dissemination of the above-mentioned guidelines among the relevant political and judicial authorities, including through the translation of the guidelines into non-official languages of the Council of Europe. They agreed that States having observer status with the CEPEJ can participate in the CEPEJ cycle for evaluating judicial systems upon request, according to specific modalities to be decided by the CEPEJ and subject to a voluntary contribution of 5,000 Euros per biennial cycle. Finally the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 21st meeting of the CEPEJ (CM(2013)104).

At their 1171st meeting (29 May 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1171/10.2), the Deputies agreed, in accordance with Article 6 of Resolution Res(2002)12 establishing the CEPEJ, to the request by the Kingdom of Morocco for observer status with the CEPEJ.

At their 1167th meeting (3 April 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1167/10.1), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 20th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ (CM(2013)13).

European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)

Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI)

At their 1182nd meeting (24 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1182/10.1), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 46th meeting of the CAHDI (CM(2013)133).

At their 1171st meeting (29 May 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1171/10.1b), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 45th meeting of the CAHDI (CM(2013)45).

Replies to Recommendations

Parliamentary Assembly

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

At their 1182nd meeting (24 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1182/10.3), the Deputies adopted the reply to Congress Recommendation 332 (2012) on “Regional legislation and action to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children”.

At their 1165th meeting (13 March 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1165/10.2), the Deputies adopted the reply to Congress Recommendation 314 (2011) on “Reservations and declarations to the European Charter of Local Self-Government”.

Conventions and Treaties

Information on signatures and ratifications of treaties is available on the Treaty Office's website at http://conventions.coe.int.

The text of all Council of Europe treaties, their explanatory reports, the status of signatures and ratifications, the declarations and reservations made by States, as well as the notifications issued by the Treaty Office since 2005, are available on this website.

At their 1171st meeting (29 May 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1171/10.3), the Deputies took note of the request of the Republic of Colombia to be invited to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) and noted that the Committee of Ministers agreed in principle to granting this request. They instructed the Secretariat to consult the non-member States which are Contracting States to the Convention, i.e. Australia, the Dominican Republic, Japan and the United States of America, and set 31 July 2013 as the deadline for a reply. They agreed that, if there was no objection from Australia, the Dominican Republic, Japan and the United States of America, the decision to invite the Republic of Colombia to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) would be regarded as adopted on 11 September 2013 (1177th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies). They agreed to resume consideration of this item if Australia, the Dominican Republic, Japan or the United States of America raises an objection concerning the accession of the Republic of Colombia to the Convention. The Deputies recalled that, in accordance with its Resolution CM/Res(2013)7 concerning financial arrangements for the participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions, the Republic of Colombia will be invited to contribute to the financing of the follow-up mechanism of the Convention on Cybercrime. Finally, the Deputies agreed, in accordance with their decisions of 10 April 2013 on the review of Council of Europe conventions, that the decision to invite the Republic of Colombia to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime is valid five years as from its adoption.

At their 1168th meeting (10 April 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1168/10.2), the Deputies, while welcoming the Secretary General’s report on the review of Council of Europe conventions:

On measures relating to the promotion of Council of Europe conventions

The Deputies took note with satisfaction of the initiatives taken by the Albanian and Andorran Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers to promote certain key conventions of the COE during their chairmanship and called on the future chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers to take similar initiatives in consultation with the Secretary General. They welcomed the efforts made by the PACE, the Congress and the Commissioner to promote COE conventions and invited them to continue, in particular through their dialogue with national authorities and involvement in COE campaigns. The Deputies also welcomed the efforts made by the Secretary General to promote Council of Europe conventions and invited him to continue, in particular:
- during his bilateral contacts with national authorities;
- by organising treaty ceremonies on the occasion of the Sessions of the Committee of Ministers, the Conferences of Ministers of Justice or other major events;
- by organising thematic campaigns which would include the promotion of conventions;

and invited the Secretary General:

- when appropriate, to inform international organisations1 and non-member States, when negotiations of new conventions are opened, in particular through the Council of Europe liaison offices and bilateral contacts;

- to provide for the publication of information on the launching of negotiations on new conventions, including on the Council of Europe website;

- to involve civil society more in activities for the promotion of Council of Europe conventions and in particular the national human rights institutions.

