Thursday, March 12, 2009
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES -- MONTENEGRO 2008 PROGRESS REPORT
COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT
MONTENEGRO 2008 PROGRESS REPORT (partial report)
2.2. Human rights and the protection of minorities
Observance of international human rights law
Regarding the ratification of human rights instruments, Montenegro is a signatory or a party to most of the Council of Europe conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Montenegro has not yet ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State succession.
Montenegro appointed a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in April 2008,
which means it is now possible to handle cases which had been suspended following
Montenegro's independence. Appointment of the government agent representing Montenegro before the European Court of Human Rights failed due to lack of candidates.
Regarding promotion and enforcement of human rights, direct implementation of
international human rights standards in Montenegro is restricted to application in cases of conflict with domestic legislation. The constitution does not include an explicit provision that ratified international human rights treaties should be applied in compliance with the practice of international bodies in charge of their interpretation. The Venice Commission has recommended that the Law on implementation of the constitution should be clarified to guarantee retroactive application of the ECHR and should be brought to the attention of the courts and the public.
The Constitutional Court will be competent for appeals on violations of human rights and liberties following adoption of the Law on the Constitutional Court in July
2008. The election of all Constitutional Court judges by parliament on a proposal by the President, as provided for in the constitution, is not in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. The right to appeal on the basis of provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning violations occurring prior to Montenegro's independence needs further clarification.
Overall, further efforts are necessary to improve judicial enforcement.
Civil and political rights
Little progress has been made on prevention of torture and ill-treatment and the fight against impunity. Montenegro is party to the Council of Europe Convention for the prevention of torture and its constitution prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. However, there are continuous allegations of torture and ill-treatment during arrest and detention. Material conditions in police detention facilities remain unsatisfactory. Internal investigations and criminal proceedings against police officers for the extortion of evidence and for ill-treatment and torture are rare. Verdicts are reached in a small number of reported cases and are often followed only by administrative warnings, suspended sentences or fines.
In 2007 the ombudsman received a higher number of complaints about police ill-treatment. The disciplinary procedure for misuse of office and exceeding official powers referred to in the Law on civil servants and public employees needs to be fully respected. The authorities need to strengthen internal control mechanisms. International standards and judicial practice for combating torture need to be considered by the courts.
The full Report can be found at http://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/1227_1229348579_montenegro.pdf
Posted by Conference Organizer at 10:51 AM