Europe is today the only region in the world where the death penalty has been almost completely abolished. In the Council of Europe's 45 member states, including the European Union's 15 member states and its 13 candidate countries, capital punishment is no longer applied. The Council of Europe played a pioneering role in the battle for abolition, believing that the death penalty has no place in democratic societies under any circumstances. This determination to eradicate the death penalty was reflected in Protocol No.6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, on the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime, which was adopted in April 1983, then in Protocol No.13 on the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances, adopted in May 2002.
Introduced by Roger Hood, an international expert on death penalty legislation, this book reviews the long and sometimes tortuous path to abolition in Europe. It also addresses the tangible problems which countries face once the death penalty has been abolished, and related issues: the situation of murder victims' families and alternatives to capital punishment, particularly the choice of a substitute sentence.
The Council of Europe's campaign for abolition is currently being pursued beyond Europe's borders, in those states which have Observer status with the organisation, particularly the United States and Japan: the situation in these countries is discussed here.
This publication will be of interest to all those who feel concerned by this issue, particularly members of NGOs, lawyers, officials in departments dealing with legal and criminal affairs, and human rights campaigners.
Preface by Robert Badinter
Introduction - The importance of abolishing the death penalty by Roger Hood
The death penalty versus human rights by Eric Prokosch
Capital punishment - the families of the homicide victim and the condemned by Peter Hodgkinson
The efforts of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by Renate Wohlwend
Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights by Hans Christian Krüger
The case-law of the institutions of the European Convention on Human Rights by Caroline Ravaud
The UN's work in the field of the death penalty by Sir Nigel Rodley
Alternatives to the death penalty -the UK experience by Peter Hodgkinson
Abolition in France by Anne Ferrazzini and Michel Forst
The Russian Federation and the Death Penalty by Anatoly Pristavkin
The present situation of the death penalty in the United States by Hugo Adam Bedau
The death penalty in Japan by Yoshihiro Yasuda