9 February 1999
Harmonisation of autopsy rules
Recommendation 1159 (1991)
Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 658th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (2 February 1999)
The Committee of Ministers refers to its two previous interim replies to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1159 (1991), given at its 463rd meeting (October 1991, item 20) and 506th meeting (January 1994, item 5).
The Committee of Ministers recalls in particular that in its second reply it notified the Assembly of the setting up of the ad hoc Committee of Experts on the Harmonisation of Autopsy Rules (CAHRA), whose terms of reference were “to study the harmonisation of autopsy rules in cases of suspicious death from the legal, ethical and medical points of view and making a list of the aspects which may form the subject of such harmonisation, with a view to drawing up minimum rules at international level”.
The Committee of Ministers is now in a position to inform the Assembly about the results of the CAHRA’s work and about the measures taken to give effect to the Parliamentary Assembly’s recommendation.
Thus, in the light of the opinion given by the CAHRA in October 1996, the Committee of Ministers, at its 587th meeting (1 April 1997, item 10.4) instructed the Committee of Experts on the Harmonisation of Autopsy Rules (CDBI-AR) “to prepare a legal instrument containing harmonised technical rules for medico-legal autopsies, taking account of the legal, ethical and medical aspects".
To fulfil its terms of reference the CDBI-AR completed its work by preparing a draft Recommendation on the harmonisation of medico-legal autopsy rules which was subsequently adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 658th meeting, (2 February 1999).