Strasbourg, 3 April 2014
WORKING GROUP OF THE
CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS
Report of the 14th meeting
Strasbourg, 27 – 28 March 2014
Document prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General I - Human Rights and Rule of Law
1. The Working Group of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE-GT) held its 14th meeting in Strasbourg on 27–28 March 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr Antonio MURA (ITALY), President of the CCPE.
2. The agenda and the list of participants are reproduced in Appendices I and III respectively.
II. COMMUNICATION BY THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE BUREAU AND WORKING GROUP OF THE CCPE
3. The President reported on his participation in the 65th plenary meeting of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) on 2 December 2013 to discuss the opportunity to update Recommendation Rec(2000)19 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the role of public prosecution in the criminal justice system and to introduce the elaboration of the Opinion No. 9 of the CCPE, whose approval is expected in 2014.
4. The President also reported on his hearing to the Committee of Ministers (CM) of the Council of Europe during its 1189th meeting on 22 January 2014. The CM took note of Opinion No. 8(2013) on “relations between prosecutors and the media”, and reacted very positively. Several delegations emphasised the importance of the CCPE’s work and implementation of its standards. The Committee of Ministers Deputies’ meeting was followed by a working lunch with the Chair of the Committee of Ministers and with the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, during which the possible reply by the CCPE to specific assistance requests were in particular discussed.
5. Mr MURA highlighted his recent letter to the Chair of the Committee of Ministers on this subject, where he stated that one of the core tasks of the CCPE would be participating as much as possible in the resolution of difficulties as regards the status and functions of prosecutors in member States. This was fully in line with the CCPE Terms of Reference for 2014-2015, according to which, the CCPE shall “provide targeted co-operation on the request of member States, CCPE members, prosecutorial bodies or relevant associations of prosecutors, to enable States to comply with Council of Europe standards concerning prosecutors”.
6. In this letter, the President referred the results of the reflection made by the CCPE Bureau, according to which the CCPE would be able, upon receipt of a specific request of assistance, to constitute an ad hoc Working Group (a sort of “Task Force”) of experts designated amongst the CCPE members, to examine the request and to study the possible follow up, including possible field visits, consultations with the stakeholders, and preparation of a specific document or of a general declaration about the standards concerning prosecutors.
7. Mr MURA reminded that the CCPE has been receiving requests of assistance or complaints about the status and situation of prosecutors, including from the European Association of Judges (EAJ) and the “Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et les libertés” (MEDEL), as regards Albania, Montenegro and Turkey.
8. Ms Raija TOIVIAINEN informed the Working Group about her mission to Turkey on 22-25 October 2013 on the invitation by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors of Turkey. She underlined that many Turkish prosecutors approached her privately and asked how the CCPE could help them in their difficult situation. Mr João Manuel DA SILVA MIGUEL also raised the issue of the situation of prosecutors in Turkey, and that the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors was not independent any more.
9. Mr Olivier de BAYNAST informed the Working Group about his presentation in the event «La Justice du 21ème Siècle» (Paris, 10-11 January 2014), where the modernisation of the statute of the prosecution office was, among other topics, discussed.
10. Mr Antonio VERCHER NOGUERA reported on his participation in the elaboration of the White Book on the system of prosecution in Spain.
III. PREPARATION OF THE OPINION No. 9 - REFERENCE DOCUMENT ON EUROPEAN NORMS AND PRINCIPLES CONCERNING PROSECUTORS
11. The President underlined that this Opinion is one of the most demanding tasks assigned to the CCPE because it deals with principles already affirmed but focusing on them in an updated manner, determining the dimension of each principle, as well as the proper implementation of these principles by all stakeholders. He recalled that during its 20th meeting (Rome, 3-4 February 2014), the Bureau prepared a draft structure and a list of relevant international documents concerning prosecutors in which the main principles could be found.
