Council of Europe

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An Appraisal of the Council of Europe’s Draft European Rules on the Conditions of Administrative Detention of Migrants

In the last decade, a growing momentum has developed to end immigration detention. This momentum has two dimensions. First, that certain migrants, such as children, should never be detained as they are in a situation of particular vulnerability. Second, that even if a migrant is not deemed to be in a situation of ‘particular vulnerability’, alternatives to detention should be preferred and detention only used as a last resort when lawful, for a legitimate purpose, necessary and proportionate. The exceptionality of immigration detention is rooted in the recognition of the harmful physical and psychological effects of the administrative detention of persons who are not accused of a crime. The adverse impact of detention is magnified when accompanied by uncertainty about when the detention might end as well as the risk of ill-treatment, discrimination and poor detention conditions. In addition to the work of NGOs such as the International Detention Coalition, international organisations have called on states to develop alternatives to immigration detention with some producing action plans to end immigration detention.

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Reflections on the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture’s Report on the UK

The European Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the Council of Europe monitoring body responsible for visiting places of detention in member states, recently published its report on its visit to the UK in 2016. The report was published at the request of the UK and a response is expected shortly. The report…

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Flexing Muscles (Yet Again): The Russian Constitutional Court’s Defiance of the Authority of the ECtHR in the Yukos Case

The saga in the case of the defunct Yukos oil company is far from over after the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) in its decision of 19 January 2017 ruled that Russia was not bound to enforce the ECtHR decision on the award of pecuniary compensation to the company’s ex-shareholders, as it would violate the Constitution of the…

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Turkey’s Derogation from the ECHR – What to Expect?

In the aftermath of the failed 15 July coup, Turkey’s government declared a state of emergency and subsequently on 21 July notified the Council of Europe that it “may” derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  So far there is no information of a possible notification to the United Nations concerning derogations from the International…

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The Spitzenkandidaten Exercise One Year Later – The Unsung Hero

A year has gone by since the last elections to the European Parliament. One significant innovation in those elections was the Spitzenkandidaten exercise. At the recent fifth edition of the ‘State of the Union’ organized by the European University Institute I conducted a public interview with Vice President of the European Commission Franz Timmermans.

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