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Doc. 8340 revised 2

20 May 1999

Europe: a death penalty-free continent1

Report

Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Rapporteur: Mrs Renate Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, Group of the European People's Party

Summary

The new millennium will mark the 50th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe member states should celebrate this event as a death penalty-free continent. In recent years the impetus towards abolition has become stronger and stronger, with many member states ratifying Protocol No 6 or abolishing the death penalty in their domestic law. It is a very positive sign that an overwhelming majority of new member states, notwithstanding the difficulties inherent in their economical and political transition, have abolished the death penalty. Nonetheless, one cannot ignore the news received from some countries, which shows that the Council of Europe must continue to strive for the most fundamental right of all.

I.       Draft resolution

1.        The Assembly, referring to its Resolutions 1044 (1994) and 1097 (1996), reaffirms its belief that the application of the death penalty constitutes inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the most fundamental human right, that to life itself. It reiterates its firm conviction that capital punishment, therefore, has no place in civilised, democratic societies governed by the rule of law.

2.        The Assembly is heartened by the fact that the number of executions in Council of Europe member states is steadily diminishing – from 18 in 1997 (of which 13 took place in Ukraine and five in the Russian Federation (Chechnya)) to a single one in 1998 (in the Russian Federation (Chechnya)).

3.        The Assembly is similarly encouraged by recent positive developments in several member states. It is pleased that, following ratification by Belgium, Greece and Latvia, 31 member states have ratified Protocol No 6. Also, since the signature of Protocol No 6 by Bulgaria, Cyprus and Lithuania, only four member states are not signatories of the Protocol, namely, Albania, Georgia, Poland and Turkey. Further, it congratulates Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom on their total abolition in domestic law of the death penalty and it regrets that four member states – Albania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine - still maintain the death penalty on their Statute books.

4.        However, the Assembly is concerned, that three member states, namely Albania, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, still maintain prisoners on death row in violation of their commitment to abolish the death penalty within a certain delay following accession to the Council of Europe.

5.        Especially, the Assembly condemns in the strongest possible terms the executions that have taken place in Chechnya as a consequence of a fundamentalist interpretation of the Charia. It calls on the responsible authorities to fully respect the moratorium on executions instituted by the Russian Federation.

6.        These member states must realise that the Assembly is unwilling to reconsider their commitments with regard to the abolition of the death penalty. On the contrary, the Assembly will use all means at its disposal to ensure that commitments freely entered into are honoured.

7.        It thus asks Albania, the Russian Federation and Ukraine that they ratify Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, under no circumstances whatsoever carry out an execution, and commute the sentence of all those condemned to death as soon as the death penalty is abolished. It acknowledges the efforts of the members of the Latvian parliament in this respect and urges them to pursue total abolition.

8.        Moreover, it urges all member states of the Council of Europe which have not yet done so, to sign and/or ratify Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, in order that Europe may enter the third millennium as an execution – and death penalty – free zone.

9. Finally the Assembly decides – and calls on the whole of the Council of Europe, including the Committee of Ministers to do likewise – to offer full assistance to member states experiencing difficulties in abolishing the death penalty in particular by disseminating information and by organising awareness-raising seminars aimed at assuring support from governmental and from non governmental circles.

II.       Explanatory memorandum by Mrs Wohlwend

A.       Introduction

1.       In 1997, executions in the member states of the Council of Europe came to an alarming total of eighteen (Ukraine: 13; Chechnya: 5). In 1998, however, the situation improved and Europe became a practically execution-free zone, tarnished only by events in Chechnya, where there was one execution in June 1998. In 1998 and early 1999 there have been two trends among the member states.

2.       First of all, there has been a consolidation of the legal basis for abolition as national legislation has been adopted abolishing the death penalty. Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia and the United Kingdom have done away with the death penalty. In addition, some long-standing member states have decided to sign or ratify Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights and hence to enshrine abolition in domestic law. Greece and Belgium have ratified the Protocol and Cyprus and the United Kingdom are about to do so. These states should be warmly congratulated and those states which have recently embraced abolition should be encouraged to consolidate their achievements by ratifying Protocol No 6.

3.       To date, thirty-one of the Council of Europe’s forty-one member states have ratified Protocol No 6: Andorra (1996), Austria (1984), Belgium (1998), Croatia (1997), the Czech Republic (1993), Denmark (1985), Estonia (1998), Finland (1990), France (1986), Germany (1989), Greece (1998), Hungary (1992), Iceland (1987), Ireland (1994), Italy (1989), Latvia (1999), Liechtenstein (1990), Luxembourg (1985), Malta (1991), Moldova (1997), the Netherlands (1986), Norway (1988), Portugal (1986), Romania (1994), San Marino (1989), Slovakia (1993), Slovenia (1994), Spain (1985), Sweden (1985), Switzerland (1987), and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (1997). Six other member states have signed Protocol No 6 but have not yet deposited their instruments of ratification: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Poland has abolished the death penalty under domestic law but has not yet signed Protocol No 6. Only Albania and Turkey have yet to abolish the death penalty in domestic law or sign Protocol No 6.

4.       These advances should not obscure the concern aroused by certain central and eastern European countries attempting to curb an increase in the crime rate by calling into question their commitments vis-à-vis the Council of Europe. Certain members of the Albanian, Russian and Ukraine Governments regularly use this argument to justify the possibility of lifting the moratorium. The main aim of any such gesture would be to assuage the demands of the public, most of whom are opposed to abolition.

5.       Apart from the fact that it is linked to one-off events — a serial killer in Ukraine, a political assassination in Russia, a murder of police officers in Albania — this argument does not hold water in any non-populist crime policy. It should be recalled that there is no scientifically proven correlation between the death penalty and a lower crime rate. In fact, it could be argued that by institutionalising death, we create a more violent society, the prime example being the United States.

6.       Once again I would like to denounce the argument which the Russian authorities alone put forward, namely that the abolition of the death penalty is impossible because of the cost of keeping the convicts in prison. Not only is this argument contemptible because it connects human life to budgetary considerations, but it is also fallacious. Although it is estimated that there are some 1 000 prisoners under the sentence of death in Russia, this is a derisory figure, in terms of the cost, compared with the total Russian prison population of 1 200 000.

7.       In any event, the authorities of the member states in question — Albania, Russia and Ukraine — must realise that the Assembly totally rules out any possibility of releasing them from their commitment to abolish the death penalty. As early as 1994, the Assembly formally acknowledged that the death penalty constituted inhuman and degrading punishment in itself and a violation of the most fundamental human right, namely that to life. The Assembly has consistently warned member states which are reluctant to honour their commitments to bring an end to all executions and abolish the death penalty "that it will take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with commitments entered into" (Res. 1112 (1997)) — most recently this was the case with Ukraine, at the January 1999 part-session. Since 1994 the Assembly has made it a prerequisite for all states wishing to join the Council of Europe to commit themselves to ratifying Protocol No 6 within three years of accession and introducing a moratorium on executions in the meantime.

B.       Developments since the report submitted to the Assembly in June 1996 (Doc 7589)

8.       The developments described below are based on information provided by the authorities of the states concerned and non-governmental organisations, or were gleaned from the press and any other available source. Wherever possible I have cross-checked our sources but the instability and the impenetrability of the political situation in certain areas has made it impossible to put forward figures with any degree of certainty.

9.       Only states in which there were developments with regard to the abolition of the death penalty in 1997-98 are cited. Moreover, this report will not consider the situation in the states with observer status with the Council of Europe in which the death penalty still applies — Japan and the United States — since this is shortly to be covered in detail in a separate report. For a more complete presentation of the arguments in favour of abolition, you are invited to consult Mr Franck’s excellent explanatory memorandum on the subject (Doc 7154) and my report of 1996 (Doc 7589).

i.       Council of Europe member states2

      - Albania

10.       Albania has been a member of the Council of Europe since July 1995 but it has not yet abolished the death penalty, which still applies to seven different offences. None the less, Albania has applied a moratorium on executions since 29 June 1995, introduced with a view to its accession to the Council of Europe. Given the commitments entered into by Albania on joining the Council, it should have signed Protocol No 6 by 13 July 1998.

11.       As far as I know, no executions have taken place since the introduction of the moratorium. However, the Albanian courts continue to sentence people to death. On 16 December 1998, the Supreme Court of Tirana sentenced four people to death. This sentence follows on from another passed on 23 October 1997.

12.       The violent events of late 1997 and a substantial rise in the crime rate have led certain Albanian political leaders, apparently supported by the majority of the public, to suggest that the moratorium should be lifted. This situation has prompted both the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Bureau of the Assembly to remind the Albanian Government of its commitments as a member state.

      - Belgium

13.       Under a law of 1 August 1996 the death penalty was totally abolished. There had been no executions since 1950. Belgium signed Protocol No 6 in 1983 and ratified it on December 1998. It entered into force in Belgium on 1 January 1999. Belgium has also ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, designed to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

      - Bulgaria

14.       On 10 December 1998, by an overwhelming majority, the Bulgarian Parliament passed a bill abolishing the death penalty for all crimes. The penalty was applicable to the perpetrators of high treason, espionage, assassination, war crimes and genocide. Until then the courts had continued to pass death sentences but they were not carried out because of a moratorium introduced by the parliament on 20 July 1990. The last execution took place on 4 November 1989. The death penalty has been replaced by a non-commutable sentence of life imprisonment not applicable to persons under twenty years of age and women who are pregnant at the time of the offence or the judgment.

15.       In accordance with his commitments, the Bulgarian Vice-President has commuted the twenty-one death sentences passed between 1990 and 1998 to life imprisonment.

16.       Bulgaria has not yet ratified Protocol No 6. This state of affairs should be seen in parallel with the statements of politicians and prison governors in favour of the death penalty. These statements simply reflect the opinion of the public, 52% of whom are in favour of the death penalty for particularly cruel murders according to a poll carried out by the MBMD agency in Sofia. However, there is reason to hope that the abolition of the death penalty will be followed by the ratification of Protocol No 6. It was already signed in Budapest, on the occasion of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Ministers to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Council of Europe.

- Cyprus

17.       On 18 February 1999 the House of Representatives unanimously voted for the abolition of the death penalty under domestic law. The death penalty was maintained only for certain military offences. The government immediately proceeded to complete the necessary legislative modifications.

      - Croatia

18.       The death penalty has been abolished for all crimes. Croatia has signed and ratified Protocol No 6, which came into force in Croatia on 1 December 1997.

      - Estonia

19.       Estonia signed Protocol No 6 on accession to the Council of Europe in May 1993. The last execution took place in September 1991. In December 1996 the Estonian Parliament adopted an amendment to the criminal code introducing life imprisonment as an alternative to the death sentence. This reform enabled the parliament to vote in favour of ratification of Protocol No 6, which was carried out on 17 April 1998, thereby entirely abolishing the death penalty in peacetime. The sentences of the eight prisoners on death row were commuted to life imprisonment.

      - Georgia

20.       The death penalty was abolished when the parliament adopted a new criminal code on 11 November 1997. In July 1997, as he is empowered to do, President Shevardnadze had commuted the fifty-four outstanding death sentences to twenty-year prison sentences.

21.       Georgia’s accession to the Council of Europe on 27 April 1999 should be followed by the signature and ratification of Protocol No 6. Six years ago Georgia introduced a moratorium, which it subsequently lifted for a while then re-introduced in February 1995. This about-turn was linked to the situation in the conflict zones of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The ratification of Protocol No 6 would confirm Georgia’s intention not to reconsider abolition and forms part of the commitments detailed in the Opinion of the Assembly on accession to the Council of Europe (No 209 (1999) § 10.i.b).

      - Greece

22.       Greece totally abolished the death penalty in 1993. This enabled it to deposit the instrument for the ratification of Protocol No 6 on 8 September 1998 and bring it into force in Greece on 1 October 1998.

23.       On 5 May 1997, Greece signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, designed to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

      - Latvia

24.       In September 1996 the Latvian President, Guntis Ulmanis, notified the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that an informal moratorium had been introduced by means of the systematic granting of a presidential pardon. As in other member states where a de jure moratorium has not been introduced, the Latvian courts have continued to hand down sentences. Since the introduction of the moratorium, the Latvian courts have handed down seven death sentences, including five in 1998. Latvia signed Protocol No 6 on 26 June 1998.

25.       In May 1998, the Latvian Parliament, the Saeima, rejected a bill aimed at removing the death penalty from Latvian law. The lack of de jure abolition and the attitude of the Saeima prompted Leni Fischer, who was then the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to approach the Latvian authorities on the matter.

26.       This approach bore fruit. After some favourable votes in the Saeima Latvia was in a position to ratify Protocol No 6 on 7 May 1999 at the extraordinary ministerial meeting in Budapest.

      - Liechtenstein

27.       The death penalty was abolished for all crimes on 1 January 1989. On 10 December 1998, Liechtenstein signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, designed to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

      - Lithuania

28.       Lithuania has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1993 and there have been no executions in the country since 1995. On 9 December 1998 the Lithuanian Constitutional Court held that the provisions of the criminal code on the death penalty were unconstitutional. On 22 December 1998 the Lithuanian Parliament passed a law amending several provisions of the criminal code and confirming the abolition of the death penalty. At the same time another law was passed converting death sentences already passed to life imprisonment. Nine prisoners were thought to be on death row at the time. Adding the final touch to these changes, Lithuania signed Protocol No 6 on 18 January 1999.

      - "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

29.       "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" abolished the death penalty in its 1991 constitution and signed Protocol No 6 in 1996. It was ratified in April 1997 and entered into force on 1 May 1997.

      - Moldova

30.       Moldova abolished the death penalty in December 1995 and signed Protocol No 6 in May 1996. It was ratified in September 1997 and entered into force on 1 October 1997.

      - Poland

31.       The Polish Parliament permanently abolished the death penalty when the Diet adopted a new criminal code on 6 June 1997. The new code came into force on 1 January 1998. There had been no executions since 1988.

32.       The new code provides for sentences of life imprisonment. Courts of first instance may add a condition to these sentences making it impossible for prisoners to request release on parole. In this event, prisoners may request a remission of sentence from the judge responsible for the execution of sentences once they have served twenty-five years of their sentence.

33.       Poland has not yet signed or ratified Protocol No 6.

      - United Kingdom

34.       The United Kingdom abolished the death penalty for murder in 1965 and the last execution took place in 1964. However, various laws still provided for the death penalty in cases of treason, acts of piracy involving violence and offences specific to military law.

35.       The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 abolished the death penalty for the remaining civilian offences of treason and piracy. The death penalty for military offences in peace and wartime was removed by the Human Rights Act 1998 (section 21(5)).3

36.       These changes enabled the United Kingdom to sign Protocol No 6 on 27 January 1998.

      - Russian Federation

37.       The death penalty is still on the Statute books in force in the Russian Federation. The new criminal code which came into force on 1 January 1997 substantially reduced the number of offences incurring the death penalty. This positive development should not be allowed to conceal the fact that the five offences which remain out of the twenty-eight are those which account for the vast majority of death sentences.

38.       In keeping with its commitments, the Russian Federation has been applying a moratorium on executions. The last execution took place on 2 August 1996. Though the situation is still very confused, there is certainly a trend towards abolition in the medium term.

39.       The Russian Federation has also signed Protocol No 6 but omitted to deposit its instrument of ratification by 28 February 1999, thus failing to honour one of its commitments to the Council of Europe.

40.       Figures for the number of prisoners on death row vary according to sources. Anatoly Pristavkin, the Chair of the Presidential Pardons Commission, informed the Committee in January 1999 that he estimated the number of prisoners on death row at 620. The Minister of Justice gives a figure of 839 prisoners. It should be noted that Mr Pristavkin bases his figures on final sentences, the only ones against which it is possible to lodge an appeal with the Pardons Commission.

41.       A particularly welcome development at the beginning of this year was the Russian Constitutional Court’s decision on 2 February 1999 to suspend all death sentences until a law is passed setting up Assize Courts with a jury for all capital cases.

42.       This initiative goes hand in hand with that of the Minister of Justice, Pavel Krasheninnikov, who has presented the Government with a bill on the abolition of the death penalty which would enable Russia to ratify Protocol No 6. The bill abolishes capital punishment and replaces it with life imprisonment or imprisonment for twenty-five years. The courts would be required to commute every death sentence they have already passed to one of these two sentences.

43.       Likewise, in January 1999, Anatoly Pristavkin, the Chair of the Presidential Pardons Commission, told the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights that he hoped that all the death sentences delivered in the past would be commuted to prison sentences by the summer of 1999. This policy represents a U-turn because until recently the Pardons Commission was no longer forwarding the appeals it received to the President. Russian criminal law prohibits all executions before the President has given his opinion. This wait-and-see approach was prompted by the hope that a de jure moratorium would soon be introduced.

44.       President Yeltsin, at the end of April 1999, declared that he intended to commute all death sentences into life imprisonment or 25-year prison sentences.

45.        These highly positive developments, which are largely the result of the Council of Europe’s efforts, should not be allowed to obscure concern about the lawless territories which still exist on Russian territory, particularly in Chechnya.

