The Council of Europe is the primary regional human rights organization of Europe. It was established on May 5, 1949. The founding document of the Council is its Statute. The organization is governed primarily by the Committee of Ministers, which consists of the foreign ministers of the contracting states or their designated substitutes. Article 14 gives each contracting state one representative, and each representative has one vote. The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states' progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. Council of Europe member states no longer apply the death penalty.
The Human Rights Act of 1998 was adopted to reinforce the UK's commitment to human rights. It makes it possible for UK courts to hear cases on breaches of human rights (rather than parties needing to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg). The text is based on the European Convention on Human Rights. It is in force in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Scotland Act 1998 also guarantees that the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament can not do anything contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights