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The conference within the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme "Combating Ill-treatment and Impunity"

07.06.11 | Maria Kolokolova

On June 2-3, 2011 the International Conference devoted discussion of the issues of developing effective complaints systems in line with European standards was held in Kyiv, Ukraine. The Conference was organized by the Council of Europe within Joint Programme between the European Union and the Council of Europe Combating ill-treatment and impunity in South Caucasus, Moldova and Ukraine, in cooperation with the Kharkiv Institute for Social Researches. Vladimir Ristovski, Ambassador, Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the Coordination of the Council of Europe Cooperation Programmes/Head of the Council of Europe Office in Kyiv; Artashes Melikyan, Head of Unit, Judiciary Division, Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building Department, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, Council of Europe; Denys Kobzin, Director, Kharkiv Institute for Social Researches made introductory speeches. The leading international and national experts, representatives of Offices of the Prosecutors General, Ministries of Interior, institutes of Justice, Ombudsman institutions, human rights activists, and members of NGOs participated in the Conference. Representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, United Kingdom and Ukraine made presentations about experience in applying European standards in their countries. The Conference had great significance for the exchange of experience to ensure effective investigations of complaints of ill-treatment by law enforcement. Practice of the European Court of Human Rights, interpretation of the Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), its procedural aspects and importance of developing effective complaints systems were covered. Issues of regulatory, institutional and procedural framework for securing the criteria of effective investigation of allegations of ill-treatment were discussed. The presentation by Denys Kobzin, Director of Kharkiv Institute for Social Researches was devoted to the results of social research study Unlawful use of force in police. Leading expert KhISR Andrew Chernousov in his report drew attention to the lack of quality medical expertise as a barrier to effective investigation of cases of abuse. The report by the Council of Europe international consultant Eric Svanidze The best European practices as regards specific legislative, institutional and procedural aspects for effective investigation of ill-treatment allegations was devoted to consideration of the existing systems of appeal ill-treatment by law enforcement. The report by Babutsa Pataraia (Deputy Head of the Public Law Department of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia) also should be noted, who told about experience of reforming law enforcement in Georgia. The presentation by Farman Rzayev, Deputy Head of the Public Law Department of the General Prosecutors Office of Azerbaijan, was dedicated to the complaints of ill-treatment by law-enforcement in the prosecution system in Azerbaijan. It is also important to note the report of the Chief of Division for Combating Torture of the Office of Prosecutor General of Moldova Ion Caracuian in which he spoke about the achievements in the fight against impunity in Moldova for the period of the Joint Program EU / Council of Europe Combating ill-treatment and impunity. The Deputy Prosecutor of the administrative district of Malatya-Sebastia, the City of Yerevan Tigran Bisharyan shared an experience in applying European standards to investigate allegations of abuse, he delivered a report on Supervision of the lawfulness of detention and investigation of allegations of abuse in Armenia and the application of European standards: progress, lesson and plans for the future. The International consultant of the Council of Europe Henry Lovat spoke about the basic principles and criteria of effective investigation of the facts of cruel treatment, which should be applied in all countries. To develop strategies and create mechanisms to prevent abuse and impunity in Ukraine it is important to note the British experience, which was reflected in the report of Nicholas Long, Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate police brutality and corruption. The main result of the Conference was to exchange experience with countries that successfully implement the European experience in the practice of combating ill-treatment by law-enforcement agencies.