Council of Europe pauses progress of Oviedo Convention Additional Protocol

11/06/2022

At the 1434th meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, further consideration of the Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention on Bioethics was temporarily paused. The draft Protocol would advocated for a framework which would permit governments to maintain or pursue practices in the area of mental health, including involuntary treatment and placement. This approach had been criticised by a number of disability civil society organisations, including the European Disability Forum (EDF). In its decision, the Committee directed the Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) to revise the framework to promote the use of voluntary measures in mental healthcare services. Additionally, it called on the CDBIO to issue a report on relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights related to mental health. Finally, it was also specified that key civil society organizations, such as EDF, should be included in these tasks. Only once these tasks have been completed, will consideration of the draft Additional Protocol resume. The text of the decisions can be found at: https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectID=0900001680a675e6