Strasbourg, 2 March 2010
BUREAU OF THE CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF
Report of the 12th meeting
Strasbourg, 24 February 2010
Secretariat Document prepared by the Directorate
General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs
1. The Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE-BU) held its 12th meeting in Strasbourg on 24 February 2010 with Mr Olivier De Baynast (France) in the chair.
2. The following Bureau members were also present:
- Mr João Manuel da SILVA MIGUEL (Portugal), Vice-Chairperson of the CCPE
- Mr Antonio MURA (Italy)
- Ms Raja TOIVIAINEN (Finland)
3. The agenda is reproduced in Appendix I.
II. COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIRPERSON, BUREAU MEMBERS AND SECRETARIAT
4. The Chairperson welcomed the productive co-operation between the CCPE and CCJE, which had led to the adoption in 2009 of the joint opinion entitled “Judges and prosecutors in a democratic society”. He added that he had attended the hearing organised by the Committee of Ministers on 20 January 2010 in the company of Julia LAFFRANQUE (Estonia), Chairperson of the CCJE; this event had highlighted the States’ very strong support for their work.
III. PREPARATION OF OPINION NO. 5
5. The Bureau thanked the members of the CCPE for the large number of replies (34) to the questionnaire on the role of the prosecutor in the field of juvenile justice (see compilation of replies, document CCPE-GT(2010)1).
6. It decided, in order to guide the Working Group in its discussions, to propose a draft structure (see Appendix II) which would have the following main emphases:
- mentioning the many relevant texts in the field of juvenile justice, particularly in the Council of Europe, as well as the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights;
- in order to prevent duplication, restricting the scope of the opinion to the prosecutor’s role in the juvenile justice field;
- devoting the first part to the young people concerned (perpetrators, victims etc) and the second part to the prosecutors.
IV. APPLICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATION 2000(19) IN THE LIGHT OF THE CELEBRATION OF ITS 10th ANNIVERSARY
7. The Bureau, in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Recommendation (2000)19:
- recalled the importance to CCPE members of ensuring that the CCPE was invited to attend major national events relevant to public prosecutors in order, specifically, to highlight the importance of the Recommendation and the impact of its practical application; if necessary, in order to shed fresh light on the issues in question, provision should be made for inviting a CCPE member from a State other than that in which the event was taking place;
- decided to mandate a scientific expert to conduct an impact study in order to provide an accurate overview of the situation vis-à-vis awareness and application of the Recommendation in member states; such an impact study was a prerequisite for considering any revision or update of the text (see Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on judicial corruption, paragraph 14 below);
- instructed the Secretariat to include a special section on the CCPE website on all the events relevant to public prosecutors in which the Recommendation would be mentioned (dates, venues, themes, texts of the statements by CCPE members at these events);
- instructed CCPE members once again to widely circulate the Recommendation to all the relevant national authorities in their respective states; suggested taking the Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors, which would take place in The Hague in September 2010, as the starting point for this renewed drive;
- took note of the suggestion from Mr Antonio Mura (Italy) to ask the Italian Higher Council of the Judiciary to organise a meeting on the subject of Recommendation (2000)19 and to invite CCPE members to this event; instructed the Secretariat to make direct contact with the Higher Council of the Judiciary.
V. PREPARATION OF OPINION NO. 6 (2011) OF THE CCPE ON RELATIONS BETWEEN PROSECUTORS AND THE PRISON ADMINISTRATION
8. The Bureau held an exchange of views on the subject of the Opinion to be prepared in 2011. It stressed the importance of delimiting the subject, and accordingly recommended focusing the work strictly on relations between the prosecutor and the prison administration, dealing with prison solely as a place of detention. The Bureau instructed Mr Peter Polt (Hungary) to prepare a questionnaire on the subject of Opinion No. 6 for October 2010, to be adopted by the CCPE at its forthcoming plenary meeting.
9. The Bureau stressed the need to work in consultation with the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), which had more extensive information on the application of the European Prison Rules.
10. The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the possibility of holding a Conference on the Prison Rules and prison directors in Turkey in 2011, during the Turkish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, in co-operation with the CDPC.
VI. CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER COUNCIL OF EUROPE BODIES
A. European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
§ Draft Recommendation on the role of the prosecutor outside the criminal field
11. The CDCJ had been invited to prepare a draft Recommendation on the role of the prosecutor outside the criminal field. Since the CCPE had adopted its Opinion No. 3 on the same subject, its Chairperson had been invited to an exchange of views with the Bureau of the CDCJ at its 86th meeting (19 and 20 January 2010), at which the latter had agreed, if necessary, to call on the services of the CCPE.
12. The Bureau of the CCPE:
- considered that it was in its interest to take part in any discussions on public prosecutors;
- recalled, at the same time, that it was not for a consultative committee to decide on the expediency of preparing a Recommendation;
- should the competent committees decide to draft a Recommendation on the role of the prosecutor outside the criminal field, confirmed its willingness to contribute to this effort, in view of the importance of protecting human rights, fundamental freedoms, the democratic principle of the separation of powers within the State and the equality of arms, as stressed by the CCPE in its Opinion No. 3 on the European common principles, particularly on the status, powers and practice of the Public Prosecutor's Office outside the penal system.
