The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopts Recommendations concerning Dangerous Offenders
Yvonne Gailey, Chief Executive, was privileged to be involved with the Council of Europe in the drafting of this recommendation. It was an opportunity to share the RMA’s work on standard setting for risk practice with others, and learn from colleagues across Europe.
The Council of Europe’s purpose is to promote democracy, protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe. It seeks “unity” and “harmonisation” among its 47 member states, and one way in which it does this is by making recommendations on matters of common interest to those member states.
It recognised that there was a need for a set of guiding principles on the approach to managing the most serious violent and sexual offenders. Given the challenge and responsibility of balancing the rights of those individuals with the rights of the community to safety, it sought to develop guiding principles that reflect Council of Europe standards.
There is a particular concern in the document about proportionality; just and humane application of special measures such as indeterminate sentences; and a range of recommendations that promote evidence-based risk assessment and management practices.
The intended outcome is that member states will be guided by the principles when developing legislation, policies and practices.