AS (2014) CR 27



(Third part)


Twenty-seventh sitting

Friday 27 June at 10 a.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.

3.       Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.

4.       Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.

The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.

      (Mr Flego, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.05 a.m.)

The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.

1. Changes in the membership of committees

The PRESIDENT – Our first business is to consider the changes proposed in the membership of committees. These are set out in Document Commissions (2014) 06 Addendum 2.

Are the proposed changes in the membership of the Assembly’s committees agreed to?

The changes are agreed to.

2. Reinforcement of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights

The PRESIDENT – The first item of business this morning is the debate on the report titled, “Reinforcement of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights”, Document 13524, presented by Mr Boriss Cilevičs on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

I call Mr Cilevičs, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Mr CILEVIČS (Latvia) – Needless to repeat, the authority and effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights crucially depend on the independence of its judges, backed up by a professional, non-partisan registry. In the past few years, the Court has faced criticism, often unjustified, regarding the independence and impartiality of its judges and registry officials. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has therefore entrusted me with addressing this criticism for the sake of clarity and to avoid misunderstandings.

      First, I state clearly that the Strasbourg Court is an outstanding human rights institution and the greatest success of the Council of Europe. The guarantees to ensure the independence and impartiality of its judges are firmly anchored. The committee’s proposals have been made to reinforce that independence even further. The professionalism of the Court’s registry cannot be called into question, even if certain issues, in my view, merit additional reflection. Therefore, the committee’s position is clear and unambiguous: the Strasbourg Court, which deals with more individual cases than any other international entity in the world, is the crown jewel of our Organisation. An external auditor recently said that the Court was one of the best performing bodies they had ever audited.

During the preparation of this report, the committee had the opportunity to exchange views with a number of eminent personalities, including Stefan Trechsel, the former president of the European Commission of Human Rights, Françoise Tulkens, a former vice-president of the Court, and the Court’s registrar, Erik Fribergh. I wish to thank the President of the Court, Dean Spielmann, and the Court’s Status Committee, chaired by Judge Ineta Ziemele, for finding the time to discuss the issues raised in the report. I also received a number of valuable communications from non-governmental organisations, which provided me with a wider picture of the challenges facing the Court, as perceived by them.

      On the basis of these wide-ranging consultations, we identified the most pertinent issues that still need to be considered to consolidate and reinforce the Strasbourg Court’s independence. Certain measures have been taken, both by the Committee of Ministers and the member States of the Council of Europe, to strengthen the Court’s independence. These have been duly acknowledged, but we still can, and should, do more.

In my report, I have mentioned several important factors that contribute to the Court’s independence. Those include, in particular: security of tenure; the need for a high degree of legal immunity for judges; appropriate social security arrangements; and pension entitlement for judges.

Besides that, the committee has approached the issue of whether – and, if so, how – States can assure that former judges who have not reached retirement age have some form of job security upon completion of their term in Strasbourg. That was also discussed recently by the Committee of Ministers, whose efforts in that regard must be applauded. A special section of the explanatory memorandum is devoted to the functioning of the Court’s registry and, in particular, the secondment of national lawyers to the registry.

Finally, the report stresses that the Court’s independence and authority are contingent on the political will and commitment of all member States of the Council of Europe, who must ensure that it is provided with the financial means to implement its human rights mandate effectively. Here I wish to quote from a 2011 report by our former colleague, Marie-Louise Bemelmans-Videc, on guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the Europe Convention on Human Rights. It said, “The yearly cost, within the Council of Europe’s budget, of hiring a judge at the European Court of Human Rights is…more than the annual contribution made by 15 member States. In other words, the contribution made by those States does not even cover the cost of their own judge!”

When States – as they often do – claim that the Court is the Council of Europe’s jewel in the crown, they should provide that body, and the Organisation as a whole, with sufficient means to operate properly.

The PRESIDENT – Thank you Mr Cilevičs; you have eight minutes remaining. I call Mr Schneider on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.

Mr SCHNEIDER (France)* – As our rapporteur has just said, there is no denying that the Court is one of the Council of Europe’s biggest successes. It is essential that we ensure that that continues to be the case and that we further enhance the role of the Strasbourg Court at this crucial time when the European Union is about to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights,. That we value the Court does not mean, however, that we should bury our heads in the sand and deny that it has problems. The only result of such an approach would be to see rumour replace discussion and that would deal a considerable blow to the credibility of an institution that we claim to be defending. The Court is no exception to that logic.

I welcome Mr Cilevičs’s report, which discusses questions that have been raised about the Court’s independence. It deals in particular with judges’ social security and pension entitlements, the privileges and immunities that they enjoy and the recruitment and role of the Court’s registry. On the first point, I approve of the rapporteur’s proposals, because the independence of judges begins with their material circumstances and that is even more true of an international court.

I share the rapporteur’s wish to see those member States that have not yet ratified the Sixth Protocol to the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe doing so. I am also sensitive to the concerns of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights about the status of former judges of the Court once they have finished their terms, but practical solutions for that will be difficult.

Before I come to the Court’s registry, I have a question to put to you, rapporteur. You have put forward a draft resolution and a draft recommendation, with each being almost the mirror image of the other. Why is that? Subject to what you will have to say by way of explanation, my feeling is that the vast majority of the proposals you are putting forward concern the Committee of Ministers and are therefore more appropriate to a recommendation than a resolution.

You deal in some detail with the Court’s registry. That is a fundamental question given the key role played by the registry if only by virtue of the number of decisions and rulings handed down each year by the Court: in 2013, there were 93 396, no less. In such conditions, the Court registry’s role can only be important. We therefore need not to embark on a theoretical debate on its role, but to see what can be done to shore up the coherence of the Court’s rich case law and to ensure a fruitful and constructive dialogue with the national supreme courts.

As the rapporteur said, it is just as necessary to ensure the registry’s independence. I note that he congratulated the Court on the selection of lawyers made available or seconded to it. I welcome that, but we must be vigilant on that score.

In limiting myself to the scope of the report, it is clear that the Court suffers from the considerable budgetary constraints of the Council of Europe and the infinitely lower level of resources made available to it as opposed to the European Court of Justice, even if it is true that the Court benefits from the priority it enjoys within our Organisation.

The PRESIDENT – I remind members that the time limit on speeches is four minutes. I call Mr Denemeç, who will speak on behalf of the European Democrat Group.

Mr DENEMEÇ (Turkey) – On behalf of my group, I congratulate the rapporteur on his well-argued report on reinforcement of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights. It is a positive and commendable report that underscores that the Court’s independence should be further strengthened.

We support the report’s essence and recommendations. While we are pleased to see this unique Court’s effectiveness increasing through its on-going reform process, I agree with the rapporteur that more needs to be done to improve it. I reiterate that the Court has taken on the role of encouraging the advancement of personal rights and freedoms and that it is a source of inspiration in Europe and beyond. We, as members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, therefore pay great attention when it comes to strengthening further its role.

I agree with the rapporteur that the Court’s authority and credibility, as well as its effective functioning, largely depend on the independence and impartiality of its judges. Indeed, reinforcing the independence of judges should remain high on the Parliamentary Assembly’s agenda.

The report’s conclusions also reflect how attached the Council of Europe is to the independent nature of the Court, which plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the fundamental rights enshrined under the European Convention on Human Rights. As regards the report’s findings, the ratification of the Sixth Protocol by more countries is highly relevant to ensure that such privileges and immunities are secured throughout Europe. Turkey ratified the protocol in 2003 and we would like to see more countries doing so in the near future.

The report is a good basis on which to keep up the momentum for going forward.

The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Kennedy, on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Mr KENNEDY (United Kingdom) – My group very much welcomes this morning’s report and the relevant debate to which it gives rise. I underscore the statement expressed in the summary to the report on the front page, which states, “The committee stresses that the independence and authority of the Court is contingent on the political will and commitment of all member States to ensure that the Court is provided with the financial means to effectively implement its human rights made.”

There is obviously a question in this debate of political will, and of whether we want to will all the means to achieve the ends. In that respect, just as the speaker before me spoke from his country’s perspective, so I will speak from the perspective of the United Kingdom. We have problems in the politics of the current House of Commons where the European Court is concerned. Not, I hasten to add, among the British Liberal Democrats, but especially among our coalition partners, the British Conservatives, and within and across the parliamentary Labour Party as well.

