Rule No. 1326 of 25 January 2011 defining the tasks and responsibilities of the Legal Advice Department and Treaty Office within the Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
HAVING REGARD to Rule No. 1309 of 24 September 2009 repealing a number of obsolete internal legal instruments of the Council of Europe;
RECALLING that Rule No. 1309 has repealed Rule No. 575 of 13 February 1981 which consolidated and systematised the various provisions on the role of Legal Advice within the Secretariat General of the Council of Europe;
CONSIDERING that it is necessary to adopt a new instrument defining the tasks and responsibilities of the Legal Advice Department and Treaty Office within the Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law;
D E C I D E S:
The Legal Advice Department and Treaty Office within the Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law (hereinafter “Legal Advice”) shall perform, under the authority of the Secretary General, the following tasks:
a. advising the Secretary General and the various Major Administrative Entities on all legal matters, especially on such theoretical and practical problems of international and national law as may arise, in particular in the framework of the drafting of such legal texts as they may be required to draw up (draft recommendations and resolutions, contracts, draft letters, working papers, etc.);
b. providing such legal assistance as may be needed by the Committee of Ministers, its Chairmanship, Rapporteur Groups and Working Parties, as well as the Bureau of the Ministers’ Deputies;
c. providing such legal assistance as may be needed for the proceedings of the Parliamentary Assembly and its committees;
d. providing such legal assistance as may be needed by the other institutions and bodies of the Council of Europe, such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner for human rights, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Partial Agreements;
e. giving legal opinions to the various committees within the Organisation, in particular as regards draft treaties, with a view to ensuring the desirable harmony between instruments prepared in the Council of Europe;
f. exercising the functions of the Secretary General as depositary of Council of Europe treaties concluded in the framework of the Council of Europe as well as those deriving from the Statute of the Council of Europe Development Bank regarding notifications to the members of the Bank and the Governor;
g. upon a request from the departments concerned, keeping the originals of the agreements which the Council of Europe may conclude with States as well as other entities, such as intergovernmental organisations, public entities and non-governmental organisations;
h. keeping a register of acts notified to the Secretary General for the purposes of acceding to Partial Agreements as well as acts notifying withdrawal therefrom;
i. assisting, upon request, the representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to the Committee of Representatives of the Secretaries/Directors-General (CRSG) within the Co-ordination system;
j. replying in the name of the Secretary General to administrative complaints which may be introduced under the relevant provisions of the Staff Regulations;
k. representing the Secretary General, if necessary having recourse to the services of external specialists, in internal litigation procedures, in particular before the Administrative Tribunal, and in any disputes with third parties;
l. ensuring the legal protection of the European emblem;
m. upon the Secretary General’s request, representing him or her in any other procedure for which the Secretary General considers the participation of Legal Advice as indispensable.
Requests for legal assistance under paragraphs b, c, d and e above shall be transmitted to Legal Advice by the Major Administrative Entity concerned.
The concerned Major Administrative Entities of the Secretariat shall be required:
a. to consult Legal Advice on any matter, draft document, draft contract or draft letter raising points of a legal or statutory nature;
b. to request a legal opinion on any draft internal rule, including in particular draft resolutions, regulations and rules related to staff matters;
c. to communicate to Legal Advice all acts notified to the Secretary General for the purposes of acceding to Partial Agreements as well as acts notifying withdrawal therefrom;
d. approach Legal Advice whenever a draft treaty raises a legal issue and in any case, to ensure that all draft treaties have obtained the approval of Legal Advice before being submitted to the Committee of Ministers.
This rule repeals Instruction No. 23 of 23 July 1985 on requests to use the Council of Europe’s emblem.
This Rule shall enter into force on the first day of the month following its signature by the Secretary General.
Strasbourg, 25 January 2011
The Secretary General