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01 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 22337)  

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Title Workshop on ''The handling by national human rights structures of complaints against the police forces and their efforts to prevent violations'' 
Description Staff members of eligible NHRSs will discuss with peers coming from other NHRSs.
A thematic handbook in English, French and Russian will be published following the workshop and will be disseminated for the use of NHRSs and other human rights actors. 
Status Completed 
Date 20/05/2008 - 21/05/2008 
Location St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Countries CoE Members: Albania / Armenia / Azerbaijan / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Croatia / Georgia / Republic of Moldova / Montenegro / Russian Federation / ''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'' / Turkey / Ukraine
Others: Kosovo*
  Joint Programme Activity - Peer project
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Peer project - Setting up an active network of independent non-judicial Human Rights Structures in the Council of Europe member States which are not members of the European Union    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2008/DGHL/JP/1765   Assisting National Human Rights Structures (NHRSs)
Expected Result 1.2 - The staff of the National Human Rights Structures have enhanced their knowledge of European standards of human rights protection, and have extended their awareness of possibilities of action.
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Human Rights
Line of Action ⇒ I.2 – Protecting and promoting Human Rights through the other CoE institutions and mechanisms
Programme ☆ I.2.1  Commissioner for Human Rights

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Workshop (excl. training) 
Directorate Human Rights and Legal Affairs 
CoE Contact FREYMANN, Delphine   email
Partners Saint Petersburg Center for Humanities and Political Studies ''Strategy'' - National Institution
Web Pages
Documents & links
1 http://www.coe.int/t/commissioner/activities/themes/nhrspeertopeer_EN.asp?  
Last Modified 23/04/2009 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 22337) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The Joint European Union – Council of Europe Programme “Setting up an active network of independent non judicial human rights structures”, or “Peer-to-Peer Project”, aims to empower national human rights structures (NHRSs, i.e. ombudsmen and national institutions) to help prevent and find solutions to human rights violations more effectively at domestic level. Through a series of workshops, where international legal norms are explained and participants discuss their respective experiences to implement these norms, specialised staff members of the national structures can strengthen their own human rights competences and increase their awareness of the possibilities for action at domestic level and for co-operation with international mechanisms.

The second workshop of the Peer-to-Peer project (St. Petersburg (Pushkin Conference Centre), Russian Federation 20 - 21 May 2008) was entitled “Complaints against the police* - their handling by the national human rights structures”
*The term police is meant to comprise all forces tasked with peace time policing, excluding intelligence services.

It was organised in cooperation with the St Petersburg Humanitarian and Political Science “Strategy” Centre in St Petersburg.
Output/Results Through experts presentations and Peer exchanges, the discussions focussed on the need to find the best way to handle efficiently complains against the police, using the existing structures and exploring the need for creating or not new specialised structures. The participants took note of the fact that the existing bodies have different mandates and that the legal and institutional organisation is different in each country, which led to the conclusion that only a functional approach can be used. This approach is further justified by the different powers of the police in CoE member States. The participants agreed that there cannot be a unique model which could be applied in all member States for the complains against the police. According to a specific situation in the country, an adequate solution must be found, either through the development of the competences of the ombudsman offices in this field, or through specific independent mechanisms. In both cases, the body in charge of handling the complaints against the police should be fully independent (legal basis, composition, appointment of its members …). It should also have adequate means (financial, human resources, …) and appropriate competences to be able to handle complaints against the police (investigative powers, relations with the prosecutor..). The issue of the good coordination between all existing mechanisms was raised, in order to avoid duplication, and increase efficiency. 
Conclusions/Follow Up The workshop was completed by another workshop organised by the Commissioner’s Office in the week that followed and where members of specialised independent police complains bodies met with the Commissioner.

As with all P2P workshops, a debriefing paper will be issued in French, English and Russian and disseminated amongst NHRS and other relevant actors.
Participants 35 participants from NHRSs from CoE member States and other institutions 
Consultants/Experts - Experts:

Member of the CPT

Dominique COMMARET
Former Advocate General at the Cassation Court
National Commission for a Security Code of Conduct (CNDS)

Independent Police Complaint Commission

Manfred NOWAK
UN Special Rapporteur on torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Irish Human Rights Commission

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Police Colonel
Academy of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation

- Co organisers from the St Petersburg Strategy Centre of Humanities and Political Science: Alexandre SUNGUROV, Alexander NEZDYUROV, Tatiana BARANDOVA

- Stefano VALENTI, Local Project Officer in Italy, Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples of the University of Padua
CoE Secretariat - Irene KITSOU-MILONAS
Legal advisor to the Commissioner
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
- Markus JAEGER, Deputy to the Director, Head of the National Human Rights Structures Unit, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
- Delphine FREYMANN, Project Manager, National Human Rights Structures Unit, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
- Nadia SOKOLOVA, Personal assistant to the Director
Total No. Participants 49 
Last Modified


  * All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.  
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