      The issue is that the United Kingdom seems to be in danger of forgetting its founding contribution to the European Court, post-Second World War and post-Nuremberg, and the contribution that we made to the drafting of the very articles that gave rise to its being. Indeed, this is best expressed – although ridiculously so – by the Court all too often being referred to, in the media and in sections of British political discourse, as a foreign court. It is not a foreign court to the United Kingdom, any more than it is a foreign court to any other member State that subscribes to it. We all send senior judicial figures to participate in its deliberations and, as is mentioned in the report, when their term in office is concluded, we encourage those senior judicial figures to return to their home country and to continue to contribute their legal expertise there. That is the difficulty that we are dealing with in Britain, and it has been most vividly expressed in the unresolved issue of voting rights for prisoners.

      I have been a member of all-party delegations to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe about the matter, and our Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave an exemplary account of himself and his government when he visited and addressed this issue. We hope that it can yet be resolved. The big danger is that if there is a majority Conservative-only government after next May – although it is looking unlikely – they are pledged to legislate to reform the workings of the Court from a British perspective, which would undermine many of the things outlined in the report today.

      Our Prime Minister was right to point to the fact that, with 800 million potential applicants, the Court is being misused and abused, given its founding principles. That needs to be dealt with. But in dealing with those difficulties – and here I shall end on willing the political ends, but not necessarily all the means – it should not be part of our task actively to find jobs for those judges who have served at European Court level and then returned to their own member States. They are more than capable of looking out for themselves.

      The PRESIDENT – The next speaker is Mr Gür on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.

Mr GÜR (Turkey) – I thank the rapporteur for his valuable efforts in preparing this report. The European Convention on Human Rights is a fundamental mechanism in ensuring continuity and development of democracy in signatory countries; in the protection of human rights; and, most importantly, in ensuring continuity and coherence in the principle of the rule of law. Contracting States admit the provision stated in Article 1 of the Convention that “The…Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section 1 of this Convention” in order to ensure continuity in these principles.

Responsibility for the enforcement of ECHR decisions arises from non-fulfilment of the basic obligations mentioned above and aims at the realisation of the following three aspects: termination of the violation, compensation for damage and prevention of similar violations. In a nutshell, decisions taken by the European Court of Human Rights have to be executed by all States parties to the Convention in a form and content that prevent recurrence of the violation in question.

Two basic starting points are important when defining the position and function of European Convention on Human Rights. The first is the subordination of the protection mechanism developed by the Convention, but the main task of protection of rights and freedoms under the Convention belongs to national authorities. The second important point is that the Convention is a living instrument, as is its continuity. Ensuring this function of the Convention – in other words, interpretation of the Convention in accordance with today's conditions and requirements – is possible with decisions of European Court of Human Rights that are taken due to different applications.

The Court has stated in many decisions that its main role in the framework of the Convention is “limited to the protection and interpretation of rights specified in European Convention on Human Rights and its additional protocols within the framework of certain criteria; therefore, it cannot be the controller of the improvement and compliance regulations to be held in domestic law by responsible States in accordance with the findings of violations”.

As stated in Article 46.1 of the Convention, the compliance of States with the decisions of European Court of Human Rights, especially in cases to which they are party, is essential for the continuation of the Convention, which is a very important mechanism in the protection and development of human rights. Article 46.1 states, “The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties.”

Implementation of Court decisions under the criteria specified above is under the responsibility of Committee of Ministers which is another Convention body in accordance with the Convention. States that are party to the Convention are obliged to enact a series of legal and administrative regulations in order to both eliminate detected violations, especially in regard to applicants, and to prevent similar violations. The Hakkar case is an example of this obligation, and the Government of France has now enacted a new domestic remedy allowing retrial after the decision of the Court.

We need to strengthen the independence of the European Court of Human Rights; to address the professional needs of the judges; to ensure the full implementation of the Court’s judgments; and for those countries that have not done so yet to ratify the Sixth Protocol to the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe.

The PRESIDENT – The next speaker is Lord Tomlinson, on behalf of the Socialist Group.

Lord TOMLINSON (United Kingdom) – I thank Mr Cilevičs for his report, which in its present state is much welcomed by the Socialist Group. If we go back to the Interlaken conference, it was said clearly there that “the need to maintain the independence of the judges and preserve the impartiality and quality of the Court was fundamental”. We then went on to have the Brighton conference, which was especially important because it meant that the British Government had to be clear about what they were saying, because they had the responsibility of chairing it. They agreed that the Court is an extraordinary institution that has long been the cornerstone of the Convention system, and they went on to say that we must ensure its independence and authority. I certainly agree with that, as does the report.

The Socialist Group agrees that the independence of the judges is secured by the safeguards in the Sixth Protocol to the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe. To that end, I suggest that during Azerbaijan’s presidency of the Committee of Ministers it is important that they devote some of their presidential time to achieving the ratification of that principle. It is absurd that the President in Office of the Committee of Ministers should come from one of the three countries that has not ratified that protocol, and I call on them to do so during the presidency.

I want to introduce a slightly discordant note. Although I agree with the report, the draft recommendation and the draft resolution, paragraphs 20 and 21 in the explanatory memorandum reflect a point of view that was rejected by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights when it met in Helsinki. The paragraphs discuss whether judges ought to be given immunity from prosecution – indeed, not only the judges but their families, and for life. I would have hoped that that would have been changed in the explanatory memorandum because it was rejected by the committee. In rejecting the idea of diplomatic immunity for judges, the committee was reflecting the view of many member States, as well as the views expressed to the committee by the President of the European Court of Human Rights. The Court does not want that immunity and does not believe that it would add anything to its independence. I do not want people to read the explanatory memorandum, particularly paragraphs 20 and 21, and believe that that is the view of the committee. The idea was originally in the motion for resolution, but it was rejected. Quite rightly, the rapporteur has not sought to reintroduce it, so it is important that everyone understands that those two paragraphs do not represent the view of the committee.

I congratulate Mr Cilevičs on every aspect of the draft resolution as it was carried in committee and hope that his unamended report receives unanimous support.

The PRESIDENT – The rapporteur will respond at the end of the debate, but does Mr Cilevičs want to reply to that point? That is not the case. I call Mr Recordon.

Mr RECORDON (Switzerland)* – I too endorse the praise lavished on the rapporteur and his work.

I would like to draw attention to five points. First, it is important that the independence of judges is viewed not purely in terms of States but also in the context of the conglomerate of States that is the European Union. Although I welcome the swift progress made on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights, I am somewhat troubled by the rather long period of time that has elapsed – a year – which seems to indicate misgivings over the Luxembourg judges’ readiness to see human rights cases taken up in Strasbourg. We must be vigilant and ensure that that is addressed.

I welcome the system regarding the status of judges. Given judges’ lengthy terms of office, States, including my own, could draw inspiration from it, because they should leave office in sound economic conditions. That is one of the ways the report addresses the issue of re-election.

We may not have fully resolved the appointment of judges on the basis of government nominations. I do not think that that is an ideal solution; other bodies, such as the European Parliament or the supreme court could be involved. However, I can live with the idea as long as governments play by the rules. Some are inclined to drag things out, and the rosters that they submit to us are far from perfect. That may not yet be a matter of concern, but we should draw attention to it because it raises some worries. The election of judges is on the right path, with a special ad hoc committee responsible for choosing the candidates to put to the Assembly.

Finally, after the deliberations in Interlaken and Brighton, I appeal for the citizens of Europe to be able to have broad confidence in bringing cases to the European Court of Human Rights. To some extent it is the crown jewel that generates the greatest trust in our ability to develop human rights. The onerous, cumbersome and unwieldy procedures should not lead to restrictions on people’s ability to apply to the Court. That would be a way of killing it while trying to save it.

The PRESIDENT – As neither Mr Agramunt nor Mr Biedroń is present, I call Mr Maruste.

Mr MARUSTE (Estonia) – Every move we make to support the European Court of Human Rights is welcome, even if the steps are minor. I therefore support the main aim of the report and its proposals for concrete action.

I would like to comment on the title of the report. Judicial independence has a twofold meaning: the institutional independence of the court and the independence of individual judges. The report is named “Reinforcement of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights”; in other words, it refers to the reinforcement of the independence of the institution. The efficiency and independence of the Court are crucial, and there are still many things to do and discuss. However, the report deals with some concrete additional measures to support the status and individual independence of judges. The title, therefore, is not completely adequate or in conformity with its content. That is just a comment.

