Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2006)213 12 December 20061
——————————————

985 Meeting, 31 January 2007
10 Legal questions


10.1 Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) –

b. Abridged report of the 7th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 8-10 November 2006)
——————————————
A. FOREWORD

1. The Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) met in Strasbourg from 8 to 10 November 2006, under the Chairmanship of Mr Raffaele SABATO (Italy). The agenda is appended.

B. ITEMS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS FOR DECISION

2. The CCJE invited the Committee of Ministers:

i. to take note of Opinion No. 8 on “The role of judges in the protection of the Rule of law and human rights in the context of terrorism”;

ii. to take note of Opinion No. 9 on “The role of national judges in ensuring an effective application of international and European law”;

iii. to forward these two Opinions to the competent authorities in the member states with a view, where appropriate, to having them translated into the corresponding languages;

iv. to forward these two Opinions to the CODEXTER, the CAHDI, the CDCJ, the CEPEJ and the CCPE, so that these committees can take the opinions into account in their work;

v. to take note of the report prepared for it on the measures to be taken in order to make proper use in member states of the Opinions given by the CCJE, in keeping with the Action Plan of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government, and to forward it to the relevant national authorities;

vi. to adopt the draft terms of reference of the CCJE as revised in conformity with Resolution Res(2005)47, providing for the CCJE to have a Bureau consisting of the Chair, the Vice-Chair and two other members of the committee; these terms of reference would expire on 31 December 2007;

vii. to take note of this report in full.

C. ITEMS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS FOR INFORMATION

The CCJE:

3. adopted the questionnaire concerning the Councils for the Judiciary with a view to the preparation of an Opinion in 2007 (CCJE (2006) 2), instructed its members to reply to the questionnaire, consulting the national Councils for the Judiciary where appropriate, and to submit the replies to the Secretariat by 15 January 2007;

4. instructed its working group to analyse the replies to this questionnaire and prepare a draft opinion on the Councils for the Judiciary, in keeping with the terms of reference given to the CCJE by the Committee of Ministers, with the assistance of scientific experts to be appointed by the Secretariat; the draft Opinion would be submitted to the 8th plenary meeting of the CCJE;

5. supported the organisation in 2007 of the 3rd European Conference of Judges on the theme: "Which Councils for Justice?", which would provide input for its deliberations with a view to preparing an opinion on that question, welcomed the invitation of the Italian Judicial Service Commission to the Council of Europe to hold this Conference in Rome and thanked its Task Force for the preparatory work done in co-operation with the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary;

6. elected Mr Raffaele SABATO (Italy) Chairman of the CCJE and Ms Julia LAFFRANQUE (Estonia) Vice-Chair of the CCJE for 2007; subject to the approval by the Committee of Ministers of the revised terms of reference, also elected Mr Alain LACABARATS (France) and Mr Gerhard REISSNER (Austria) members of the Bureau of the CCJE for 2007;

7. appointed Mr Orlando AFONSO (Portugal), Ms Aneta ARNAUDOVSKA ("the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia "), Mr Nils ENGSTAD (Norway), Mr Otto MALLMANN (Germany), Mr Stepan MIKAELYAN (Armenia), Mr Stelios NATHANAEL (Cyprus), Mr Kevin O'HIGGINS (Ireland), M. René VERSCHUUR (the Netherlands) and Mr Jean-Claude WIWINIUS (Luxembourg) members of the 2007 Working Group, which it instructed to prepare the draft Opinion concerning the Councils for the Judiciary in time for it to be submitted to the 8th plenary meeting of the CCJE;

8. welcomed the 2006 Edition of the report on "European Judicial Systems” prepared by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and entrusted its Bureau, in accordance with the CEPEJ’s proposal, to analyse specifically the information it contained on the status of judges, in consultation with its Working Group, in order to draw the appropriate conclusions for member states’ public justice policies and for its own work;

9. welcomed the establishment of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) and stressed the need to maintain a good flow of dialogue between the two bodies in order to ensure the coherency of their actions and develop synergies where appropriate;

10. thanked the Lisbon Network for its report contributing to the implementation of Opinion No. (2003) 4 on appropriate initial and in-service training for judges at national and European levels, welcomed this initiative which fitted in with the measures proposed to facilitate the implementation of Opinions, and invited the Lisbon Network to widely publicise the proposed measures, with the Secretariat’s support;

