1. The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
welcomes the draft resolution presented by the Committee on Legal
Affairs and Human Rights to the extent that it aims to develop guiding
principles for distinguishing between legitimate criminal responsibility
of politicians and unacceptable criminalisation of political decision-making.
These principles are addressed to the legislative bodies and other
competent authorities of member States.
2. The committee congratulates the European Commission for Democracy
through Law (Venice Commission) on the excellent opinion and comparative
analysis it provided on the matter. The opinion focused on ministerial
criminal responsibility and its conclusions should be faithfully
reflected in the principles to be adopted by the Assembly.
3. At the same time, the committee cannot agree with the approach
followed in the draft resolution to the extent that it is proposed
to apply those guiding principles to concrete cases in a single
member State. It understands that this was the choice of the majority
of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
4. Nevertheless, the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
is of the opinion that, whereas this choice can be reflected in
the explanatory memorandum of the report, which is the sole responsibility
of the rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights,
it cannot commit the whole Assembly. The latter should not substitute
itself for the national competent authorities in the member States
which it calls on to respect and implement the proposed principles.
Furthermore, there is a country-specific monitoring procedure for
Ukraine and the mandate of the Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteurs
covers the issues raised in the draft resolution in question.