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Council of Europe should establish a ‘mediation process’ to help resolve post-conflict disputes

Lord Keen (United Kingdom, EC/DA)

The Council of Europe should establish a “mediation process” to help member states resolve post-conflict disputes and find “reparations and remedies” which would defuse tension, overcome past divisions and work towards a common peaceful future, a PACE committee has proposed.

Approving a draft resolution and recommendation based on a report by Lord Keen (United Kingdom, EC/DA), the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights said member states could submit their disputes to such a mechanism, which would involve a neutral third-party mediator and consultation with victims and other affected groups.

It would be complementary to existing legal tools at the Council of Europe, but – in relation to inter-state cases before the Strasbourg Court – could offer “a broader tool-kit” better adapted to addressing the complexities of post-conflict situations and the needs of victims.

“A mediated solution could help to look contextually and holistically at highly complex matters between states in order to find feasible, enforceable and implementable solutions for the benefit of victims and lasting peace,” the committee said.

There should be an obligation on member states to engage with such a process in good faith, with “potential repercussions” on states that do not do so, and a duty on them to co-operate sincerely with the results, the parliamentarians suggested. In the absence of consent by both parties, the process could be initiated by the Assembly, the Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General.

The plenary Assembly will debate and vote on the report in due course.