12. The Working Group thanked the Secretariat for having prepared on this basis a draft document compiling all relevant principles taken from the list of pertinent instruments (document CCPE-GT(2014)1) and a compilation of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning prosecutors (document CCPE-GT(2014)2).
13. The CCPE-GT had an exchange of views concerning the form to be adopted by this text: a practical text for policy makers but also for legal practitioners. The intention is not to replace the key documents concerning prosecutors adopted so far, such as the Recommendation Rec(2000)19, but to prepare a consolidated text of all relevant principles in an updated manner, referring to the evolutions which have taken place in the course of the fifteen years after the adoption of this Recommendation. Different factors such as the economic crisis, should be taken into account.
14. The CCPE-GT, accordingly, decided that the title of this document could be: “European Charter for Public Prosecutors”, with the sub-title “Updated principles applicable 15 years after the Recommendation Rec(2000)19”.
15. The detailed structure, as prepared by the Bureau, was then discussed (see Appendix II to this report). It included the following key principles:
16. The CCPE-GT members were entrusted with the task of drafting the various parts of the document (see the distribution among members in Appendix II), to be sent to the Secretariat by 23 May 2014.
17. The CCPE-GT entrusted the Secretariat to prepare the summary of notes of the discussions developed in the course of this meeting, to include it in the draft Opinion modified according to the new adopted structure and to send the new draft to the Working Group and Bureau members as soon as possible.
IV. SPECIFIC REQUESTS OF ASSISTANCE
18. The President informed the CCPE-GT of the following decisions of the Bureau concerning requests of assistance and their follow-up:
19. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Albania contacted the CCPE Secretariat and inquired about the possible assistance for the draft law on organisation and functioning of the prosecution office, as well as some other legislative acts. M. Artashes MELIKYAN, co-secretary of the CCPE, who would participate in a seminar in Albania at the beginning of April, was entrusted with clarifying the exact extent of the required assistance and the possible timetable.
20. Requests from the Prosecutorial Council and the State Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro were sent to CCPE-BU members, complaining that a new draft law required a general re-election of all prosecutors in the country which could be considered as unlawful and not well-founded.
21. The Bureau of the CCPE decided to create an ad hoc Working Group composed of Mr Cédric VISART DE BOCARMÉ (Belgium), Mr Peter McCormick (Ireland) and Mr Joao DA SILVA MIGUEL (Portugal) who would decide which action could be taken by the CCPE in this regard.
22. The Bureau of the CCPE informed the Working Group that it has prepared a Declaration to be adopted by the CCPE concerning recent developments in Turkey as regards legislation on the judicial system. The Declaration expresses, in particular, concern about the reform, adopted by the Turkish Parliament on 15th February 2014, significantly strengthening the powers of the government in the appointment of judges and prosecutors and allowing the Minister of Justice to intervene in the functioning of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors. As a result, the independence of the judiciary could be infringed, allowing the executive power to influence judicial proceedings.
23. The Declaration, after its adoption by the CCPE (by electronic procedure), would be published and forwarded to all relevant stakeholders.
V. GENDER EQUALITY ISSUES
24. The CCPE-GT had an exchange of views with Ms Carolina LASEN DIAZ from the Gender Equality Division of the Directorate General of Democracy. She informed of the policy document which was the first of its kind to be adopted by the Council of Europe - Gender Equality Strategy for 2014-2017. It aimed at changing the mentality and stereotypes and to achieve gender mainstreaming inside the Council of Europe as well as at national levels. She noted that the justice and law enforcement policies developed in the Council of Europe may have an impact on the gender situation. Thirty gender equality rapporteurs had already been appointed in various Council of Europe bodies and structures, including the CCPE. A manual to support the work of the rapporteurs was planned.
25. The CCPE-GT thanked Ms LASEN DIAZ for her presentation and underlined its full support for gender equality and for the integration of this component into the CCPE activities.
