' IRELAND RATIFIES PROTOCOL 13 TO THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS '
On 2 May 2002 Ireland, represented by Ambassador Justin Harman, Ireland's Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, signed and ratified Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This Protocol abolishes the death penalty in all circumstances in those states party to it including any execution by the state in time of war or threat of war.
Ireland was one of three European states to ratify the Protocol: Malta and Switzerland also ratified.
Protocol 13 embodies a fundamental tenet of good human rights practice in forbidding the taking of human life by the state and its aim is a ban throughout Europe on the use of the death penalty in any circumstance. The people of Ireland in a referendum held 7 June 2001 voted in favour of the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution which allowed references to the death penalty to be removed from the Irish Constitution, as well as a prohibition on the re-introduction of the death penalty.
With ratification of Protocol 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights, Ireland emphasises its long-standing commitment to abolition of the death penalty in any form.
The 110th meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania, was chosen as the occasion on which the
Protocol would be opened for signature by the Council of Europe's 44 member states. At this meeting, member states also dealt with the fight against terrorism, human rights and regional cooperation, as well as the way in which these issues could be addressed through the Conventions of the Council of Europe.