Strasbourg, 11 December 2000

CCJE (2000) 4

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Questionnaire on the independence of judges, their appointment and careers, and funding of the courts

prepared by
the Chair of the CCJE-GT
in co-operation with
the Chair of the CCJE

A. INTRODUCTION

1. At its first meeting (8-10 November 2000), the CCJE asked the Chair of the Working Group to draw up questionnaires on the themes selected for discussion in 2001:

i) Standards concerning the independence (including the principle of irremovability) of judges contained in Recommendation No. (94) 12 on the independence, efficiency and role of judges, and in particular the relevance of these standards and any other international standards to current problems in these fields (see CCJE(2000)3, Part III A);

ii) The funding and management of courts with reference to the efficiency of the judiciary and with reference to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see CCJE(2000)3, Part III A).

2. In accordance with the CCJE’s request, the Chair of the CCJE-GT has prepared this questionnaire in collaboration with the Chair of the CCJE, in order to obtain information summing up the various countries’ positions on the themes selected.

3. Each delegation is invited to send the Secretariat the completed questionnaire, together with any relevant texts, by 31 January 2001 at the latest. Delegations should mention in particular any problems encountered in practice and any suggestions concerning the principles and rules applied or the institutions concerned.

4. The Chair of the CCJE-GT will make an initial summary of the replies.

B. QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES, THEIR APPOINTMENT AND CAREERS AND THE FUNDING OF THE COURTS

I. THE INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES

1. Is the independence of judges guaranteed by the Constitution or by legislation?
2. What institutional safeguards are there with regard to the independence of judges?
3. Is the irremovability of judges recognised?
4. Can the decisions handed down by judges be reviewed or set aside outside the appeals procedures provided for by law, by institutions other than the courts of appeal or cassation?
5. Can a case be withdrawn from a judge? If so,

i. on what grounds?
ii. by which authority?

II. THE APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES AND THEIR CAREERS

1. What qualifications are required and what conditions must be met in order to become a judge?
2. Are judges recruited by competitive examination, on the basis of a professional examination or on the basis of their qualifications?
3. What level of studies is required to become a judge?
4. Is previous professional experience required?
5. Are there any age requirements?
6. Are judges elected?
7. Or are they appointed?
8. Or are they selected in another way?
9. Which authority is responsible for recruiting judges?
10. Does any authority independent of the government and the administration take part in the selection or promotion process?

- if so, specify the composition and role of this body?

11. How and by whom are judges promoted?
12. What are the criteria for promoting judges? Are they objectively defined?
13. In what cases can a judge be removed from office?
14. Do you wish to make any comments or mention any practical difficulties with regard to the independence and appointment of judges in your country?

III. THE FUNDING OF THE COURTS

1. How are the courts’ activities funded?
2. Give a brief description of the rules governing the setting of the budget for the judicial system and the courts.
3. Do judges have any say whatsoever in decisions concerning funding or in managing the budget?
4. Do judges have adequate support staff and equipment, in particular office automation and data processing facilities, to ensure that they can act efficiently and without undue delay?
5. Do judges encounter other material difficulties, which prevent them from acting efficiently?
6. Are appropriate measures taken to assign non-judicial tasks to other persons?
7. General comments on the funding of the courts

Replies to the questions should be brief.



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