I agree with the recommendations. They do not contain anything radically new, but rather call for the proper implementation of measures that are already in place and recommendations that have already been made. There is no doubt that that is important, but we should ask ourselves whether it is the most important and urgent problem that the Court faces or simply a problem with some individual judges and countries. If the problems are individual in nature, they should be dealt with accordingly – there is room for action by the Committee of Ministers. The report does not contain any statistical data about the scale of the problem, and we should be careful of making far-reaching generalisations on the basis of single examples of excesses.

On the Court’s registry, I agree with the concern that was expressed about seconded lawyers. Secondment carries certain possible conflicts of interest and needs further clarification. However, I do not share the concern about so-called B lawyers, who are expected to bring their knowledge and experience back to their own country. As I understand it, that conforms perfectly with the principle of subsidiarity and indeed creates better preconditions for it.

The PRESIDENT – That concludes the list of speakers. Since there is plenty of time remaining this morning, does any other member of the Assembly wish to speak? That is not the case.

I call the rapporteur to reply. You have eight minutes.

Mr CILEVIČS (Latvia) – I am grateful to everybody who has spoken for their interesting and valuable contributions. I will try briefly to answer all the main questions that have been asked.

Mr Schneider asked why we needed both a draft resolution and a draft recommendation. We can say much more in a resolution than simply what we want to recommend to the Committee of Ministers. We express in it our position in general and, more substantially, we address directly member States that have not yet ratified Protocol No. 6, which is not up to the Committee of Ministers. We therefore needed both a draft resolution and a draft recommendation. That is our usual process, and I do not see a big problem with it.

I am grateful to Mr Denemeç for his support, and I could not agree more with Mr Kennedy. The attitude of some political parties in the United Kingdom towards the Court is one of our concerns. We must all realise that it is not a foreign court that is imposed on us but our own common Court. Each member State has voluntarily undertaken obligations and duties, particularly to comply with the Court’s judgments, and that is in our own interests.

I disagree, however, with Mr Kennedy’s point that judges are capable of looking for proper jobs for themselves. The problem is that the 47 member States are fundamentally different. To put it plainly, members from the so-called old democracies simply cannot imagine that things are done completely differently in the new democracies. Something that is absolutely unimaginable in the United Kingdom or France might happen every day in some other member States – I will not mention them now. Guarantees that might seem unnecessary from the United Kingdom’s point of view are not unnecessary at all in other member States. The United Kingdom is one of the member States where job guarantees for former judges are strongly enshrined in legislation, and in my explanatory memorandum I mention the United Kingdom as the clearest case of good practice in that respect. Unfortunately, however, the concern is not just a theoretical one elsewhere. I am aware of a number of cases of governments trying to gain retribution and revenge on former judges because they believed that their attitude had not been sufficiently patriotic. Judges must be absolutely sure that they will not be punished for sticking to their principles and to the values of the Council of Europe and the Convention.

Mr Gür touched on the problem of the execution of judgments. Of course that is the task of the Committee of Ministers, but as we all know, our Assembly is closely involved in it. The matter is permanently on the table, and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has dealt with it for many years. We will certainly continue to do so, because proper and timely execution of judgments is crucial.

I almost always agree with Lord Tomlinson, but not in this case. We can agree to disagree, but the problem of immunity was dealt with in previous Assembly resolutions as well as in my explanatory memorandum. I do not want to repeat what I have already said, but situations are very different in different States. There is concern that judges might be punished after finishing their work – in fact, there have unfortunately been some credible allegations and reasonable suspicions of attempts to fabricate criminal cases against former judges for purely political reasons. In some cases, prolonged immunity may not be necessary, but the idea of immunity for at least some time after judges complete their term of office needs to be discussed further. For the sake of compromise, we agreed to the draft resolution as it looks now, but the matter is still on the table and I hope we will discuss it further. We need more information and consultation, and we need to continue our work on it. It is really important to find the optimal solution, with everything taken into account. The issue is still open, because the draft resolution does not yet offer a reasonable solution.

Mr Recordon mentioned the appointment of judges, which is a slightly different issue. I deliberately did not touch on it in the report because there have been a series of reports on it. He mentioned national procedures, but our Assembly has done what it can on that issue. We have established clear criteria and requirements, and if national selection procedures are not in accordance with the rules, we have the right to reject an entire list of candidates. We have done that on several occasions. Given the principle of subsidiarity, however, it is up to member States to decide how to organise the national selection procedure in accordance with the basic criteria.

I agree with most of what Mr Maruste said. To some extent the issue that he mentioned is the business of the Committee of Ministers, but we cannot just rely on that committee, because hoping that it will do its job is wishful thinking. The Assembly is of course a partner of the Committee of Ministers, but we are not lawmakers at Council of Europe level, and we must make recommendations to the committee – we cannot just order it to do something. Our task is to inspire it, push it and stimulate it to do something.

I cannot agree that there are no new ideas in the report. There are no radical views, but there are new ideas. However, I stress again that the report is not the end of the story. It is our permanent task to protect and support the Court and to try to strengthen it. I am absolutely sure that this will not be the last report on the issue. The involvement of Mr Maruste, with his unique experience as a former judge of the Court, is valuable for us, and I look forward to his further contribution to our work.

Once again, I thank everybody who has spoken, and I give special thanks to the committee’s secretariat. As usual, the report was not an easy task, but I received immense help from the secretariat.

The PRESIDENT – Does Mr Díaz Tejera, representing the committee, wish to speak? You have two minutes.

      Mr DÍAZ TEJERA (Spain)* – I am a substitute in this session, as Mr Clappison had an important matter to see to in the United Kingdom and asked me to represent him and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. I reaffirm the committee’s gratitude to those who work for it and I thank Mr Cilevičs for the report and for his efforts. The report reflects his personality: he likes detail, he is precise and he is concrete and practical. Independence and impartiality are like democracy – you cannot just obtain them and then go to sleep. If you mix hydrogen and oxygen, you get water, but the horizon of democracy, just like the horizon of independence, must always be sought. You have to perfect the instruments to guarantee independence and impartiality.

      We should have reports like this regularly and frequently. Why? There are material conditions that render independence and impartiality a possibility and if they are not constantly monitored, independence and impartiality cannot exist. We have to be careful that no pressure is put on judges. As has been said, the main concern about such pressures is not that they come from the political world – do you know of anyone in this Chamber who has put pressure on judges? No. They come only from people who hold sway through their power, and not just through political power. I have been working as a judge for 25 years and no politician has ever told me what to do, but other judges, journalists and people with economic powers have asked me to do things.

      Mr Cilevičs’s report is very important. We hope that the three countries that have not signed Protocol No. 6 – Portugal, San Marino and Azerbaijan – will do so very soon. There were conferences in İzmir, Interlaken and Brighton, each of which made a contribution – just as, through the report, Mr Cilevičs has also made a small contribution – to the constant struggle to guarantee independence and impartiality. We think it is important to support the report and to strive to ensure that those of us who are here this morning put our houses in order. As parliamentarians, we should remind our parliaments and governments of the protocol they are about to sign. We must better consider the needs of the Court and should always improve our instruments. As Mr Cilevičs says, the Court is the jewel in the crown of the Council of Europe and it needs our constant attention and care. It is a flower that needs much watering and care and we must ensure that it receives the oxygen it needs to thrive.

      Thank you, Mr President, for allowing me to avail myself of the opportunity of acting as substitute spokesperson for the committee. I thank the secretariat for allowing me to congratulate Mr Cilevičs on his excellent work, which is a faithful reflection of his character. It will ensure that the material conditions to guarantee impartiality and independence will always be the focus of the Parliamentary Assembly’s attention.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution and a draft recommendation. No amendments have been tabled to the draft resolution or the draft recommendation.

We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 13524. A simple majority is needed.

The vote is open.

We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft recommendation contained in Document 13524.

The vote is open.

3. Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality

      The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this morning is the debate on the report titled “Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality”, Document 13511, presented by Mr Stefan Schennach on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development with an opinion presented by Ms Kristien Van Vaerenbergh on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Document 13547.

      I call Mr Schennach, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – I deliberately chose to call my report “Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality”. Why? In recent decades, our judicial systems have undergone reform and have evolved, but the rights of children and young persons have also evolved. Some 200 years ago, we became aware that children needed to be dealt with differently compared with adults who had violated the law. It was realised that certain elements should be taken into account and that the criminal code needed to be adapted for children and young people. It was clear from the beginning that there is an age below which children cannot be considered criminally responsible, and some 200 years ago it was decided not to carry out the death penalty on children. However, in some countries, life imprisonment is still imposed on children and in a number of countries there are no so-called diversion programmes.

