Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism

(ETS No. 190)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe signatories to the Convention, in Strasbourg, on 15 May 2003.

Entry into force: This treaty will enter into force after all Parties to the Convention have expressed their consent to be bound.

Summary of the treaty

The main features of the Amending Protocol are the following:

– the list of offences to be "depoliticised" has been extended considerably to cover all the offences described in the relevant UN anti-terrorist Conventions and Protocols.

– the introduction of a simplified amendment procedure, which will allow new offences to be added to the list in the future.

– the Convention has been opened to accession by the Observers to the Council of Europe. The Committee of Ministers may decide on a case-by-case basis to invite other States to join the Convention as well.

While the Convention as such does not deal directly with general issues of extradition, the classical discrimination clause has been expanded to include a clause authorising the refusal to extradite to a country where there is a risk of applying a death sentence, or a risk of being subject to torture or life imprisonment without parole.

Finally, the Protocol provides for a follow-up mechanism ("COSTER") in charge of implementing the new procedure in relation to reservations as well as other tasks related to the follow-up of the Convention. This mechanism will operate in addition to the classic and more general competence of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) in relation to Conventions in the criminal field.