About the CCJE...
The Council of Europe attaches great importance to the status of judges and the quality of the justice system because
of the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms – which are key values for the Organisation – depend for their implementation on a strong and independent judiciary.
The CCJE may be requested by member States to look into specific
problems concerning the
status and/or the situation of judges. It addresses topical issues and,
if necessary, visits the countries concerned to discuss the ways of improving
the existing situation through developing legislation, institutional framework
and/or judicial practice.
In this context, the Council of Europe is concerned both with strengthening the judiciary in its member States, with the aim of ensuring mutual respect between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, and to give European citizens increased confidence in the justice system.
It was in the light of these two objectives that the Committee of
Ministers of the Council of Europe set up the Consultative Council of
European Judges (CCJE) in 2000.
The CCJE, consultative body concerning independence, impartiality and
competence of judges, highlights the essential role of the judicial
power in a democratic society. The CCJE is the first body in an
international organisation composed exclusively of judges and
constitutes therefore a unique body at the European level.
Information Leaflet about the CCJE
For 2012, the CCJE member appointed Mr Bart Van Lierop (The Netherlands)
as Gender Equality rapporteur.
In accordance with the pilot survey of intergovernmental steering and ad
hoc committees (document
), CCJE opinions have been useful for the
purposes of drafting national regulations and legislation, are often
used as tools for the functioning and/or administration of justice and
for the organisation of the work of the legal professions and are useful
for national professionals and in particular for judges and judicial
service commissions, in view of the fact that CCJE opinions contain
concrete specifications concerning the implementation of general
standards (independence of judges, training of judges, ethics, quality
of decisions, etc.).
Framework Global Action Plan for Judges in Europe
20 November 2009, the Fundation Justice in the World (under the
patronage of the International Association of Judges) awarded the
CCJE with the Prize "Justice in the World" for the excellent quality of
its work and the commitment of its members.
member States may be represented. 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.
of the CCJE
The General Secretariat of the Council of
the European Union is also invited to participate in the activities of
Composition of the Bureau
Composition of the
right to an independent and impartial court was laid down clearly in
Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The work of the CCJE is set in the context of the implementation of this right, with the
aim of strengthening the rule of law and the effective protection of
human rights in democratic States.
terms of reference of the CCJE for 2014 and 2015
(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;
encourage partnerships in the judicial field involving courts, judges
and judges’ associations.
The main task of the CCJE is to contribute to implementation of the Framework Global Action
Plan for Judges in Europe adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 7
February 2001 to strengthen the role of judges in member States.
It has an advisory
function on general questions relating to independence, impartiality
and competence of judges. This leads it to prepare opinions for the
attention of the Committee of Ministers. The CCJE may also receive
requests for opinions from other Council of Europe bodies.
CCJE may be called upon to provide practical assistance to help States
comply with standards relating to judges.
It is required to take measures to encourage partnerships in the
judicial field between courts, judges and judges’ associations.
Although the opinions given by the CCJE
take account existing national situations, they mainly contain
innovative proposals for improving the status of judges and the service
provided to members of the public seeking justice.