On measures relating to the management of Council of Europe conventions

The Deputies noted that the review of conventions has highlighted the links between the Council of Europe, as an institutional framework for negotiation, and the conventions concluded within it, and the need to maintain these links alive, by developing the means to gauge the impact and preserve the relevance of the conventions. They noted that although a number of conventions already provide for an independent and/or intergovernmental monitoring mechanism, tasked with assessing Parties’ compliance with their obligations under the conventions, and although these mechanisms should be preserved, it is also essential to have an overview of how the conventions operate and to be able to identify the amendments needed to preserve their relevance and, if necessary, adapt them to changes. The Deputies took note of the fact that the steering or ad hoc committees, on account of their terms of reference and expertise, have an overview of the conventions concluded in their area of responsibility and are, accordingly, able to assess the general functioning of a group of conventions. They instructed the Secretariat to identify for each convention a steering or ad hoc committee as a reference point and agreed to refer in these committees’ future terms of reference (biennium 2014-2015) to those conventions. The Deputies instructed the steering and ad hoc committees to carry out, at regular intervals, within the limits of the available resources and bearing in mind the priorities of each committee, an examination of some or all of the conventions for which they have been given responsibility, in co-operation, where appropriate, with the relevant convention-based bodies, in order to:

- propose ways of improving the visibility, impact and efficiency of some or all of the conventions for which they have been given responsibility;

- draw the attention of member States to the relevant conventions;

- where necessary, identify any operational problems or obstacles to ratification of the relevant conventions, and draw the attention of member States to reservations which impact substantively on the effectiveness of their implementation;

- encourage States to regularly examine the possibility and/or desirability of becoming a Party to new Council of Europe conventions;

- assess the necessity or advisability of drafting amendments or additional protocols to the conventions for which they have been given responsibility or drafting supplementary conventions;

- and to report back to the Committee of Ministers.

They agreed that the need to insert a monitoring clause in future conventions should be decided on a case-by-case basis and that, where necessary, this monitoring could be carried out by a new committee or by assigning this responsibility to an existing committee.

On the participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions

The Deputies took note of the important number of Council of Europe conventions opened to States which are not members of the Organisation and expressed their interest in the participation of these States in these conventions. They reiterated that the opening of a Council of Europe convention to non-member States must be decided during the drafting procedure on a case-by-case basis and agreed, when participation in a convention by non-member States is envisaged during the drafting procedure, on the need to insert a provision on financial contributions from those States. They agreed, where there is provision in a convention for accession by non-member States:

- to apply the usual informal consultation procedure of the member States on the requests by non-member States to be invited to accede to a convention and, where necessary as a result of this consultation, to seek the opinion of the competent committees, in particular regarding the requesting State's capacity to fulfil the obligations arising under the convention in question;

- to limit the validity of an invitation by the Committee of Ministers to accede to a convention to a period of five years;

- to provide, in cases where there is no convention-based body including all the Parties, for participation, with a right to vote, by non-member States in steering committee or ad hoc committee meetings pertaining to the conventions to which those States are Parties.

On reservations to Council of Europe conventions

The Deputies agreed on the need, during the drafting process of each convention, to examine whether to include explicit provisions on reservations, which would determine on a case-by-case basis the regime applicable, and invited the bodies responsible for monitoring conventions, if appropriate, to raise with the national authorities, particularly on the occasion of on-the-spot visits, the question of the need to maintain reservations already formulated, and the possibility of considering their withdrawal.

On the participation by the European Union in Council of Europe conventions

The Deputies while noting that the European Union had expressed its readiness to examine with the Council of Europe the possibility for the EU to join certain Council of Europe’s conventions, agreed that this should be done at the appropriate time in order to avoid any interference with the current negotiations on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Finally, the Deputies agreed to evaluate the implementation of these decisions within three years.

At their 1167th meeting (3 April 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1167/10.2), the Deputies took note of the request by the Republic of Mauritius to be invited to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) and noted that the Committee of Ministers agreed in principle to granting this request. They instructed the Secretariat to consult the non-member States which are Contracting States to the Convention, i.e. Australia, the Dominican Republic, Japan and the United States of America, and set 3 June 2013 as the deadline for a reply. The Deputies agreed that, if there was no objection from these four Contracting States, the decision to invite the Republic of Mauritius to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) would be regarded as adopted on 12 June 2013 (1173rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies) and agreed to resume consideration of this item if Australia, the Dominican Republic, Japan or the United States of America raised an objection concerning the accession of the Republic of Mauritius to the Convention.

At their 1165th meeting (13 March 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1165/10.1), the Deputies took note of the request by Israel to be invited to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) and noted that the Committee of Ministers agreed in principle to granting this request. They instructed the Secretariat to consult the non-member States which are Contracting States to the Convention, i.e. Australia, the United States of America, Japan and the Dominican Republic, and set 26 April 2013 as the deadline for a reply. The Deputies agreed that, if there was no objection from Australia, the United States of America, Japan and the Dominican Republic, the decision to invite Israel to accede to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) would be regarded as adopted on 30 April 2013 (1169th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies) and agreed to resume consideration of this item if Australia, the United States of America, Japan or the Dominican Republic raised an objection concerning the accession of Israel to the Convention.

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.4), the Deputies invited the Kingdom of Morocco to accede to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108).