11. having taken into consideration the letter addressed to the CCJE by the Association of Romanian Judges and the relevant information given by the Romanian member of the CCJE, adopted a declaration regarding the draft legislative amendments concerning the status of judges in Romania and decided to submit it to the Association of Romanian Judges and Prosecutors as well as to the relevant authorities in Romania and to publish it on its website;

12. decided unanimously to grant observer status to the European Judges Group for Mediation (GEMME) and the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), in keeping with Committee of Ministers’ Resolution Res(2005)47;

13. thanked the Austrian member of the CCJE for the invitation to hold one of the next meetings of the Working Group in Graz.

Appendix

Draft revised terms of reference of the CCJE for 2006 and 2007

Committee Name

CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN JUDGES (CCJE)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47

Yes
The Bureau is composed of four members (as proposed in the attached draft revised terms of reference)

Programme of Activities: project(s)

Chapter II: Rule of Law
Line of Action II.1: Functioning and efficiency of Justice
2004/DG1/98: Strengthening the role and training of legal professions

Project relevance

1. Third Summit Action Plan: Chapter I – Promoting common fundamental values: human rights, rule of law and democracy,
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
2. Contribution to core values: yes
3. CM Decisions: decisions taken at the 956th meeting of the Committee of Ministers
4. Political justification/framework:
§ Main Recommendation No. 23 in the Wise Persons’ report of 1998 concerning the reinforcement of direct co-operation with national judicial institutions;
§ Conclusions and 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 2000;
§ Framework global Action Plan for judges in Europe adopted by the Committee of Ministers in 2000;

Project added value

The rule of law is one of the main values upheld by the Council of Europe and the judiciary is its cornerstone. It was to highlight the key role of the judiciary in exploring the concept of democracy and the rules by which it operates that the Committee of Ministers set up the Consultative Council of European Judges, advisory body on issues related to the independence, impartiality and competence of judges.

The Consultative Council of European Judges is the first body within an international organisation to be composed exclusively of judges, and in this respect it is unique in Europe.

Financial information

Annual budget: € 218.800
1 plenary meeting per year
2 meetings of the Working group per year (9 members)
2 meetings of the Bureau per year (4 members)
1 Conférence européenne des Juges

1.

Name of committee: CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN JUDGES (CCJE)

Type of committee: Ad Hoc Committee

Source of terms of reference: Committee of Ministers

2.

3.

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 2000;
§ 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

i.

ii.

iii.

iv.

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

adopt an opinion in 2007 for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on the structure and role of the Judicial Service Commission or another equivalent independent body as an essential element in a state governed by the rule of law for a balance between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary; in this connection, the CCJE will examine the present situation in the member states and consider in particular the following points which appear in the framework Global Action Plan for judges in Europe:

§ the respect for the guarantees of judicial independence in the member states at the constitutional, legislative and institutional levels (see Part I (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Action Plan);
§ the setting up or strengthening of authorities, which are independent from the legislative and/or executive authorities, with responsibility for managing judges' careers (see Part I (e) of the Action Plan).

This work will be carried out on the basis of replies by delegations to a questionnaire, a report prepared by a specialist, the results of the European Conference of Judges on this topic and a draft opinion prepared by the Working Party of the CCJE in 2007, in consultation with the Venice Commission;

provide practical assistance to enable states to comply with Council of Europe standards concerning judges (e.g. Best Practice Survey);

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

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

5.

5. A

5.B

i.

ii.

5.C

i.

ii.

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.

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 Venice Commission may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding CoE budget sub-heads, when it is carrying out the tasks referred to in point 4ii. above.

Other participants

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.

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

i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

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).


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, the Consultative Council works in co-operation, in particular, with the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and also, depending on the subjects dealt with, other committees or 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, set up subordinate bodies and organise hearings. It may also make use of scientific specialists. The CCJE may appoint a representative to accept invitations to attend meetings of those Council of Europe bodies whose terms of reference include activities concerning justice, in particular the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) and the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE).

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 2007.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Meetings
 
   Other documents