PACE Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Terms of Reference:

Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

1. The committee shall consider all legal and human rights matters (including proposals for and the preparation of statutory opinions on draft Council of Europe conventions) which fall within the competence of the Council of Europe.

2. The committee shall in particular consider:

2.1. all matters concerning the human rights treaties and mechanisms of the Council of Europe, notably the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) and its protocols, the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ETS No. 126), and other international instruments;

2.2. other issues concerning the state of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Europe, as well as in the observer states and in the states whose parliaments enjoy observer or partner for democracy status, including allegations of serious human rights violations of a systemic or otherwise widespread nature;

2.3. the functioning of national and international judicial institutions (as well as ombudspersons and national human rights institutions), the police, detention centres and prisons in the member states of the Council of Europe;

2.4. national and international criminal law and criminology; the treatment of offenders and conditions of detention (including pre-trial detention); alternatives to imprisonment;

2.5. legal and human rights issues relating to the fight against terrorism.

3. The committee shall give an opinion on the law, legal practice and the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms of applicant states for membership of the Council of Europe, and of states whose parliaments seek to acquire partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly, to assess compliance with Council of Europe standards.

4. The committee shall promote Council of Europe standard-setting legal instruments in the field of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in non-member states.

5. The committee shall be in charge of interviewing all candidates for posts of judges to the European Court of Human Rights and for the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, before their election by the Assembly. It shall also examine the curricula vitae of candidates to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

6. The committee shall follow the activities of the European Ombudsmen Conference.

7. The committee shall share the Assembly representation in the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and in its Council for Democratic Elections.   

8. The committee shall represent the Assembly in the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and shall participate in the work of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ).

9. The committee shall represent the Assembly in, and follow the work of, the relevant expert committees of the Council of Europe.

  

UK members of the Committee:

Full members Alternate members
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP
Lord Anderson of Swansea Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Suella Fernandes MP Lord Balfe
Huw Merriman MP Virendra Sharma MP

Sub-Committees:

Human Rights 

Full members Alternate members
Virendra Sharma MP Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP

Crime problems and the Fight against Terrorism

Full members Alternate members
Lord Balfe
Huw Merriman MP Virendra Sharma MP

The implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Full members Alternate members
Lord Balfe Suella Fernandes MP

Related link:

PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights