Strasbourg, 9 November 2009




Note on possible integration of the Lisbon Network
within the CEPEJ's activity programme

Secretariat Memorandum, prepared by the

Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs

I. Background information

Judicial training is essential for the development of a common legal culture in Europe and a prerequisite if the Judiciary is to be respected and worthy of respect. At the level of the Council of Europe a Network to support the judicial training in the member states (Lisbon Network) was established in 1995 within the framework of legal co-operation programmes in order to exchange information on matters of common interest and to support, the setting up or further development of judicial training facilities in the new democracies of central and eastern Europe.

Members of the Lisbon Network are representatives from the judicial training institutions of Council of Europe member States. European Judicial Training Network and Judicial Training Institute of Lebanon are observer members without the right to vote. In its strategic document dated from 2006, the Lisbon Network underlines that “unless the right training is provided for legal professions, judicial systems cannot function effectively and will forfeit public trust”. The appropriate training of the judges and prosecutors partakes of its independence and its efficiency.” Since 1995 members of the Lisbon Network met regularly in a plenary meeting until 2008. However the Lisbon Network used to operate according to a hoc working basis, without proper legal existence, as a specific modality for implementing targeted cooperation programme.

II. Judicial training at European level

The main actors of the judicial training remain national judicial training schools as the organisation of training is primarily the responsibility of each member State. At the level of the European Union other actors provide training and exchange of good practices in this field, I particular the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) which has been granted the Observer status with the CEPEJ.

At the level of the Council of Europe European several texts address directly or implicitly the question of initial and continuous training of judges and prosecutors:

    - CCJE Opinion N°4 to the attention of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on appropriate initial and in-service training for judges at national and European levels;

    - Recommendation Rec(94)12 of the Committee of Ministers on the Independence, Efficiency and Role of Judges;

    - Recommendation Rec(2000)19 of the Committee of Ministers on the Role of Public Prosecution in the Criminal Justice System;

    - The European Charter on the statute for judges.

III. The Lisbon Network as a CEPEJ's Network

Resolution Res(2002)12 establishing the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) highlights, among the principles that inspired its creation: "i. Initial and on-going training is a right and a duty of all those involved in the judicial service and is an essential requirement for justice to fulfill its functions. ii. Initial and on-going training of legal professionals shall be guaranteed (…)".

Moreover, in accordance with Article 3.e of its Statute, the CEPEJ shall fulfil its tasks by creating networks of professionals involved in the justice area.

Judicial training institutions are essential tools for promoting and safeguarding the independence, efficiency and quality of justice systems. Such a network of judicial training institutions would make sense for the CEPEJ. Thus the issue of judicial training would be better taken into account within the CEPEJ's work. Similarly, these training bodies could better include issues on efficiency and quality of justice into their training curricula, in particular through the CEPEJ's tools which could thus be better known and better used by justice professionals

Therefore the aim of this paper is to propose to CEPEJ members to consider the possibility of establishing the Lisbon Network under its umbrella giving it a number of tasks that can complement and enrich the ongoing work of CEPEJ.

IV. Possible missions and tasks for the Lisbon Network within the framework of the CEPEJ's Activity programme

The CEPEJ could decide to promote networking among training institutions for judges and prosecutors through the strengthening of exchanges of experience and development of European quality standards in the field of training.

The Lisbon Network could be a consultative body of the CEPEJ.

To this end, the Lisbon Network could in particular:

    a. complement the work of the CEPEJ by advising the members on questions related to the efficiency and quality of justice through judicial training;

    b. advise the CEPEJ on the issues regarding judicial training within the framework of its process for evaluating European judicial systems and carry out in-depth analysis of the relevant information resulting from this process;

    c. support and disseminate the work of the CEPEJ (in particular on judicial time management, quality of justice, mediation, execution of court decisions) among new (initial training) and experienced (in-service training) judges and prosecutors;

    d. trial within judicial training institutions the relevant CEPEJ's tools and guidance;

    e. encourage dialogue between national and European judicial bodies, amongst institutions responsible for judicial training and amongst judges and prosecutors;

    f. help training institutions in drafting entry-level tests (in particular when it comes to court management issues);

    g. help in drafting specific curricula and training methodologies on the efficiency and quality of justice, management skills, etc;

    h. elaborate a system for the evaluation of the training on international legal instruments;

    i. provide guidelines to legal research;

    j. help training institutions to implement the “Minimum Corpus of Council of Europe standards” and the “Concept paper on the training of judges and prosecutors on cybercrime”.

In order to fulfil its tasks, the Lisbon Network could in particular:

· analyse pertinent available information concerning the training of judges and prosecutors in the member States in order to propose solutions for the improvement of the cooperation on training methods, the development of distance learning and donation policies;

· collect necessary information on the judicial training of judges and prosecutors, their appointment, the evaluation of their carrier and how they influence the quality and efficiency of justice;

· rely on appropriate networks, in particular the CEPEJ's Network of pilot court, allowing the integration of the works and thin kings of the judicial community, to exploit innovative projects aimed at improving structural and functional features of training institutions in member States.

V. Composition

The Lisbon Network should be composed of representatives from the entities responsible for the training of judges and prosecutors from the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Ideally the appointed persons should either have a managerial or leading position in the judicial institution or be involved in the development of curricula (for the initial and/or continuous training).

The Lisbon Network could meet regularly, under the auspices of the CEPEJ.

The Lisbon Network could have a steering committee composed of 4 members (experts) proposed by member states and appointed by the CEPEJ Bureau for one year. The steering committee will be the body responsible to provide policy guidance to the Lisbon Network, review and approve its working programme. The steering committee may take the format of a working group, if necessary. In this case, experts with an in-depth knowledge in a certain field will be appointed.

Their travel and subsistence expenses would be borne by the budget of the Council of Europe. Other experts appointed by the member States might participate in its work, at their own expenses.

The relevant Council of Europe and European Union bodies might be represented to the Lisbon Network without the right to vote or defrayal expenses.

Other members having observer status within the CEPEJ might be invited to take part in the works of the steering committee, on a case-by-case basis, if CEPEJ Bureau considers their attendance relevant for the quality of the work.