Published on Council of Europe, August 2007.
Europe is today the only region in the world where the death penalty is no longer applied. All the Council of Europe’s 47 member states have either abolished capital punishment or instituted a moratorium on executions.
The Council of Europe played a leading role in the battle for abolition, believing that the death penalty has no place in democratic societies.
This determination to eradicate the death penalty was reflected in Protocol No.6 to the European Convention on Human Rights. It followed an initiative from the Parliamentary Assembly to abolish the death penalty in peacetime and was adopted in April 1983. In 2002, another important step was taken with the adoption of Protocol No. 13 on the abolition of capital punishment in all circumstances, even for acts committed in time of war.
The Council has made abolition of the death penalty a prerequisite for membership. As a result, no execution has taken place on the territory of the organisation’s member states since 1997 … (full text).