European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission)

At their 1174th meeting (19 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1174/10.1b), the Deputies took note of the annual report of activities for 2012 of the Venice Commission (CM(2013)62).

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

At their 1182nd meeting (24 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1182/10.2a), the Deputies declared Mr Alexander Bröstl elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of the Slovak Republic, for a period of six years starting on 19 December 2013.

At their 1182nd meeting (24 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1182/10.2b), the Deputies declared Mr Vsevolod Mitsik elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of Ukraine, for a period of six years starting on the day of election.

At their 1182nd meeting (24 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1182/10.2c), the Deputies declared Mr Matthew MacIver elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of the United Kingdom, for a period of six years starting on the day of election.

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.1a), the Deputies declared Mr John Lundum elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of Denmark, for a period of six years starting on 10 July 2013.

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.1b), the Deputies took note of the fifth report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Switzerland (CM(2013)80). They adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)4 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Switzerland and agreed to forward it to the Swiss authorities.

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.1c), the Deputies took note of the fifth report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Hungary (CM(2013)81). They adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)5 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Hungary and agreed to forward it to the Hungarian authorities.

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.1d), the Deputies took note of the first report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CM(2013)83). They adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)6 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Bosnia and Herzegovina and agreed to forward it to the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At their 1173rd meeting (11-12 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1173/10.3), the Deputies declared Ms Mahulena Hofmannová elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of the Czech Republic, for a period of six years starting on 12 June 2013.

At their 1173rd meeting (11-12 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1173/10.2), the Deputies took note of the second report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Serbia (CM(2011)121). They adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)3 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Serbia and agreed to forward it to the Serbian authorities.

At their 1171st meeting (29 May 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1171/10.4), the Deputies declared Ms Vera Klopčič elected as a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in respect of Slovenia, for a period of six years starting on 29 May 2013.

At their 1162nd meeting (13-14 February 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1162/10.1), the Deputies agreed to the request by the United States of America to join the Enlarged Agreement establishing the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and invited the United States of America to appoint a member to sit on the Commission.

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.6a), the Deputies took note of the second report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of the Czech Republic (CM(2012)170). They then adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)1 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by the Czech Republic and agreed to forward it to the Czech authorities.

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.6b), the Deputies took note of the third report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of the Slovak Republic (CM(2012)144). They then adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2013)2 on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by the Slovak Republic and agreed to forward it to the Slovak authorities.

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)

At their 1180th meeting (9 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1180/10.1), the Deputies took note of the request by Kazakhstan to be invited to accede to the Enlarged Agreement on the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and noted that the Committee of Ministers agreed in principle to granting this request.

The Deputies instructed the Secretariat to consult the non-member States of GRECO, i.e. Belarus and the United States of America, and set 4 December 2013 as the deadline for a reply. They agreed that, if there was no objection from these two States, the decision to invite Kazakhstan to accede to GRECO will be regarded as adopted on 11 December 2013 (1187th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies) and they agreed to resume consideration of this item if Belarus or the United States of America raised an objection to the accession of Kazakhstan to GRECO.

Finally the Deputies noted that the possible accession of Kazakhstan could only take effect once an agreement on the privileges and immunities of the representatives of members of GRECO and members of evaluation teams has been concluded and has entered into force, and upon receipt by the Secretary General of a notification of accession by Kazakhstan, pursuant to Article 4, paragraph 4, of the statute of GRECO.

At their 1173rd meeting (11-12 June 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1173/10.1b), the Deputies took note of the general activity report for 2012 of the GRECO (CM(2013)55).

Crime

European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)

At their 1178th meeting (17-18 September 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1178/10.2), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 64th session of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) (CM(2013)98).

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.2), the Deputies agreed to transmit the draft Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs and its Explanatory Report (CM(2013)79 and CM(2013)79 add) to the Parliamentary Assembly and invited the Assembly to give its opinion on the draft Convention.

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.5), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 63rd plenary session of the CDPC (CM(2012)171).

Domestic violence

Data Protection

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.4), the Deputies invited the Kingdom of Morocco to accede to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108).

Terrorism

At their 1180th meeting (9 October 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1180/10.3), the Deputies adopted Resolution CM/Res(2013)13 on the statute of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism which will enter into force forthwith.

At their 1168th meeting (10 April 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1168/10.1b), the Deputies took note of the annual report for 2012 of the Chair and Executive Secretary of the MONEYVAL (CM(2013)26 and CM(2013)26 corr).

Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER)

At their 1176th meeting (10 July 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1176/10.3), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 24th meeting of the CODEXTER (CM(2013)82).

At their 1160th meeting (30 January 2013) (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1160/10.3), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 23rd meeting of the CODEXTER (CM(2012)160).

1 In accordance with the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organisations or between International Organisations, “‘international organisation’ means an intergovernmental organisation” (Article 2, sub-paragraph 1.i).



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