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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow CoE New Chief Buric to EF on BioEthics Treaty Interpretation by ECHR: Trust, but Sensitive=>careful

CoE New Chief Buric to EF on BioEthics Treaty Interpretation by ECHR: Trust, but Sensitive=>careful

Scritto da ACM
Tuesday, 11 February 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying Today to an "Eurofora" Question, CoE New Secretary General, Marija Buric (2019-2024), reacted to ECHR President's anouncement, in EU Parliament Yesterday, about EuroJudges starting to be Consulted for Interpreting CoE's BioEthical Rules, "for the 1st Time in History", by Expressing her "Trust" to Strasbourg's PanEuropean Court, in general, even when it notoriously adapts its methods of interpretation to the needs of nowadays Society (Comp. Infra), But, also Warning that there are "Sensitive" Issues in this particular area, inviting to be Careful.

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 - "Eurofora" pointed to the Fact that Buric had Concluded her Speech by a Call to "Defend CoE's Rules" and Values, and we observed that BioEthics come Nowadays at the Forefront of Topical and "Hot" Contradictions. while ECHR's President had just announced, Yesterday in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, that, "for the 1st Time in History", EuroJudges Start to be Consulted on the interpretation of CoE's 1997/8 "Oviedo" Convention on Human Dignity and Bioethics, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coesgburiconechrbioethicsinterpretation.html), Knowing that ECHR uses, generaly, since 1970, to Adapt somehow the Interpreted Texts to the Living Society of our Times. Even if this might be, in general, Interesting, (particularly for Long-living Texts, as that of ECHR, which Date More than 70 Years), nevertheless, given also the Fact that BioEthics raise certain particularly "Sensitive" Issues for Humankind, (while CoE's Rules there Date "Only" around 20 Years-Time: Since 1998), wouldn't we all, Better be "Carefull" on the way they might be Interpretered ?

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 -  " I CanNot Commend on what ECHR's President said", the New CoE's SG observed from the outset, Carefuly.

-  "But  it's true that the Court tries to Adapt itself on the Needs of the Society" in general, "in order to go forward, and ameliorate certain things".

 - "As far as I'm personally concerned, I am inclined to Trust the Court, because it did always well, and made advance certain issues".

- However, "as You said, this (BioEthics) is a very Sensitive matter", she Warned.

- "But also a too Complex one, for me to say more" now, she modestly concluded Carefully, (Comp. Supra).

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ECHR has been Already Consulted on BioEthics also, f.ex;, by French Supreme Courts on "End of Life" Cases ("Lambert", etc), "Surrogate Mothers"' cases, etc., But Only in order to interpret the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights' classic general text, (particularly Article 2 = end or beginning of "Life", and Article 8 = "Private life/Family").

+ "Very Recently", CoE's Committee on BioEthics asked ECHR to give a Consultative Interpretation about Article 7 of CoE's "Oviedo" Treaty, on "Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Person in Medicine and Biology" (1997-1998), concerning Measures on Persons suffering from "Mental Disorders", revealed Yesterday at EU Parliament ECHR's President Alexandros Sicilianos.

Any Member-State can also do so, in Addition to that Committtee itself, but it's "the 1st Time in History", until now, that ECHR would Interpret anOther, Different Text from that of the 70 Years Old PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, and, meanwhile, it's Competent Committee just Started to Adopt the required New Rules of Procedure, for this new era, he revealed; (See : ..., etc). "Hot" Topical BioEthical Issues, such as a Global Ban on "Human Cloning" (since 1998), Heritable Human Genome Editing, etc., are included among the Many and Various "Oviedo" Convention BioEthic matters.

+ By the way, President Alexander Sicilianos' Birthplace : Greece, which is due to take over CoE's rotating Chairmanship during the Period of May - November 2020, has notoriously proposed the ECHR for this same year's (which coincides with CoE's 70th Anniversary) prestigious "Nobel" Peace Prize.

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 CoE SG Catherine Lalumière's (with whom, "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Started to work at the CoE) Bureau and of the Congres of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), as well as Denis Huber, President of CoE's Staff Association, and former Director of CoE's "North-South" Center (Lisbon).


Other Questions concerned well-known Issues, (such as "BREXIT", Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, OSCE, Budget, etc), and the Replies were mostly Familiar to those who had followed Buric's recent interventions at CoE's Assembly, etc.

 

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

(NDLR: Original = in French. => Fast Translation in English)

 

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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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