985th meeting – 31 January 2007

Appendix 19
(Item 10.1c)

Revised terms of reference of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) for 2007

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

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 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. Committee of Ministers’ 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 European Conference of Judges

Revised terms of reference of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) for 2007

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 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.

 
 

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 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;

ii.

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

iii.

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

iv.

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 Venice Commission 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 4ii. 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).

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.



 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Meetings
 
   Other documents