Strasbourg, 17 January 2008

CCJE(2007)7

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Terms of reference of the CCJE for 2008 and 2009

as approved by the Committee of Ministers
at the 1015th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies

Terms of reference of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) for 2008 and 2009

1.

Name of Committee:

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

2.

Type of Committee:

Ad hoc Committee

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

§ the main recommendation No. 23 in the Wise Persons’ report of 1998 concerning the reinforcement of direct co-operation with national judicial institutions;

§ the conclusions and the follow-up action agreed by the Committee of Ministers in 2000 on the respect of commitments of member states concerning the functioning of the judicial system;

§ Resolution No. 1 on measures to reinforce the independence and impartiality of judges in Europe adopted by the European Ministers of Justice at the end of their 22nd Conference in 1999;

§ the Framework Global Action Plan for judges in Europe adopted by the Committee of Ministers in 2000;

§ the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), in particular the decision to make proper use of the opinions given by the CCJE in order to help member states to deliver justice fairly and rapidly and to develop alternative means for the settlement of disputes;

§ the Warsaw Declaration which stresses the role of an independent and efficient judiciary in member states with a view to strengthening the rule of law throughout the continent;

§ Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 December 2005.

Within the framework of the Programme of Activities, under Programme II.1.1. “Functioning and efficiency of Justice”, the Committee is instructed to:

i.

adopt an opinion in 2008, for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on the quality of judicial decisions; in this connection, the CCJE will examine namely the constitutive elements of the quality of a judicial decision and will propose concrete means to improve the quality of judicial decisions, taking into account the satisfaction of users of justice.

This work will be carried out in consultation with the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ);

ii.

adopt an opinion in 2009, for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on the relationship between judges and prosecution services.

This work will be carried out on the basis of the results of the European conference of judges and prosecutors on this topic, in close consultation with the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE);

iii.

provide practical assistance to enable states to comply with Council of Europe standards concerning judges;

iv.

prepare texts or opinions concerning judges at the request of the Committee of Ministers or other bodies of the Council of Europe;

v.

encourage partnerships in the judicial field involving courts, judges and judges’ associations.

5.

5.A

Composition of the Committee:

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives of the highest possible rank in the relevant field. Members should be chosen in contact, where such authorities exist, with the national authorities responsible for ensuring the independence and impartiality of judges and with the national administration responsible for managing the judiciary, from among serving judges having a thorough knowledge of questions relating to the functioning of the judicial system combined with utmost personal integrity.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative from each member state.

5.B

Participants

The following committees may each send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-heads:

- the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE);

- the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ);

- the European Committee of Legal Co-operation (CDCJ);

- the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC).

The European Court of Human Rights may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-heads, when it is carrying out the tasks referred to in point 4i. above.

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission and the Council of the European Union may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The states with observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America) may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

5.D

Observers

 

The following non-governmental organisations may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

    - the European Association of Judges (EAJ);

    - the Association “Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et les libertés” (MEDEL);

    - the European Federation of Administrative Judges;

    - the Groupement des Magistrats pour la Médiation (GEMME);

    - the European Network of Judicial Training (ENJT);

    - the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ).

6.

Working methods and structures:

The CCJE is an advisory body of the Committee of Ministers which prepares opinions for that Committee on general questions concerning the independence, impartiality and competence of judges. To this end, depending on the subjects dealt with, the CCJE works in co-operation with, in particular, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) and the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC). The CCJE may also appoint representatives to attend meetings of these bodies.

The CCJE has a Bureau consisting of the Chair, the Vice-Chair and two other members of the Committee.

 

To discharge its terms of reference, the CCJE may, within its budgetary appropriations, entrust a limited number of committee members with specific tasks, including the preparation of draft texts, and organise hearings. It may also make use of scientific specialists.

Furthermore, the CCJE will take appropriate measures to develop co-operation on justice matters with the relevant Council of Europe bodies so as to be in a position to make in due time any necessary contributions requested in the framework of these bodies’ work.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.



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