      When children have violated the law, the appropriate response of society should be that no single child should be lost. In other words, we need to give young people a chance to be reintegrated into society. We need to continue our evolutionary development in that sense. Detention has to be the last resort. If very serious offences have been committed and detention is being considered – this is a new element – it should be used with a view to enabling young offenders to mature both socially and psychologically. Where possible, they need to be included in treatment programmes and maybe given some kind of therapy. In times of austerity, I appeal to governments not to cut back on such treatment programmes.

Detention must be seen as a last resort. If it is resorted to, we need to make sure that there is provision for education and vocational training for young people so that, once they have served a prison term, they can be successfully reintegrated into society. We need to take a different approach to child and young offenders.

When talking about juvenile justice, several elements must be taken into account. We cannot afford to concentrate only on the act or the offence. We need to take into account the social environment of young offenders. In terms of socialisation, was their environment beneficial or detrimental to the development of a child? All that should be seen as having a mitigating influence and taken into account when dealing with the consequences. These are some of the biggest challenges that we face in the modern age.

We also need to acknowledge that young people who have offended should not be mixed with adult offenders during pre-trial proceedings and post-trial detention. They need to be segregated in special juvenile structures. If children have gone off the rails, offended and found themselves in a detention facility where adults are also detained, it is only then that their criminal career will get off the ground. It is then far more difficult to reintegrate those young offenders later in life.

Today we find that far too many young offenders are in detention facilities. Perhaps I may refer to a famous song by Johnny Cash of some time ago, which asked, “Why are all the prisoners black?” What about the immigrant origins of a number of people who are currently in detention? Does that not have an impact? Far too many juveniles in detention facilities have a migrant background. There is a lack of response by the juvenile justice system to such factors. The immigration element has to be taken into account to a greater degree when talking about the treatment meted out to juveniles within the detention system.

We need alternatives to imprisonment. We need non-custodial sentences. Open prisons and unemployment seem to be the only options for young people. We need some sort of extra-judicial proceedings or sentencing without that going hand-in-hand with any kind of conviction, or some kind of warning that a sentence might be imposed at a later date, depending on the offender’s conduct in the meantime. There could be recognition of guilt but inclusion in alternative-to-custody programmes or in taking up offers of treatment. A whole host of measures are available. These are modern approaches, which are available to us today.

Young people come across the judicial system in a number of different capacities to a greater extent than they did in the past because society has become much more complex in the intervening period. In our criminal code, we need to beware that we do not have so-called status offences – offences that apply only to young people between the ages of, let us say, 14 and 18. We need to build in flexibility so that we are not criminalising young people at far too early a stage and for the wrong reasons. We must always extend a hand to young people.

We also need to appeal to the education system. Those people who stand out in the education system should not just be subject to disciplinary measures. It is important that people within the education system look into the background of young people who stand out because of their conduct. A system has been put in place in Finland that seems to operate extremely well in that respect. We can learn from one another when it comes to defending the interests of our children.

I appeal to the Assembly to support this report. I will have the opportunity to explain why I am against certain amendments that have been tabled, which seek to distort the nature of the report.

The PRESIDENT – You have four minutes left. I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh, the Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, to present the committee’s opinion in four minutes.

Ms VAN VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – You have the text of the opinion that I am proposing on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in front of you, so there is no need to repeat its contents in detail. As you can see, the opinion and the proposed amendments are designed to rebalance somewhat from a legal point of view the report proposed by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.

The lead committee’s approach is geared towards minimising the intervention of the criminal justice system in all cases of juvenile delinquency. It is not even clear until what age juveniles are considered children in this respect. Is it 18, 21 or even 25, as some seem to argue?

I should like us to recall that other children are the most frequent victims of juvenile delinquency and that they, too, deserve the protection of the law. As chair of the legal affairs committee in the Belgian Parliament, I have found it necessary several times to criticise the somewhat angelic, overly permissive attitude of my own country’s authorities. Such an attitude should not be turned into a Council of Europe standard by the resolution before you.

Because of urgent duties in my own parliament, I could come to Strasbourg only yesterday evening and could not defend my amendments when the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development took its position. I know that that makes matters rather difficult for me during this plenary session, but I ask all colleagues present to take my arguments into account, even at this late stage.

The PRESIDENT – In the debate, I call Ms Erkal Kara to speak on behalf of the European Democrat Group.

Ms ERKAL KARA (Turkey)* – On behalf of my group, I thank Mr Schennach for his endeavours in preparing the report, which tackles an especially sensitive and important issue.

Children are the most vulnerable members of our societies and should benefit from all the education and services that are necessary to prevent them from embarking on a life of crime. That is the responsibility of families, schools and governments alike. When youngsters do face the courts, it is important that there are guidelines for child-friendly justice. Establishing those guidelines is an important task.

Often, juvenile delinquents are also juvenile victims. It is best to adopt a case-by-case approach that takes into account the gravity of the offence, whether we are dealing with a repeat offender, the degree of guilt and the age of the juvenile delinquent. Some youngsters commit heinous crimes, whether individually or in gangs, that have grave consequences for the victims. We must not forget that the justice system is also responsible for the protection of victims’ rights. It is important to prevent repeat offending.

Juvenile delinquents are not all alike. One measure, policy or approach cannot meet the needs of all juvenile delinquents. If the youngster is of a certain age and has a degree of maturity, child-friendly justice must not generate a feeling of impunity by just considering him to be the victim of poor living conditions and not somebody who is responsible for his acts.

In the light of the crime of the juvenile, society should not forget its interest in safeguarding him or in making him take his share of the responsibility. We must strike a balance between prevention and penalty, and between the protection of society and the higher interests of the child. We must also guarantee the reintegration of such youngsters into society.

The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Anttila to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Ms ANTTILA (Finland) – On behalf of ALDE, I thank Mr Schennach for his excellent report, “Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality”.

There is a need to focus on the implementation of the standards in this area to ensure that we respect children’s rights and improve juvenile justice practices across Europe. Early intervention is very important for young offenders – really early intervention.

Since 2004, Finland has used the Anchor programme. It is based on co-operation between the police, social workers, psychiatric nurses and youth workers, and the combining of their professional skills. The multi-professional Anchor team facilitates a comprehensive investigation of the crimes that have been committed by young offenders, as well as of the situations of those who committed the violent acts and their victims. Young people who are in trouble, and their families, are given the assistance and support that they need.

That approach has worked exceptionally well because in most cases, we are able to finalise the criminal proceedings through the Anchor project. Most cases that involve damage to property are first processed by all the parties that are concerned at Anchor. The next step is mediation and the final step is agreement. Anchor acts as a reminder to young people and their parents that, regardless of age, young people are liable to pay for any damage that they cause. The comprehensive processing of incidents within Anchor is considered to be a well-functioning solution.

Young people who need longer-term support are referred to child protection, youth services, health services, services for drug or alcohol users, or outreach youth workers. Sometimes, they are helped all the way to the appointment. If necessary, a nurse writes a referral to youth psychiatry services. It is especially important to motivate the young person to seek assistance. Anchor ensures that a youngster is not left without support and that they work to resolve their issues. It helps to identify a positive path for the future.

Our main target must be to move from rhetoric to reality. I really hope that we succeed. I am glad that the rapporteur and our committee approved my proposal to include a call for the introduction of a multi-professional approach to helping young delinquents in the draft resolution. It is important that we learn from the best practice in different countries.

The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Jónasson to speak on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.

Mr JÓNASSON (Iceland) – The Group of the Unified European Left is in general agreement with the report, its proposals and the amendments that have been endorsed by the rapporteur. I thank Mr Schennach for his work and his engagement.

As Mr Schennach points out in the report, “Children’s rights have developed considerably in the last three decades. During this process, it has become clear that children have unique needs which should be taken into account, inter alia when they come into contact with the justice system. This issue has been specifically addressed in a number of international and regional children’s rights instruments, including the Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child-friendly justice, adopted in 2010.”

However, as the report also states, there are discrepancies “between the rhetoric of human rights discourse and the reality of juvenile justice interventions, in particular juvenile detention, for many children.” The proposals in the report are an attempt to remedy that, hence the title of the report: “Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality”.

I commend the work that the Council of Europe has done in this field. I have no doubt that it is largely through that work that we have seen progress in recent decades. Research has been undertaken, and meetings and conferences have been organised. I am certain that that has led to greater awareness of this issue in the political world. I can testify to that effect. The monitoring of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is to be commended. It should be conveyed to all those concerned that their work is appreciated and must continue.

In short, children should not be behind bars. It is undeniably harmful in many ways. Children who are deprived of their liberty are seriously exposed to violence. There is evidence that it leaves a scar not only on the individual, but, in the long run, on society. Whenever children are deprived of their liberty, they must have access to education and health care. It is strongly recommended that the Council of Europe supports the call for a global study on children deprived of liberty, including children in institutions. All alternatives to detention need to be supported.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Giannakaki to speak on behalf of the Socialist Group.

      Ms GIANNAKAKI (Greece)* – I congratulate the rapporteur on this important report, which deals with hard core human rights. Juvenile delinquency requires a response that combines social sensitivity with scientific knowledge. In ancient Greek, timoria or punishment also means a competition; the offender was sanctioned, but assistance was also provided to help reintegration into society. With a juvenile, who is not fully mature, the educational aspect is all the more important.

      Article 40 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that account should be taken of the age of the juvenile, who should be reintegrated into society; repentance should play an important role; and detention is an instrument which should include second-chance schooling and vocational training. Research has shown that those in detention who are in second-chance classes are least likely to reoffend. We have to face up to the social clichés that accompany released detainees. Collaboration is necessary to subsidise jobs for young offenders coming out of prison. That might be a fictional scenario in a Europe in crisis, with the rate of youth unemployment so high, but without it such young people might fall into a vicious circle of unlawfulness, because in most cases they have no social insurance or family assistance.

Recent research shows that, despite the rhetoric and ambitious documents of international organisations, the reality is a sombre one. Indeed, 95% of those who are detained for a period of at least two years reoffend. Few follow drugs programmes – drugs are part of their daily existence – and the greatest obstacle to young people coming out of prison is the cliché of the criminal, the delinquent or the offender, which entails not only that person’s social marginalisation, but the modification of their very identity, because such people are stigmatised. We all understand the effect that that might have on anyone, but especially on a young offender whose socialisation has not been completed.

It is difficult to reintegrate people when there is all that prejudice and the negative social identity that they drag along with them. The assistance that they should be provided with in order to overcome social reactions to them and stigmatisation should cover a whole range of psychological and educational needs. The report poses an important question, which we should focus on: how, out of this rhetorical analysis, can we move on to implementation and multiform actions when dealing with young people? If we wait longer, that would be negligent.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Kovács to speak on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.

      Ms KOVÁCS (Serbia) – Children have their own unique needs, so they need to have their own recognised rights. In my political group, we are convinced that children’s contact with the justice system needs to be child-centred and in line with all the international conventions, standards and guidelines relating to the rights of the child. It is also essential to focus on the implementation of such standards.

      We agree with the rapporteur that, in establishing the minimum age of criminal responsibility, it is extremely important to have in mind when a child has attained psychological, mental, intellectual and emotional maturity. Children should be kept in detention or imprisoned only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. We must advocate the principle of alternative, non-custodial measures for children, a benchmark for the maximum reasonable terms of imprisonment that a child can be sentenced to, and the abolition of life imprisonment for any child.

      Over the past few years, the Parliamentary Assembly has discussed a number of reports that address the problem of prison overcrowding and how we should be looking at alternative methods of imprisonment. We in the EPP believe that the need for child-friendly principles of justice cannot be looked at in the context of overcrowding, although that might still lead to an improvement. Child-friendly justice and alternatives to custodial measures must be addressed and implemented by member States because children should have their needs dealt with in a unique manner, because their needs are truly unique.

      The EPP strongly supports upholding the principles and articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this sense, we fully support the report and we want to thank and congratulate our colleague, Mr Schennach, for his excellent and dedicated work, as well as for this forward-moving, child-centred report. For child-friendly justice, we need to focus primarily on prevention of juvenile delinquency. It is not so much how the justice system treats children once they are caught up in it, but which strategies can be successfully implemented to prevent juvenile delinquency, and how, concretely, we as a society can understand why so many children and those of a young age find themselves in trouble and facing a variety of justice interventions in all our member States.

      The PRESIDENT – As Mr Schennach does not wish to respond at this stage, I call Ms Magradze.

      Ms MAGRADZE (Georgia) – First of all, I want to tell you that today is a great day for my country. As we speak, the heads of State of three countries, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, are signing new association agreements with the European Union. It is a great day for us, and I thank every person and organisation that has supported us on the difficult path towards European Union integration.

      On the report, I thank the rapporteur for dealing with the problem, because we have no right to lose even one child. Every child is important to society and should be integrated with it. What work are we doing in Georgia towards that goal? One of the key priorities for the Government of Georgia is bringing the juvenile justice system fully into line with international standards. The Georgian Ministry of Justice, in co-operation UNICEF and the European Union, has been working on the first stand-alone juvenile justice law, the aim of which is to incorporate fully into legislation the best interests of the child.

The major legislative changes concerning children in conflict with the law will require that juvenile criminal cases are considered and adjudicated by a specialised juvenile court, with the involvement of judges and prosecutors specifically trained in such matters. Currently in Georgia, juvenile cases are subject to the jurisdiction of general courts. Some amendments will be made to the Constitution of Georgia which, as a general rule, bans the establishing of special or specialised courts.

The juvenile diversion and mediation programme is led by the crime prevention centre of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. If there is probable cause that a juvenile has committed a less serious crime and he or she does not have a prior criminal record, the prosecutor may decide to divert the juvenile from criminal prosecution. The victim is invited to participate in a conference with the juvenile. A concept of mediation – restorative justice – is used to develop terms of agreement. The juvenile will be provided with the services that he or she needs, and he or she will in turn be responsible for fulfilling certain obligations. The analysis of the results of the programme shows that a big majority of the diversion cases involving mediation were successfully decided, and that the number of repeat crimes was very low. The ultimate goal of the mediation house, which will soon be operational, is to prevent crime by using the mediation instrument. Mediation initiatives will be expanded to cover family mediation and victim-offender mediation components.

To encourage former juvenile prisoners in their striving for rehabilitation and re-socialisation, the crime prevention centre has been carrying out a project aimed at removing tattoos. Generally, tattoos on the body prevent minors’ integration into society and make it difficult for them to continue education or find a job. Former juvenile prisoners with tattoos are less self-confident than others. Society perceives them as criminals. If the project is a success, a larger project will be developed and implemented.

Former President Saakashvili declared zero tolerance toward all crime and developed harsh responses to children in conflict with the law. The minimum age of criminal responsibility was changed from 14 to 12, and children in conflict with the law, as well as other persons who had committed any type of crimes, were sent to detention. Georgia was second only to Russia in terms of European countries’ prisoner numbers. The new Government of Georgia, which came into power after October 2012, adopted a more humanistic approach towards minor crimes. Our focus is on developing a more child-friendly justice system – one that is more supportive of the quick and full integration of juveniles into society.

Ms ČRNAK MEGLIČ (Slovenia) – One can only agree that children are our future and, as such, we should take care that they actually have a future. That is why I support the rapporteur’s suggestion to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility. I fully share his belief that 14 years is the minimum age at which a child reaches the emotional, mental and intellectual maturity to be able to participate in criminal proceedings. In Slovenia, a child under the age of 14 cannot be a perpetrator of a criminal offence, and until they reach the age of 18, only educational measures can be imposed on them. Only in exceptional cases are they sent to juvenile detention. That complies with the rapporteur’s opinion that detention should be a measure of last resort, used only after all alternative non-custodial measures and sanctions.

One topical issue – child advocacy bodies – has unfortunately been left out of the report. The need for such institutionalised support for children in certain situations is an obvious fact deriving from the very nature of the issue. Advocacy is not a luxury, and thus cannot and should not be a matter of pursuing specific projects. It should be accessible to all children involved in proceedings, and not just criminal proceedings. Advocacy should be promptly regulated with legal measures to effectively protect the rights of children. It is not only a matter of creating a new right. Such rights should also be precisely analysed, and the manner of implementation should be precisely determined in order to allow effective protection. The institution of the child advocate has been in place in Slovenia for several years and has proved to be highly effective, allowing us to turn the child from being a mere object to the true subject of proceedings.

Protecting and promoting respect for human rights, particularly those of children, is certainly not free. A child advocate body could be established, as has happened in Slovenia, by a network of volunteers guided and supervised by professionals. Experience shows us that, in the medium run, it is much more expensive and even harmful if effective measures are disregarded or postponed until better times. For that reason, I propose an amendment to the draft resolution in order to encourage the member States to introduce, and make effective use of, the institution of child advocate, which is a key instrument in empowering children as the subjects of rights and not only as their objects. It is a matter of implementing the commitments enshrined in of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially the Article 12. I ask colleagues to support Amendment 1.

      Mr TRIANTAFYLLOS (Greece)* – I join previous speakers in congratulating the rapporteur and I support the resolution.

      Children in trouble with the law are, first and foremost, children. Specific treatment for them does not just involve the police and judicial authorities, but education and health officials. That is why a prerequisite for child-friendly justice should be the availability of preventive action through social measures, education and health, and work opportunities in local areas. I want to talk about the children of refugees and migrants, and children who belong to minorities, who are very often the victims of violent action or exclusion by the local and national society.

      In this Chamber and in our national parliaments, we need to take account of three principles of child-friendly justice. First, we should have the age limit of 14. Secondly, detention should be the means of last resort. Thirdly, proceedings should be commensurate with the gravity of the crime and the nature of the child who has entered into conflict with the law. When it comes to serving the sentence, we need to judge the degree of risk. The court must judge whether the child should serve the sentence or be subject to alternative penalties. We need to adjust to child sensitivities, which means that children should not be held in police stations, and they should not be treated in the same way as adults by policemen, lawyers, prosecutors and anyone who has to deal with law enforcement. That presupposes special training for all those practitioners.

      We cannot say that children should be imprisoned for life. We need alternatives and choice when it comes to penalising children. Enforcement programmes need incentives for training and participation, and should allow for children’s personal development. In a difficult economic situation we need proper centres, not just prisons. We need rehabilitation centres and independent authorities, such as a child ombudsman. These obligations stem from resolutions that belong to the future and not the past.

      (Ms Brasseur, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Flego.)

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Casey, Observer from Canada.

      Mr CASEY (Canada) – We are now living in a law and order society in which otherwise sensible citizens have succumbed to the fear of crime, a fear which many politicians have exploited, believing that there are votes to be gained or funds to be raised. Thus we have sacrificed freedoms to manufacture a sense of security. Some of the fears are justified, but in the case of children, the fears are, for the most part, irrational and unfounded.

The law and order impulse – the impulse to get tough on crime – particularly the need to punish offenders harshly, has resulted in severe measures being imposed on children who run afoul of the law. Such measures are often disproportionate to the severity of the crimes that children are accused of having committed.

“Tough on crime” in the case of children is, in reality, “dumb on crime”. There is an important difference between perceptions of youth crime, whether it is increasing and its nature and severity, and the reality. The reality in Canada, and I expect in much of Europe, is quite different. Unfortunately, youth criminal justice policy and law have been built around perceptions, not reality, and not the evidence. Canadian crime statistics have shown a general decline in crime since 1991, reaching its lowest point in 2006, with declines also seen in youth crime. These studies also show that serious youth violence is a rare occurrence even if the public believe it is more prevalent.

The other important reality is that youth crime is closely linked to the economic and social climate in which a child is raised. I do not doubt for a moment that poverty and the lack of role models and proper guidance, as well as lack of job and educational opportunities, are the major factors behind youth crime. This is supported by the evidence that youth crime tends to involve minor theft or other petty crimes.

In Canada, our criminal justice policies for children are suffering the same fate as those in Europe. The age of criminal responsibility has been lowered to 12. For some exceptional crimes committed by children, a life sentence is considered appropriate. Although it is claimed that our youth criminal justice laws are based on the principle of the diminished moral blameworthiness of youth, and that rehabilitation and reintegration are the goals, the tendency is toward more severe punishment for children and youth.

The evidence from various international jurisdictions in Europe, Canada and the United States of America suggests that traditional punitive approaches for dealing with youth criminality have proven ineffective. Many of these jurisdictions are now looking at so-called holistic approaches including alternative sentencing, diversion from the court system, community-based initiatives and focusing on rehabilitation and reintegration. These approaches are more humane and respectful, as well as more effective in dealing with the root causes of youth crime.

As the justice critic for my party, the Liberal Party of Canada, this concerns me. But it should concern all of us because our children are our future and we should ensure that they are not deprived of opportunities to fully develop their potential and become fully functioning members of society because of youthful indiscretions, lack of adult guidance, or lack of economic opportunities.

The PRESIDENT* – Ms El Ouafi is not here, so would anyone else like to speak? I call Mr Recordon.

Mr RECORDON (Switzerland)* – Thank you for calling me to speak. I just want to make two observations.

The report is along the right lines and I will approve it. The complaint that there is an excess of kindness in the report does not aim at the right problem. The solutions proposed by the rapporteur are neither excessively kind nor lacking in sanctions and reparations for victims. The proposals are very apposite. I do not think the amendments change very much, with the exception of one amendment to paragraph 6.4.1. Amendment 3 proposes all sorts of intelligent things, such as adapting sanctions to a child’s age, and separating older offenders from young offenders to protect young offenders from violence. These proposals should have been added to those of the committee and should not have sought to replace the proposals in the report. That is a pity.

The only subject we should have been more rigorous on is perverts. This is a very difficult problem, which we can consider in the future. A young person may already be involved in the cycle of perversion. We cannot impose perpetual imprisonment, but in most cases we genuinely do not have the means to treat people to the extent that they no longer commit criminal acts or pose a serious danger to society. Therefore, security requires monitoring, either civil or criminal, to prevent people committing acts that are dangerous to themselves and to others. The report should have mentioned that, but I invite colleagues to approve the report.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone else wish to speak? That is not the case. I call the rapporteur, Mr Schennach. You have four minutes left.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – I thank everybody who has spoken in this morning’s debate. Across all political lines, I think everybody has welcomed, and responded positively to, the report. I think the message has hit home on child-friendly juvenile justice. Our take on the subject seems to be shared; there seems to be consensus.

We need to be on the side of young offenders. I trained in social sciences and have been grappling with the reality of this issue for 35 years. I have worked on a voluntary basis with young offenders – girls, boys and youngsters from a migration background. Often they will have committed very serious offences. In the course of those 35 years, I have been confronted with the reality and that is why I have taken a clear stand in defence of young people.

We have taken on board the suggestion from Ms Črnak Meglič. In fact, the amendment from the Slovenian delegation was unanimously agreed by the committee. That is one possibility in terms of best practice. This is an area from which we can stand to learn.

I thank Ms Anttila very much indeed. You made a very committed plea in the course of your statement. We have also taken on board your amendment and I think it can only improve the report.

Mr Recordon, the UN convention, in plain language, defines a child as anyone under the age of 18, so we do not need any explanation or technical description. That said, I thank you for this discussion and encourage you to go along with the spirit of the report and to give it your support.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does the chairperson of the committee wish to speak?

      Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – As the Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, I reiterate the committee’s full support for Mr Schennach’s report on child-friendly juvenile justice. The report is about facts, some of which are appalling. More than a million children are deprived of their liberty across the world, the vast majority of whom are first-time offenders charged with minor crimes. A growing number of States and regions are seeking to criminalise more and younger children by lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

      What is going on? How do we justify such developments when an entire set of international standards, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which almost all the countries of the world are party, tells us to that we should be doing almost exactly the opposite of what we are doing? We know for a fact that locking up children is not working. Not only does it have devastating consequences for them and violate their basic rights, but it is also the most expensive method of dealing with children in conflict with the law and is counterproductive in terms of prevention and community safety.

      When we unanimously adopted the report in Cyprus in May, the Cypriot Minister of Justice referred to the island’s most notorious and dangerous criminal, who started his criminal career at the age of 17 after being convicted of being a draft dodger and being sentenced to six months in prison. Do not get me wrong. We do not advocate that children who commit crimes should be exonerated from sanctions of any kind. The sanction of imprisonment does need to be used against children sometimes, but it should be a last resort when nothing else will do. We advocate a juvenile justice system that is adapted to children’s rights and needs and that gives them the tools to become self-sufficient and contributing members of society and that allows them to stand and take their lives in their hands.

      That is what Mr Schennach’s report is about. That is the message that we are hoping to spread and that is why I invite you to support the report.

The PRESIDENT* – The debate is closed.

The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development has presented a draft resolution to which 14 amendments and two sub-amendments have been tabled.

I understand that seven of the amendments have been agreed unanimously by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development. Those are Amendments 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14. Amendment 12 was also agreed unanimously by the committee. However, if Amendment 6 is agreed to, Amendment 12 will fall, so we must take it separately in the usual way.

I therefore understand that the amendments that the Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development wishes to propose to the Assembly, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

Is that so, Mr Ghiletchi?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – Yes.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone object?

As there is no objection, Amendments 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 are agreed to by the Assembly under Rule 33.11.

The following amendments have been adopted:

Amendment 8, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 3, to add the following sentence: “In this context, the over-representation of vulnerable children in detention has been considered alarming.”

Amendment 9, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.4.2, to add the following words: “, including educational measures, community sanctions and treatment programmes”.

Amendment 10, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, before paragraph 6.5, to insert the following paragraph:

“ensure that deprivation of liberty, used only as a measure of last resort, aims at rehabilitating and reintegrating children into society, in particular by providing appropriate training and treatment programmes;”.

Amendment 11, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6.5, after the words “respecting human rights standards”, to insert the following words: “and based, inter alia, on principles of restorative justice,”.

Amendment 13, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7, to replace the word “professionals” with the word “actors”.

Amendment 14, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 7, to insert the following paragraph:

“Finally, the Assembly refers to its Resolution 1796 (2011) entitled ‘Young offenders: social measures, education and rehabilitation’ in which it promoted welfare-based responses with a view to preventing juvenile delinquency: such responses lead to greater social inclusion, greater participation and greater commitment to education and socially acceptable behaviour.”

The remaining amendments will be taken separately in the order in which they appear in the compendium and the organisation of debates. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

We come to Amendment 1, tabled by Ms Črnak Meglič, Ms Dimic, Ms Komar, Ms Osterman and Mr Presečnik, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.1, to add the following words: “in particular, the institution of a Child Advocate, following the positive practice of some member States;”.

I call Ms Črnak Meglič to support Amendment 1.

Ms ČRNAK MEGLIČ (Slovenia) – As I said in my previous speech, the amendment talks about the institutions for children in conflict with the law. We want to support countries to fall in line by establishing the institution of a child advocate. Those countries could follow those that have already developed such institutions that really help children to become not only objects but also subjects.

The PRESIDENT* – We come now to Sub-Amendment 1 to Amendment 1, which was tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in Amendment 1, to replace the words “in particular, the institution of Child Advocate” with the following words: “inter alia, the institution of a Children’s ombudsperson”.

I call Mr Schennach to support Sub-Amendment 1 on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The sub-amendment only puts in the two words “inter alia” before “the institution of a Children’s ombudsperson”.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the mover of the amendment about the sub-amendment?

Ms ČRNAK MEGLIČ (Slovenia) – It is not really the same. The child advocate is an institution that helps children in cases in front of judicial processes. Child ombudsman is much broader than that, which is why I do not support the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee on the sub-amendment?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – In favour. We regret that the mover of the amendment was not in the committee to explain it to us, but the committee is in favour.

The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 1, as amended? That is not the case.

What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – In favour.

The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      We come to Amendment 2, tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6.4, after the words “the shortest possible period of time,” to insert the following words:

“while still in keeping with the seriousness of the crime and its consequences for the victim and with the degree of culpability of the young offender,”.

I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh to support Amendment 2.

Ms Van VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – The proposed addition is a clarification and a reminder of the fact that children under 21, or even 25, sometimes commit very serious crimes with harsh consequences for the victims, and it would be unacceptable in such cases to focus exclusively on the best interests of the juvenile offender. The amendment was adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Schennach.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – Paragraph 6.4 is stating a universal legal principle under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are not talking about sanctions here. We can talk about sanctions for crimes that have been committed, but detention would be the last resort – that is the spirit of paragraph 6.4 and of the report as a whole.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is against.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is rejected.

We come to Amendment 3, tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, to replace paragraph 6.4.1 with the following paragraph:

“ensuring that the implementation of any custodial sentence is adapted to the young offender’s age: in particular, juveniles in detention must be kept separate from older offenders at all times, and even within special detention facilities for juveniles, younger inmates must be effectively protected from all forms of abuse by older inmates;”.

I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh to support Amendment 3.

Ms Van VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – I agree that the minimum age for any criminal responsibility should be set at at least 14 years, but after a juvenile has passed that threshold all types of criminal sanctions, including custodial ones, must be available to judges. In their sentencing decisions, judges must take into account all the elements of the individual case, including the seriousness of the crime, its consequences for the victim and the degree of culpability of the young offender. The amendment was adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Schennach.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The committee discussed this amendment and unanimously rejected it. The minimum age has to be clear, and there should be no possibility of depriving someone below that age of their liberty. The amendment talks about sanctions, but the situation is clear. The deletion of this paragraph would come at just the wrong time.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is against.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 4, tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, to replace paragraph 6.4.3 with the following paragraph:

“abolishing life imprisonment for any crimes committed by persons under the age of 18 at the time of the crime;”.

I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh to support Amendment 4.

Ms Van VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – The term used in the original text is legally imprecise. It is not clear whether it also includes young offenders at or near the age of 21 or even 25 who can still be covered by juvenile criminal law. In my view, for young offenders over the age of 18, it would be inappropriate to exclude categorically the possibility of any type of life sentence.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Schennach.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – I think everyone in the Assembly is familiar with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it defines clearly that anyone under the age of 18 is a child, and cannot have a sentence of life imprisonment imposed.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is against.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 4 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 5, tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6.5, at the end of the sentence, to insert the following words: “in appropriate cases”.

I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh to support Amendment 5.

Ms Van VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – Programmes designed to avoid any criminal sanctions and even any criminal court proceedings are only appropriate for less serious crimes. Violent crimes, especially those having caused death or serious, permanent bodily harm, or rapes, should not be dealt with by diversion programmes, but by appropriate penal sanctions, taking into account all aspects of the case, including of course the young offender’s degree of culpability.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Schennach.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The amendment would weaken the whole idea that we are attempting to put across in the report. We are appealing to governments and parliaments and calling on them to develop diversion programmes in their judicial systems. We are not saying that they have to do this or that, but given the panoply of diversion programmes available, we think that governments should develop them.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is against.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 5 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 6, tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, to replace paragraph 6.6 with the following paragraph:

“refrain from penalising children for their participation in offences designed to protect them, such as running away from home;”.

I call Ms Van Vaerenbergh to support Amendment 6.

Ms Van VAERENBERGH (Belgium) – The term used in the original text is too wide as it includes not only offences linked to the offender being under age, but also laws existing in some States in the United States that prohibit convicted criminals from owning firearms

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Schennach.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – Were this amendment to be adopted, Amendment 12 would fall, but Amendment 12 provides that although we are enacting specific provisions for children, we have to ensure that we are not criminalising children as a result. We need to consider the need for a degree of flexibility. There are specific laws that target children and define what they can and cannot do, and if they overstep the line, we need to ensure that they are not criminalised as a result.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is against.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 6 is rejected.

We come to Amendment 12, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.6, to add the following words:

“which are acts classified as offences only when committed by children;”

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – Amendment 12 was unanimously agreed by the Committee. It is the proposal made by our Finnish colleague.

      The PRESIDENT* – Amendment 12 was accepted unanimously by the Committee, but I withdrew it from the list of those amendments to be accepted automatically because of Amendment 6. That is why we need to vote on Amendment 12.

      I call Mr Schennach to support Amendment 12.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The paragraph includes all acts classified as offences only when committed by children. It makes the position much clearer.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

What is the opinion of the committee?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is in favour.

       The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

We come to Amendment 7, tabled by Ms Anttila, Ms Mattila, Mr Kaikkonen, Sir Alan Meale and Mr Xuclà, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7, to insert the following paragraph:

“prevent the detention of young offenders by introducing a system of rapid intervention with the aim of allowing a multi-professional team, including the police, social workers, psychiatric nurses and youth workers, to facilitate the investigation of crimes committed by young offenders and to offer them and their families support and rehabilitation.”

      I call Ms Anttila to support Amendment 7.

      Ms ANTTILA (Finland) – I am pleased that the Committee supports the amendment, as well as the proposal to insert the words “inter alia”. I hope that the changes are adopted; they were unanimously accepted by the committee.

      The PRESIDENT* –  We come to Sub-Amendment 1 to Amendment 7, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in Amendment 7, after the words “prevent the detention of young offenders by”, insert the words “inter alia”.

I call Mr Schennach to support the sub-amendment.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The sub-amendment speaks for itself.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the sub-amendment? That is not the case.

The committee is clearly in favour.

The vote is open.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 7, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 13511, as amended.

      The vote is open.

4. Reference to committees

      The PRESIDENT* – The Bureau has proposed a number of references to committees for ratification by the Assembly, set out in Document AS/Inf (2014) 10.

      Is there any objection to the proposed references to committees?

      There is no objection, so the references are approved.

5. Voting champions

The PRESIDENT* – I am pleased to be able to announce the names of our voting champions – those members who have taken part in most votes during this part-session.

As is almost always the case, Ms Christoffersen is among the champions, but this time she has tied with Mr Ghiletchi, with Ms Maury Pasquier, as usual and with Mr Schennach. Behind them, three members are tied. I am delighted to say that a new member, my compatriot Mr Cruchten of Luxembourg, is among them. The others are Ms Erkal Kara and, as usual, Mr Gross.

I congratulate you all – please come and pick up your small gifts at the end of the sitting. As the same members are nearly always the champions, it becomes increasingly difficult to find appropriate gifts for them, but we have some.

6. End of the part-session

The PRESIDENT* – We have now come to the end of our business.

We have had a remarkable part-session on more than one count. We have had some controversial debates, and there have been tensions, but that is part of our business. I hope that all members will be able to refresh themselves during their well-deserved break, after which we will once again pursue our work.

I wish all members an excellent holiday, and the same to all the interpreters, whom I thank for helping us to understand each other – I must point out that they are not responsible for the content of what we say. I also thank all the staff who help and guide us in doing our work. Since I assumed the presidency, I have been able to see all the work that is done behind the scenes by all those working for the Parliamentary Assembly, which we do not always see. Mr Secretary General, I thank your entire team. It is a tremendous pleasure to be able to work with you, and you really deserve a summer break. I wish everyone an excellent holiday.

The fourth part of the 2014 session will be held from 29 September to 3 October 2014.

I declare the third part of the 2014 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe closed.

(The sitting was closed at 12.15 p.m.)


1. Changes in the membership of committees

2. Reinforcement of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights

Presentation by Mr Cilevičs of report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Document 13524

Speakers: Mr Schneider (France), Mr Denemeç (Turkey), Mr Kennedy (United Kingdom), Mr Gür (Turkey), Lord Tomlinson (United Kingdom), Mr Recordon (Switzerland) and Mr Maruste (Estonia)

Replies: Mr Cilevičs (Latvia) and Mr Díaz Tejera (Spain)

Draft resolution in Document 13524 adopted

Draft recommendation in Document 13524 adopted

3. Child-friendly juvenile justice: from rhetoric to reality

Presentation by Mr Schennach of report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development in Document 13511

Presentation by Ms Van Vaerenbergh of opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Document 13547

Speakers: Ms Erkal Kara (Turkey) Ms Anttila (Finland), Mr Jónasson (Iceland), Ms Giannakaki (Greece), Ms Kovács (Serbia), Ms Magradze (Georgia), Ms Črnak Meglič (Slovenia), Mr Triantafyllos (Greece), Mr Casey (Canada), Mr Recordon (Switzerland)

Replies: Mr Schennach (Austria) and Mr Ghiletchi (Republic of Moldova)

Amendments 8 to 11, 13, 14, 1 as amended, 12, and 7 as amended, adopted

Draft resolution in Document 13511, as amended, adopted

4. Reference to committees

5. Voting champions

6. End of the part-session

Appendix I

Representatives or Substitutes who signed the Attendance Register in accordance with Rule 11.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of Substitutes who replaced absent Representatives are printed in small letters. The names of those who were absent or apologised for absence are followed by an asterisk


Alexey Ivanovich ALEKSANDROV*

Jean-Charles ALLAVENA*

Werner AMON*


Lord Donald ANDERSON*


Khadija ARIB*

Volodymyr ARIEV*

Francisco ASSIS*

Danielle AUROI*


Egemen BAĞIŞ*



Taulant BALLA*

Gérard BAPT*



José Manuel BARREIRO*


Marieluise BECK*

Ondřej BENEŠIK/ Gabriela Pecková

José María BENEYTO*




Anna Maria BERNINI*

Maria Teresa BERTUZZI*




Ľuboš BLAHA*



Jean-Marie BOCKEL*




Mladen BOSIĆ*

António BRAGA*


Alessandro BRATTI*

Gerold BÜCHEL*






Lorenzo CESA*


Vannino CHITI*

Tudor-Alexandru CHIUARIU*

Christopher CHOPE


Desislav CHUKOLOV*

Lolita ČIGĀNE*


Henryk CIOCH*


Deirdre CLUNE*

Agustín CONDE*








Katalin CSÖBÖR*



Armand De DECKER*





Peter van DIJK

Şaban DİŞLİ*

Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ





Daphné DUMERY*

Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE*

Josette DURRIEU*


Lady Diana ECCLES*


Franz Leonhard EßL*



Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU*

Vyacheslav FETISOV*

Doris FIALA/Luc Recordon

Daniela FILIPIOVÁ/ Miroslav Krejča



Gvozden Srećko FLEGO



Jean-Claude FRÉCON*


Martin FRONC*

Sir Roger GALE*





Francesco Maria GIRO*

Pavol GOGA*


Alina Ştefania GORGHIU*


Sandro GOZI*

Fred de GRAAF*

Patrick De GROOTE*

Andreas GROSS


Mehmet Kasim GÜLPINAR*

Gergely GULYÁS*

Nazmi GÜR





Carina HÄGG*


Andrzej HALICKI*

Hamid HAMID*

Mike HANCOCK/Charles Kennedy

Margus HANSON*

Alfred HEER








Johannes HÜBNER*

Andrej HUNKO*

Ali HUSEYNLI/Sahiba Gafarova





Tadeusz IWIŃSKI*


Gediminas JAKAVONIS*



Tedo JAPARIDZE/ Guguli Magradze

Michael Aastrup JENSEN*

Frank J. JENSSEN/ Hans Fredrik Grøvan


Aleksandar JOVIČIĆ


Antti KAIKKONEN/Sirkka-Liisa Anttila







Bogdan KLICH*

Serhiy KLYUEV*

Haluk KOÇ*


Kateřina KONEČNÁ*


Attila KORODI*




Tiny KOX

Astrid KRAG*

Borjana KRIŠTO*



Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT*


Christophe LÉONARD*

Valentina LESKAJ*




François LONCLE*



Trine Pertou MACH/Nikolaj Villumsen


Philippe MAHOUX*

Thierry MARIANI*


Meritxell MATEU PI*




Michael McNAMARA*

Sir Alan MEALE*





Jean-Claude MIGNON/André Schneider

Philipp MIßFELDER*




Arkadiusz MULARCZYK*

Melita MULIĆ/ Ingrid Antičević Marinović


Philippe NACHBAR*





Baroness Emma NICHOLSON*



Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI*

Mirosława NYKIEL*



Judith OEHRI


Joseph O'REILLY*



Aleksandra OSTERMAN/ Polonca Komar

José Ignacio PALACIOS



Ganira PASHAYEVA/Sevinj Fataliyeva

Foteini PIPILI/Maria Giannakaki

Stanislav POLČÁK



Cezar Florin PREDA*



Gabino PUCHE*


Mailis REPS/ Rait Maruste


Andrea RIGONI*


Maria de Belém ROSEIRA*



Rovshan RZAYEV*

Indrek SAAR/Ester Tuiksoo


Kimmo SASI*



Ingjerd SCHOU


Urs SCHWALLER/Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter

Laura SEARA*

Predrag SEKULIĆ*


Aleksandar SENIĆ

Senad ŠEPIĆ*








Lorella STEFANELLI/Gerardo Giovagnoli



Ionuţ-Marian STROE*


Björn von SYDOW*



Vyacheslav TIMCHENKO*

Romana TOMC/ Andreja Črnak Meglič




Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ*

Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ*

Konstantinos TZAVARAS*



Olga-Nantia VALAVANI

Snorre Serigstad VALEN

Petrit VASILI*

Volodymyr VECHERKO*


Mark VERHEIJEN/ Marjolein Faber-Van De Klashorst



Vladimir VORONIN*

Klaas de VRIES*



Piotr WACH*


Dame Angela WATKINSON*

Karl-Georg WELLMANN*

Katrin WERNER*

Morten WOLD/Tore Hagebakken

Gisela WURM*

Tobias ZECH*



Emanuelis ZINGERIS*

Guennady ZIUGANOV*


Levon ZOURABIAN/Armen Rustamyan

Vacant Seat, Cyprus*


Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote





Corneliu CHISU

Partners for democracy


Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of the Parliamentary Assembly)