28 April 2004
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Rapporteur: Mr Erik Jurgens, Netherlands, Socialist Group
I. Conclusions of the Committee
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights fully supports the draft resolution tabled by the Political Affairs Committee but would like to table two amendments aimed at clarifying the political and the legal situation.
At the end of paragraph 1 of the draft resolution, add the following new sentence:
"The Assembly understands that more time may be needed for the Greek Cypriot population to gain confidence and develop trust in the new, more positive attitude of the Turkish Cypriots, and of Turkey."
The Greek Cypriots, since the occupation of Northern Cyprus by Turkish troops, accompanied by many atrocities committed by both sides, have grown accustomed to fearing and distrusting their powerful neighbour. They were also told, including by this Assembly and by the European Court of Human Rights, that their lawful rights would prevail in the end. They were now told rather abruptly by the international community that a compromise had to be accepted. They may simply need more time to be in a position to follow these rapid developments.
In paragraph 6 of the draft resolution, delete the last sentence ("Without Procedure.")
This sentence is a contradiction in itself. Articles 59.7 and 59.8 of the Rules of Procedure govern a status that of a national parliament as special guest in the Parliamentary Assembly. A national parliament can only be an organ of an independent state.
Such a recognition would also set an undesirable precedent for the recognition as special guests of other quasi-parliamentary bodies in different non-recognised regional entities.
The purpose of paragraph 6 - for Turkish Cypriots to be represented in the European political debate, as stated rightly in paragraph 5 - can be achieved by its first sentence alone.
II. Explanatory memorandum
by Mr Jurgens, Rapporteur
1. TheCommittee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights joins in the disappointment of the Political Affairs Committee as to the Greek Cypriot "no" vote on 24 April 2004.
2. It agrees with the Political Affairs Committee's position that now "the Turkish Cypriots' international isolation must cease".
3. This of course needs an analysis of the legal and political grounds for these sanctions. This analysis should be made as rapidly as possible, so as to allow the Assembly to discuss the matter further and in depth.
4. For the moment, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights would like to formulate the first paragraph of the draft resolution in such a way that it is made clear that the political situation as to the division of Cyprus has now started moving and that the momentum behind this should be kept going. Hence the first amendment which the Committee wishes to put forward.
5. Alas, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights cannot acquiesce in the solution put forward in paragraph 6 of the draft resolution for accommodating representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community in the Assembly. Article 59 of the Rules of Procedure does not make this possible. By deleting the last sentence this problem is avoided.
Reporting committee: Political Affairs Committee
Committee for opinion: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Reference to committee: Request for an urgent procedure, Reference No 2943 of 26 April 2004
Opinion approved by the committee on 27 April 2004
Secretaries to the committee: Ms Coin, Mr Schirmer, Mrs Clamer, Mr Milner
 See Doc. 10161 tabled by the Political Affairs Committee.