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Strasbourg, 12 September 2013 CCJE(2013)3

CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN JUDGES
(CCJE)

2014-2015 Draft Terms of Reference of the CCJE
Extract from Doc. CM(2013)131Add

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Set up by the Committee of Ministers under Article 17 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and in accordance with Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods.

Type of committee: Ad hoc Committee

Terms of reference valid from: 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2015

Main tasks

The CCJE is a consultative body concerning independence, impartiality and competence of judges and the first and only body in an international organisation composed exclusively of judges.

Having regard to Recommendation Rec(2010)12 on judges: independence, efficiency and responsibilities, the CCJE shall:

    (i) prepare and adopt, in 2014 and 2015 respectively, at least two opinions for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on issues regarding the status of judges and the exercise of their functions:
    (ii) provide targeted cooperation at the request of member States, CCJE members, judicial bodies or relevant associations of judges, to enable states to comply with Council of Europe standards concerning judges;
    (iii) prepare texts or opinions concerning the specific situation of judges at the request of the Committee of Ministers or other bodies of the Council of Europe such as the Secretary General or the Parliamentary Assembly;
    (iv) encourage partnerships in the judicial field involving courts, judges and judges’ associations.

Pillar/Sector/Programme

Pillar: Rule of law
Sector
: Justice
Programme
: Independence and Efficiency of Justice

Expected results

The status, role and function of judges are protected and strengthened in the member States according to European standards:

    (i) at least two Opinions for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on issues regarding the status of judges and the exercise of their functions are adopted by the end of 2015, based on the analysis of the current situation and discussions in member States.
    (ii) specific opinions on given situations in one or several member state concerning the status, the role or the functions of judges are to be adopted by the end of 2015, at the request of Council of Europe bodies or member States and regular information is provided on the situation of judges in Europe based on this work.

Composition

Members:
Governments of member States are entitled to appoint one or more 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 judge from each member State (two in the case of the State whose representative has been elected Chair).

Each member of the committee shall have one vote. Where a government designates more than one member, only one of them is entitled to take part in the voting.

Participants:
The following may send a representative without the right to vote and at the charge of their corresponding administrative budgets:

    - European Court of Human Rights;
    - Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE);
    - European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ);
    - European Committee of Legal Co-operation (CDCJ);
    - European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC);
    - other Council of Europe intergovernmental committees as appropriate.

The following may send a representative without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:

    - European Union;
    - Observer States to the Council of Europe: Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America.

Observers:
The following non-governmental organisations may send representatives, without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:

    - European Association of Judges (EAJ);
    - Association “Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et les libertés” (MEDEL);
    - European Federation of Administrative Judges;
    - Groupement des Magistrats pour la Médiation (GEMME);
    - European Network of Judicial Training (ENJT);
    - European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ);
    - The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)

Working methods

Plenary meetings:
48 members, 1 meeting in 2014, 3 days
48 members, 1 meeting in 2015, 3 days

Bureau:
Consisting of the President, the Vice-President and two other members of the Council.
4 members, 2 meetings in 2014, 1 day
4 members, 2 meetings in 2015, 1 day

Additional working methods:

    (i) 2 meetings of limited members of the CCJE (max. 9 members) per year, to prepare the draft Opinion;
    (ii) 1 meeting of limited members of the CCJE (max. 4 members) per year to provide targeted co-operation with member States to comply with Council of Europe standards concerning judges;
    (iii) 1 European conference of judges.

The Committee will also appoint a Gender Equality Rapporteur from amongst its members.

The rules of procedure of the Committee are governed by Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods.