RECOMMENDATION 1302 (1996)[1]

on the abolition of the death penalty in Europe


  1. The Assembly recalls Recommendation 1246 (1994) on the abolition of capital punishment. It welcomes the decision of the Committee of Ministers of 16 January 1996 to encourage member states which have not abolished the death penalty to operate, de facto or de jure, a moratorium on the execution of death sentences.

  2. However, it regrets that the Committee of Ministers has not yet taken any action on the most important proposals, contained in paragraph 6 of this recommendation.

  3. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers follow up the proposals of Recommendation 1246 (1994) without further delay. In particular, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers draw up an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights abolishing the death penalty both in peace and wartime, and obliging the signatories not to re-introduce it under any circumstances, and that a control mechanism be set up under the Secretary General.

  4. Referring to Resolution 1097 (1996), the Assembly furthermore recommends that the Committee of Ministers assist its efforts to have the death penalty abolished in all Council of Europe member states by:

  1. granting financial and logistical assistance for the conducting of national information campaigns on the abolition of the death penalty to those countries who ask for it;

  2. organising a large-scale international conference on developments in the field of the abolition of the death penalty, to take place in 1997 in a country that has not yet de facto abolished the death penalty;

  3. considering the attitude of applicant states towards the death penalty when deciding on their admission as full members to the Council of Europe, and taking the attitude of retentionist countries into account during the monitoring of obligations and commitments by member states.

[1] Assembly debate on 28 June 1996 (24th Sitting) (see Doc. 7589, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mrs Wohlwend).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 June 1996 (24th Sitting).