§ Draft Council of Europe Guidelines on child-friendly justice
13. Given the close connection between this theme and that of CCPE Opinion No. 5, the Bureau agreed to address this matter at the CCPE-GT meeting (see report of the 6th meeting of the CCPE-GT: document CCPE-GT(2010)4). In the light of the discussions in the Working Group, the Bureau was invited to prepare comments on the draft Guidelines and to forward them to the Secretariat before 22 March 2010.
B. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
14. At their 1077th meeting (24 February 2010), the Ministers' Deputies had decided to communicate Recommendation 1896 (2010) on judicial corruption to the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) for information and possible comments by 15 April 2010.
15. The Bureau of the CCPE welcomed this Recommendation on judicial corruption and its content, and agreed as follows:
- regarding the provision encouraging the CCPE “to persevere in its role as guardian of the due application of Committee of Ministers Recommendation Rec(2000)19 on the role of public prosecution in the criminal justice system, bearing in mind particularly the independence of prosecutors and having regard to the reforms which have taken place in the member states since the recommendation was adopted”: given that this role of promoting the implementation of the said Recommendation had been included in the CCPE’s terms of reference for 2009/2010, the CCPE stressed that all its members were responsible for constantly disseminating and explaining the Recommendation; furthermore, in 2010, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Recommendation, the CCPE was to instigate an impact study in the member States in order to ascertain the extent of the awareness and application of the text;
- regarding the provision encouraging the CCPE “to review this recommendation in a similar way to the current revision of Recommendation No. R (94) 12”: while pointing out that as a consultative committee it was not empowered to revise a Committee of Ministers Recommendation, the CCPE was planning to await the outcome of the aforementioned impact study in order to put forward practical proposals on a possible review. The CCPE added that Recommendation (2000)19 had already comprised some of the measures advocated in Resolution 1703(2010), albeit expressed differently;
- regarding the provision in which the PACE “invites the Committee of Ministers to draw up a model code of conduct directed at judicial officials (…)”, with reference to CCJE Opinion No. 3: the CCPE voiced the wish to be involved alongside the CCJE in any effort to prepare a code of conduct targeting all the players in the judicial system, and stressed the importance of ensuring that such a code be prepared by the professionals themselves. In addition to CCJE Opinion No. 3, the CCPE also recalled the European Guidelines on Ethics and Conduct for Public Prosecutors, the so-called “Budapest Guidelines”, adopted by the Conference of Prosecutors General of Europe on 31 May 2005.
16. The Bureau instructed the Secretariat to prepare draft comments along these lines, which it would adopt by email before sending them to all the CCPE members for final comments.
VII. OTHER BUSINESS
17. The Bureau decided to propose that the Working Group change the date of its next meeting. This meeting would take place on 23 and 24 June 2010 (two full days) instead of from 15 to 17 September 2010, in order to give all the members of the CCPE more time to comment on draft Opinion No. 5, which would be prepared by the CCPE-GT after its 2nd meeting.
18. The next meeting of the Bureau of the CCPE would therefore be held on 23 June 2010.
DRAFT AGENDA / PROJET D’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 Secrétariat
Communication du Président, des membres du Bureau et du Secrétariat
4. Preparation of the Opinion No.5
Préparation de l’Avis n°5
5. Other work of the CCPE
Autres travaux du CCPE
§ State of the implementation of the Recommendation 2000(19) in view of the celebration of its 10th anniversary / L’état de la mise en œuvre de la Recommandation 2000(19) à la lumière de la célébration de son 10ème anniversaire
§ Reflection on the relationship between prosecutors and prison administration (task for 2011) / Réflexion sur les relations entre les procureurs et l’administration pénitentiaire (tâche pour 2011)
§ Draft of the Council of Europe guidelines on child-friendly justice
Projet de lignes directrices du Conseil de l’Europe sur une justice adaptée aux enfants
§ Recommendation 1896(2010) from the Parliamentary Assembly on judicial corruption
Recommandation 1896(2010) de l’Assemblée parlementaire sur la corruption
6. Any other business / Divers
Proposed structure by the Bureau concerning Opinion No. 5 of the CCPE
Compilation of relevant texts
Synthesis of main principles
Focus on the role of the prosecutor in this field
Part I – Minors involved
A. Minors offenders
B. Minors victims
C. Other minors : Minors involved in any procedure (witnesses, etc.) who should be protected/defended
Part II – Prosecutors involved
A. Which prosecutors for cases involving minors ?
1. Specialisation, specific information, etc.
2. Selection and appointment
B. Working methods
1. Work of the prosecutor within the court (Co-operation with other autorities, etc.)
2. Work of the prosecutor outside the court (Co-operation with other autorities, etc.)