VI. OTHER BUSINESS
26. The President of the CCPE mentioned the importance of the translations of the CCPE Opinions into national languages. He referred to the recent translations into Italian of the Opinions No. 7(2012) and No. 8(2013), and the updating of the website of the Italian High Council of the Judiciary. The translations are the right way to make the CCPE Opinions known and shared among legal professionals at national level, and to promote their implementation. As a demonstration of this concept, articles dedicated to or touching upon the CCPE’s Opinions appeared in important on-line legal reviews in Italy. Mr MURA called upon the members of the CCPE-GT to intensify their efforts in this direction.
27. Mr MURA informed the participants about the invitation of the Italian High Council of the Judiciary to hold the next plenary meeting of the CCPE in Rome on 4-5 December 2014. An official letter will be sent very soon to the High Council of the Judiciary to confirm that the Council of Europe accepted this invitation.
28. Mr João Manuel DA SILVA MIGUEL informed the Working Group of the intention of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Portugal to invite the CCPE-GT to hold its next meeting on 19-20 June 2014 in Lisbon, and he assured the CCPE-GT that the formal invitation would be sent very soon to the Council of Europe.
AGENDA / ORDRE DU JOUR
1. Opening of the meeting / Ouverture de la réunion
2. Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour
3. Communication by the President, members of the Bureau and the Secretariat / Communication du Président, des membres du Bureau et du Secrétariat
4. Preparation of the CCPE Opinion No.9 which will be a reference document on European norms and principles concerning prosecutors / Préparation de l’Avis n°9 qui sera un document de référence sur les normes et principes relatifs aux procureurs
5. Other work of the CCPE / Autres travaux du CCPE
a) Exchange of views with Ms Carolina Lasen Diaz from the DGII – Gender Equality Division (27 March, 2.30 pm) / Echange de vues avec Mme Carolina Lasen Diaz de la DGII - Division Egalité entre les femmes et les hommes (27 mars, 14 h 30)
b) Specific requests of assistance / Demandes d’assistance spécifiques :
6. Any other business / Divers
Presentation of the role of the Gender Equality Representative by Carolina Lasen Diaz, Directorate General of Democracy / Présentation du rôle du Représentant égalité entre les hommes et les femmes par Carolina Lasen Diaz, Direction générale de la démocratie
· Next meeting / Prochaine réunion
Strasbourg, 28 March 2014
WORKING GROUP OF THE CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS (CCPE-GT)
Opinion No.9 (2014) on:
EUROPEAN CHARTER FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTORS
Updated principles applicable 15 years after Rec(2000)19
STRUCTURE OF OPINION
23 May is the deadline for receiving contributions from the members of the Working Group.
One sub-point should not exceed one page.
However, it is not required that each sub-point be equal to one page.
Definition of a prosecutor (by Secretariat in consultation with A.Mura)
Role and functions (by A.Giraldi in consultation with P.McCormick and J.da Silva Miguel)
Role and functions of a prosecutor in criminal proceeding
Role and functions outside criminal proceedings (civil, social, administrative, prison and other)
Alternatives to prosecution
Status of prosecutors and safeguards provided to them for carrying out their functions
Origin of the safeguards and rights (constitution, law)
Independence of prosecutors and its guarantees (by O.de Baynast in consultation with G.Bosilcic)
Relations with executive and legislative powers and institutions
Relations with courts
Hierarchy; assignment and re-assignment of cases; instructions; relations with chief prosecutors
Recruitment and career : (by J.da Silva Miguel in consultation with E.Sidwa)
- Recruitment of public prosecutors
- Appointment of heads of prosecution services
- Appointment of heads of prosecution offices
- Evaluation of professional skills
- Transfer and mobility
Conditions of service: (by J.da Silva Miguel in consultation with E.Sidwa)
