Strasbourg, 14 February 2007
Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Questionnaire for 2007 CCJE opinion concerning the councils for the judiciary : Reply submitted by the delegation of Liechtenstein
Answer to the Questionnaire for 2007 CCJE Opinion
1. Is there possible interference of the legislative power concerning judges? If yes, please specify.
There is an interference of the legislative power by the Parliament adopting the yearly budget including the budget for the staff of the courts and the expenditure of materials. Article 63 par. 1 of the Constitution provides that the Parliament has the right of control of whole public administration including the administration of justice. But there is no influence of the legislative power on the courts decisions.
2. Is it possible for the legislative power or the Parliament to order investigations or to establish commissions?
It’s only possible in the frame of the administration of justice.
3. Is there possible interference of the executive power concerning judges?
Article 93 lit e of the Constitution provides that the government has to control the legal administration of the court.
4. If yes, is it possible for the executive power to interfere?
The government has no power to intervene in the selection or career or disciplinarily procedures of judges or in the designation of presidents of courts. An interference by the way of regulation of the staff and the material necessities is evident.
5. Is the judicial staff working under the authority of?
The judicial staff is working under the professional authority of the Judge and on behalf of the administration (e.g. salary, time of illness, etc.) under the authority of the president of the court or under the authority of the governmental Office of Human and Administrative Resources.
6. What are the competences of the President of the Court?
He has not the right to evaluate the work of the judges of the court, to distribute the work between the judges, to act as a disciplinary authority vis-à-vis judges or to intervene in the career of judges. He has only the competence of a supervision of the court’s administration and the supervision of the staff.
7. Is there a Council for the Judiciary in your judicial system?
We know no council for the Judiciary.
8. What is the exact title/denomination of this body?
The responsibility for the Judiciary is located in the Ministry of Justice and the Head of Government.
9. What is the legal basis for the Council for the Judiciary:
the Constitution? -
the law? -
10. Please, give a brief historical overview:
The Principality of Liechtenstein has only one Court of Justice, a Court of Appeal and a Supreme Court with 14 judges at the Court of Justice and three fully employed judges at the Court of Appeal. A Council for the Judiciary for only 17 fully employed judges seems to be too expensive and complicated to administer.
Questions 11 to 22:
23. Please describe the different tasks of the Council for the Judiciary:
For the appointment and promotion of judges and the appointment of the presidents of the courts is established a own body (Richterbestellungsgremium) composed by one member of each in the parliament elected political parties, the competent minister and on the other hand the same number of experts designated by the Prince. This body makes a proposal for the parliament and the parliament can adopt or reject the proposal. In case of no agreement after consultations a referendum will decide.
The president of the court administrates the budgets for training for judges and courts staff and approves the training.
The supervision of the court’s performance in general and also the individual work of a judge without an influence in the decisions of a judge has the President of the Court of Appeal.
The disciplinary court for the judges of the Court of Justice is the Court of Appeal, for the judges of the Court of Appeal the Supreme Court.
The Presidents of the courts submit the proposal for the budget to the government and negotiate the necessary positions with the competent administrative authorities.
Work in the law-drafting process, or reports to the government about substantial problems in the court system are done by the judges as singular person or the conference of the judges of the Court of Justice.
Question 24 to 28:
29. Does your country have a code of ethics for judges and is it one of the tasks of the Council to guarantee its observance?
Liechtenstein has no special code of ethics for judges.
Question 30 to 44:
45. Are there mechanisms to ensure the functioning of the principle of separation of powers with respect to the judiciary?
Article 95 par. 2 of the Constitution provides expressively the independence of the judges in their function.
46. How and by whom are judges appointed and promoted?
See answer to question 23
47. Does any authority (body) independent of the government and the administration take part in the appointment and promotion process?
See answer to question 23
48. How are the courts’ activities funded? Do judges have any say whatsoever in decisions concerning funding or in managing the budget?
The competent authority is the president of the court.
49. Is the creation of a Council of the Judiciary contemplated? If yes, what will be its competences?
The draft of the new Act of Organisation of Justice and new Act of the Duties of Judges should be soon adopted by the government for submission to the parliament. In the draft is envisaged that the main questions of the administration of the courts are concentrated in a body composed by the president of the courts and an independent judge of the Court of Justice elected by the judges of the Court of Justice.
Dr. Lothar Hagen