46.       Chechnya applies the death penalty in spite of Russian law and Russia’s international undertakings. Executions are often carried out in public and civilians are allowed to take part in the killing, particularly members of the family of the criminal's victim. According to Amnesty International, five people were executed in 1997. According to the same source, another execution took place in June 1998 and thirty people or more are on death row. However, in complete contradiction to this, the representative of the Chechen Republic to the Russian Federation told Amnesty International, in May 1998, that the Chechen authorities were applying a moratorium on executions. Unfortunately this undertaking seems a pious hope in view of the radicalisation of the Chechen leadership, which is reacting to an extremely depressed economic situation by attempting to pursue a repressive policy based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Islamic Sharia law.

      - Slovakia

47.       On 22 September 1998, Slovakia, which had already ratified Protocol No 6 in 1993, signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, designed to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

      - Turkey

48.       The death penalty is still on the Statute books in Turkey, which, although it is a member state, has not yet signed Protocol No 6. However, it has applied a de facto moratorium since 1984. A bill to reform the criminal code is currently being examined by the Justice Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. This bill, which comprises 522 sections, proposes far-reaching reforms to Turkish criminal law, abolishing the death penalty during peacetime.

      - Ukraine

49.       According to the information at my disposal, Ukraine carried out thirteen executions in 1997. A letter signed by Ms Stanik, Minister of Justice, and sent to the President of the Assembly on 31 March 1998, states that Ukraine carried out 212 executions between November 1995, when it joined the Council of Europe, and 11 March 1997, the date of the most recent execution. It would seem that there were no executions in 1998 though there are doubts about the period from 11 March to 31 December 1997. As the death penalty has not been abolished by law, 146 people were sentenced to death in 1998, according to the President of Ukraine’s Supreme Court. According to Amnesty International, there were 345 people on death row in Ukraine in November 1998. Ukraine signed Protocol No 6 on 5 May 1997.

50.       A de facto moratorium has been introduced by President Leonid Kuchma, who refuses to consider any of the appeals for pardon sent to him, thereby preventing any of the sentences from being implemented.

51.       In September 1998 a bill on the abolition of the death penalty was given a first reading in the Ukraine Parliament. Furthermore, the Ukraine presidency has said that the parliament must adopt a de jure moratorium by July 1999. These initiatives seem to have been elicited by the strong reactions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in December 1998 and January 1999. If they succeed, Ukraine will have met all of the conditions set by the Assembly in Resolution 1145 (1998).

52.       As well as calling for an end to executions, the Assembly asked Ukraine to dispel the secrecy surrounding executions and those awaiting execution, which entailed major risks of human rights violations. According to statements made by Ms S. Stanik, the Ukrainian Minister of Justice, to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the only information which will be kept secret from now on is the name of the executioner, the place of execution and details of how the execution will be carried out.

53.       Once again the Ukrainian authorities must be urged to honour the commitments they entered into when joining the Council of Europe and to look to the future by overcoming party political divides and overriding a public opinion apparently in favour of the death penalty.

ii.       Applicant countries

      - Armenia

54.       Faced with a public opinion largely in favour of the death penalty, Armenian political leaders have not yet come out in favour of the abolition of the death penalty. There are currently twenty-eight people awaiting execution in Armenia. A bill to abolish the death penalty is still before parliament, having been given its first reading.

      - Azerbaijan

55.       Azerbaijan has applied a moratorium on the death penalty since 1993. Following a proposal by President Aliev in January 1998, the Azerbaijani Parliament voted for the abolition of the death penalty on 10 February 1998. The sentences of the 128 prisoners on death row were commuted.

      - Bosnia and Herzegovina

56.       The Bosnian Parliament has had special guest status with the Council of Europe since January 1994. Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted a formal application for membership in July 1995. The peace agreement of 1995 known as the "Dayton Agreement" contains a formal undertaking to abolish the death penalty. The Supreme Court of the Republika Srpska has decided that the execution of a death sentence is contrary to international human rights principles. Similarly, the Human Rights Chamber of the Federation has stated that the execution of any death penalty would be contrary to Protocol No 6 and has asked the authorities to ensure that no executions can be carried out. In July 1998, the Federation adopted a new criminal code abolishing the death penalty. Because this code has not yet been published in the official journal of the Federation, it has not yet entered into force. However, as the eminent lawyers state in their report on Bosnia and Herzegovina "it is […] safe to say that the death penalty is not applied in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (As/Bur/BiH (1999) 1 rev.).

57.       Furthermore, one must welcome the fact that the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia adopted in May 1993 makes no provision for the death penalty even for the gravest human rights violations.

      - Belarus

58.       In January 1997, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe suspended the Belarus Parliament’s special guest status following the constitutional changes introduced by President Lukashenko. The death penalty is still in force.

      - Monaco

59.       Article 20 of the Constitution of the Principality of Monaco of 17 December 1962 states that "The death penalty is abolished".

C.       Conclusions

60.       Recent developments are encouraging, but the debates they have triggered or are still eliciting in the member states prove that a step backwards may sometimes remain possible. For that reason, those states that have not yet done so should ratify Protocol No 6 without reservation, thereby rendering abolition more lasting.

61.       States which retain the death penalty for obsolete offences or crimes committed in wartime are similarly urged to abolish the death penalty entirely. Measures of this kind would set an example for countries which have begun the process of abolition.

62.       The Assembly for its part must continue to defend its principles on the abolition of the death penalty to ensure that we can at last create a Europe entirely free of capital punishment. In five years, the Council of Europe has almost succeeded in making Europe an execution-free continent, the exception being one execution in Chechnya last year. These results are encouraging but they are not enough. The Assembly must continue its efforts. The Chechen authorities in particular must be warned that they will receive no assistance if the moratorium in force in the Russian Federation is not immediately and scrupulously applied. In addition, member states which are reluctant to honour their commitments should be urged to comply and, if necessary, be subjected to the sanctions which the Assembly proposes in Opinion No 208 (1999), paragraph 18.iii.b.

63.       In addition, the Assembly, and the entire Council of Europe, must offer their assistance to member states faced with obstacles in their efforts to abolish the death penalty, in particular by disseminating information on the subject and by organising awareness-raising seminars aimed at the governmental and non-governmental circles concerned. My most fervent hope is that these efforts will be successful and that Europe will enter the new millennium a death-penalty-free continent.

Reporting committee: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Budgetary implications for the Assembly: none

Reference to committee: Resolutions 1097 (1996), 1111 (1997), 1112 (1997), 1145 (1998) and Order No. 538 (1998)

Draft resolution adopted by the committee on 1 March 1999 with 18 votes in favour, 3 votes against and 4 abstentions

Members of the committee: MM Jansson (Chairperson), Bindig, Frunda, Moeller (Vice-Chairpersons), Mrs Aguiar, MM Akçali, Arzilli, Attard Montalto, Bartumeu Cassany, Brand, Bulic, Clerfayt, Columberg (alternate: Gross), Contestabile, Demetriou, Dreyfus-Schmidt, Enright, Mrs Frimansdóttir, Mr Fyodorov, Mrs Gelderblom-Lankhout (alternate: Dees), MM Holovaty, Jaskiernia, Jurgens, Mrs Karlsson, MM Kelam, Kelemen, Lord Kirkhill (alternate: Ms McCafferty), MM Kresak (alternate: Fico) Mrs Krzyzanowska, Mr Le Guen, Ms Libane, MM Lintner, Loutfi, Magnusson, Mancina, Mrs Markovic-Dimova, MM Martins, Marty, McNamara, Mozetic, Mrs Näslund, MM Nastase, Pavlov, Pollo, Polydoras, Mrs Pourtaud, MM Rippinger, Robles Fraga (alternate: Lopez Henares), Rodeghiero (alternate: Speroni), Roth, Schwimmer, Shishlov (alternate: Mrs Pobedinskaya), Simonsen, Solé Tura, Solonari, Staciokas, Sungur, Svoboda, Symonenko, Tabajdi, Verivakis, Vishnyakov, Vyvadil, Weyts, Mrs Wohlwend.

N.B. The names of those members who were present at the meeting are printed in italics.

Secretaries to the committee: Mr Plate, Ms Coin and Ms Kleinsorge


1 Document revised to take into account signatures and ratifications of Protocol No 6 and changes in the legislation of certain states with regard to the death penalty.

2 See also AS/Inf (1999) 2 of 26 April 1999, "Capital Punishment: Information submitted by States", Secretariat Memorandum prepared by the Secretary General's Monitoring Unit.

3 Information provided by the United Kingdom. See AS/Inf (1999) 2, p. 131 (English version).