- Separation of functions, conflicts of interests
- Salaries and allowances
Guarantees in proceedings: (by J.da Silva Miguel in consultation with E.Sidwa)
- in disciplinary proceedings
- in any other proceedings (e.g. criminal, civil or administrative)
Protection of persons (prosecutors, family, etc.) (by J.da Silva Miguel in consultation with E.Sidwa)
Duties and rights of prosecutors (by R.Toiviainen in consultation with A.Mura)
Ethics, conduct and accountability of prosecutors
Freedom of expression
Freedom of association
Relations with other stakeholders and institutions (by J.-P.Dreno in consultation with O.de Baynast)
Relations with victims of crime, defendants, suspects of crime, citizens/civil society
Relations with judges, lawyers and court staff
Relations with police and other law enforcement agencies
Relations with prison administration
Relations with the media
Relations with public services and other institutions
International co-operation (regional fora, networks and exchange of information)
Organisation of prosecution services (by A.Vercher Noguera in consultation with C.Visart de Bocarme)
Management of the means
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
MEMBERS OF CCPE-GT / MEMBRES DU CCPE-GT
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA / BOSNIE-HERZÉGOVINE
Ms Gordana BOSILJČIĆ, Prosecutor, Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Sarajevo
FRANCE (substitute member / membre suppléant)
Mr Olivier de BAYNAST, Procureur Général, Cour d'Appel de Douai, Douai
GERMANY / ALLEMAGNE (excused / excusé)
Mr Harald RANGE, Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof, Karlsruhe
IRELAND / IRLANDE
Mr Peter McCORMICK, Prosecutor, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutors, Dublin
Mr Jean-Pierre DRENO, Procureur Général, Parquet Général, Monaco
POLAND / POLOGNE
Ms Elizabeth SIDWA, Prosecutor, Department of International Cooperation, General Prosecutor’s Office, Warsaw
Mr João Manuel DA SILVA MIGUEL, EUROJUST, The Hague, The Netherlands
RUSSIAN FEDERATION / FÉDÉRATION DE RUSSIE (excused / excusé)
Mr Alexander Grigorievich ZVYAGINTSEV, Deputy Prosecutor General, Office of the Prosecutor General, Moscow
Mr Vladimir P. ZIMIN, First Deputy Head, General Department of International Legal Cooperation, Office of the Prosecutor General, Moscow
SPAIN / ESPAGNE
Mr Antonio VERCHER NOGUERA, Deputy Attorney General, Madrid
TURKEY / TURQUIE (excused / excusé)
Mr Hasan DURSUN, Judge, High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, Ankara
MEMBERS OF CCPE-BU / MEMBRES DU CCPE-BU
BELGIUM / BELGIQUE
Mr Cedric VISART de BOCARME, Chef de Cabinet, Ministère de l’Intérieure, Bruxelles
DENMARK / DANEMARK
Ms Alessandra GIRALDI, Assistant Deputy Director, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Copenhagen
FINLAND / FINLANDE
(Vice-President of CCPE /Vice-Président du CCPE)
Ms Raija TOIVIAINEN, State Prosecutor, Head of the International Unit, Helsinki
ITALY / ITALIE
(President of CCPE/Président du CCPE)
Mr Antonio MURA, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Supreme Court, Roma
COUNCIL OF EUROPE’S SECRETARIAT /
SECRETARIAT DU CONSEIL DE L’EUROPE
Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law/
Direction Générale des droits de l’homme et de l’état de droit
Division for the independence and efficiency of justice /
Division pour l’indépendance et l’efficacité de la justice
Fax: + 33 (0) 88 41 37 43
Ms Muriel DECOT, Secretary of the CCPE / Secrétaire du CCPE, tel: + 33 (0)3 90 21 44 55; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Artashes MELIKYAN, Co-Secretary of the CCPE / Co-Secrétaire du CCPE, tel: + 33 (0)3 90 21 47 60; e-mail: email@example.com
Mr Jean-Pierre GEILLER, Documentation / Documentation, tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 22 27; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Annette SATTEL, Administration and Networks / Administration et Réseaux, tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 39 04; e-mail: email@example.com
Ms Emily WALKER, Assistant / Assistant; tel: + 33 (0)3 90 21 48 39, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERPRETS / INTERPRETES