EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.03.18

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on “Jurisdictional Immunity of International Organisations and Rights of Their Staff”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Resolution No. 2206 adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 26 January 2018

Local copies of relevant documents (PDF):

Summary: A reader-contributed article about the issues associated with immunity at the EPO and what European officials have been saying lately

On 26 January 2018 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a debate on a Resolution dealing with the subject of “Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff”.

The Assembly adopted the Resolution (no. 2206) and an accompanying Recommendation (No. 2122).

Both documents can be downloaded from the website of the Council of Europe.

Resolution No. 2206 is here.

Recommendation No. 2122 is here.

The story behind this action of the Parliamentary Assembly goes back to a written declaration (No. 596) of 25 June 2015 entitled “Rollback of fundamental rights at the European Patent Office” which was tabled by the French parliamentarian Mr. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ and signed by a total of 82 members of the Assembly.

The written declaration was followed by a motion for a resolution tabled by Mr. Le Borgn’ and others on 6 October 2015. The motion for a resolution (Doc. 13905) was entitled “Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff”.

On 29 November 2017 the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly issued a report on the matter including a draft resolution.

The Rapporteur for the Legal Affairs Committee was Mr. Volker Ullrich (a member of the German Federal Parliament). One of the expert witnesses heard by the Committee was the Dutch human rights expert Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld who has played a prominent role in attempting to tackle human rights abuses at the EPO.

Point 44 of the Report refers specifically to the situation at the EPO: “Following the case brought by SUEPO and the other unions before the Dutch courts, EPO management had started a campaign against members of SUEPO; some of them had been dismissed or suspended, or their salaries or pensions had been cut. As the EPO is subject to no public scrutiny, its Administrative Council, the organisation’s supervisory body, has done nothing to prevent unfair disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations. As a result, the activities of IOs, which often lie beyond the democratic scrutiny of national parliaments and the media, should be more transparent and monitored more closely by States, which are held responsible for the abuses taking place in these organisations. This case also shows the importance of upholding freedom of association in cases of disputes with employers, especially if the employer is an IO, and the need for trade unions to have access to all available means of redress.

On 24 January 2018 the Social Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly issued an Opinion on the Report of the Legal Affairs Committee and included some proposed amendments to the draft resolution.

The Rapporteur for the Social Affairs Committee was Mr. Stefan Schennach (a member of the Austrian Parliament).

The Opinion of the Social Affairs Committee contains further comments about the unacceptable situation at the EPO. For example: “It is no secret that the signatories of the original motion for a resolution had the situation at the European Patent Office (EPO) in mind when tabling this motion. The EPO – like other international organisations – is not exactly a paragon of transparency when it comes to its internal workings, but the situation has deteriorated so badly over the last few years that there has even been some media attention. From this media coverage it appears that the President of the EPO installed in 2010 has waged a campaign against staff who oppose his reform efforts (with staff representatives members of the trade union SUEPO being in the first line of fire): by 2016, three elected staff representatives had been dismissed, others had been demoted and/or had seen their salaries or pensions cut. Staff complain about a campaign of intimidation, harassment and discrimination, resulting in burn-out and other sickness, and even suicides: Over the past four years, five EPO staff members have committed suicide, two of them at their place of work.”

The Rapporteur had some strong words of criticism for the current style of management at the EPO: “Quite frankly, if the “success” of an international organisation such as the EPO is built on campaigns of harassment and intimidation which drive staff members to suicide, then the price of this success is too high. This should be obvious to the governing body of the international organisations in question, and thus, ideally, in case of such abuses, the governing body would ensure that the international organisation’s management stops the abuse and goes back to respecting staff rights. If this is not the case, then the internal remedy system of the international organisations should be able to put things right again. This is why I fully support the proposals made by Mr Ullrich and the Committee on Legal Affairs to ensure that all international organisations introduce appropriate mechanisms to protect the rights of staff, along with procedures for lodging appeals.”

Following a debate held on 26 January 2018, the Assembly adopted the proposed Resolution and the accompanying Recommendation.

A video of the debate is accessible on the Council of Europe Web site.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 22, 2019



  2. Why GNU Is Better Staying Top-Down, Even If Free Software Isn't

    "Open Source is like a broken record, and it is a broken promise. If you want to fail, follow them -- they will show you the way."



  3. Guest Article: Why Users Must Dictate the Free Software Movement

    "Recently, a person named Eric Lundgren completed his jail sentence just for copying and distributing Microsoft software which is available for free in their website"



  4. Links 22/10/2019: MX-19, Tails 4, Mesa 19.1.8 Released

    Links for the day



  5. “Stallman Was Right” is Not Just a Meme as It's Usually True

    The track record of Stallman isn't immaculate, but it's exceptionally good if not impressive



  6. EPO Diplomatic Immunity

    What people can get away with at the European Patent Office (EPO) if their name is Battistelli or António Campinos



  7. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Reveals How the German Government Actively Ignored SMEs to Push the Notorious 'Unitary Patent' Sham

    Turning European Patents (which are no longer good patents but expensive or overpriced patent monopolies — patents which European courts will likely reject) into “unitary” ones (i.e. enforceable EU-wide with one legal action) would harm wrongly-accused parties that mostly or only operate in one single country, overriding the authority of those parties’ national laws and courts



  8. Links 22/10/2019: Pacman 5.2, Shame of Disney+ DRM, Microsoft's DRM Scheme, Microsoft Reprimanded for Privacy Abuses

    Links for the day



  9. Patents Need to Exist Only to Pass Information Around and Keep Good Ideas Alive, Not to Feed Litigation Firms and Litigation 'Enthusiasts'

    The current situation or the status quo where legal professionals are advised not to even look at patents means that patents aren’t for “information” and “innovation” anymore; moreover, calling them “intellectual property rights” (or IPRs) is spreading a malicious lie



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 21, 2019



  11. SUEPO Protest Tomorrow. All EPO Staff in Munich Ought to Attend and Prepare to Strike Too.

    Tomorrow’s planned protest should be a bridge towards a full strike, which takes more time to plan for and get authorisation for (because of increasingly strict restrictions)



  12. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  13. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  14. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  15. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  17. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  18. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  19. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  20. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  21. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  22. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  23. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  24. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  25. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  27. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  28. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  29. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  30. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts