30.7.2005

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 200/1

I
(Acts whose publication is obligatory)

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1236/2005
of 27 June 2005
concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
condemned to the death penalty or executed. On 29 June
1998, the Council approved ‘Guidelines on EU policy
towards third countries on the death penalty’ and
resolved that the European Union would work towards
the universal abolition of the death penalty.

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community, and in particular Article 133 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
(4)

Article 4 of the said Charter states that no one shall be
subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment. On 9 April 2001, the
Council approved ‘Guidelines to the EU policy toward
third countries, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment’. These guidelines
refer to both the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct
on Arms Exports in 1998 and the ongoing work to
introduce EU-wide controls on the exports of paramilitary equipment as examples of measures to work effectively towards the prevention of torture and other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within
the Common Foreign and Security Policy. These
guidelines also provide for third countries to be urged
to prevent the use and production of, and trade in,
equipment which is designed to inflict torture or other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
and prevent the abuse of any other equipment to these
ends. They also make the point that the prohibition of
cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment imposes clear
limits on the use of the death penalty. Therefore and in
line with these texts, capital punishment is not to be
considered a lawful penalty under any circumstances.

(5)

In its Resolution on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted on
25 April 2001 and supported by the EU Member
States, the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights called upon United Nations Members to take
appropriate steps, including legislative measures, to
prevent and prohibit, inter alia, the export of equipment
which is specifically designed to inflict torture or other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
This point was confirmed by Resolutions adopted on 16
April 2002, 23 April 2003, 19 April 2004 and
19 April 2005.

Whereas:

(1)

Pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union,
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
constitutes one of the principles common to the
Member States. In view of this, the Community
resolved in 1995 to make respect for human rights
and fundamental freedoms an essential element of its
relations with third countries. It was decided to insert a
clause to that end in any new trade, cooperation and
association agreement of a general nature that it
concludes with third countries.

(2)

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention
for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms all lay down an unconditional, comprehensive
prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment. Other provisions,
in particular the United Nations Declaration Against
Torture (1) and the 1984 United Nations Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, place an obligation
on States to prevent torture.

(3)

Article 2(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the
European Union (2) states that no one shall be

(1) Resolution 3452 (XXX) of 9.12.1975 of the General Assembly of
the United Nations.
(2) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

Select target paragraph3