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Recruitment of judges – European standards - Working session organised in Bucharest on 23 March 2006 by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the National Institute of Magistracy of Romania within the framework of the Romanian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe

The participants reminded that procedures for admission to Magistracy should be characterised by fairness and equal opportunities; they should be aimed at the recruitment of the best candidates.

Quality of the recruitment should be assured through selection tests and methods reflecting a profile of a magistrate apt to constantly maintain a balance between the requirement of the independence and accountability of the judge and of the judiciary system.

Testing should verify not only the legal knowledge of the candidates, but also the skills and values specific to this profession.

Even when magistrates are recruited among experienced lawyers, the participants agreed that all successful candidates should receive initial training: the performance of judicial duties involves a particular approach in many areas, notably with respect to management of procedures, relations with all the persons involved in court proceedings, and deontological skills that training programmes should appropriately cover.

The participants agreed that selections methods and training actions should ensure a European vocation of magistrates and their proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

Whatever the nature of their duties, no judge can ignore European law, be it the European Convention on Human Rights or other Council of Europe Conventions, or if appropriate, the Treaty of the European Union and the legislation deriving from it, because they are required to apply it directly to the cases that come before them.

In order to promote this essential facet of judges’ duties, the participants consider that the member states, after strengthening the study of European law in universities, should also promote its inclusion in the initial training and in-service training programmes proposed for judges, with particular reference to its practical applications in day-today work.

The participants supported the idea that adequate preparatory courses in Human Rights, EC/EU Law, legal reasoning, jurisprudence and foreign languages should be provided by law faculties according to general quality standard. These subjects should be taught both as separate and in connection with all other subjects, such as Criminal Law, Civil Law etc. so that the undergraduates, regardless of their future specialisation, should know - before completing their studies - what the implications are for their fields of activity1.

The participants would welcome the creation of a mechanism to ensure the implementation of public policies in the field of justice which should be made, first of all, by the magistrates themselves.

PROGRAMME

9.30 Arrival of participants / Accueil des participants
10h00 Opening addresses by / Allocutions d’ouverture:

Mihai Selegean, NIM Director / Directeur de l’INM
Iulian Gâlcă, President of the High Council of Justice / Président du Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature
Roberto Lamponi, Director of Legal Co-operation, Directorate General I – Legal Affairs, Council of Europe / Directeur de la coopération juridique, Direction Générale I - Affaires Juridiques, Conseil de l’Europe
Nicolae Popa, President of the High Court of Cassation / Président de la Cour Suprême de Cassation
Beatrice Ramaşcanu, Romanian Government’s Agent at the European Court of Human Rights / L’Agente du gouvernement roumain devant la Cour européenne des Droits de l’Homme
Dan Stoica, State Secretary, Ministry of Justice / Secrétaire d’Etat, Ministère de la Justice
Ştefan Deaconu, Counsellor, Presidential Administration / Conseiller, l’Administration du Président de la République

11h00 coffee break / pause café

11h15 Skills and competences of a future judge / Qualités et compétences du futur juge

Who are we aiming to recruit and what should their profile be?
What skills and competences of candidates should be assessed during the entrance examination?
How appropriate training should be organised: who provides the training and in what? is the training professional in nature or more academic?
Qui cherche-t-on à recruter, avec quel profil ?
Quels qualités et compétences des candidats devraient faire l’objet d’une évaluation lors du concours d’entrée?
Comment organiser une formation adaptée : qui forme et à quoi ? est-ce une formation de type professionnel ou de type plutôt académique ?

Presentation of the current situation in Romania /
Présentation de la situation actuelle en Roumanie

Mr Valeriu Stoica, Professor, membre of NIM board / Professeur, membre du Conseil scientifique de l’INM
Mr Mihai Selegean, NIM Director / Directeur de l’INM

Debate / Débat

13h00 lunch / déjeuner

14h30 Models of recruitment of judges / Modèles de recrutement des juges

What the methods of recruitment are: competitions (internal, external, other), professional examinations, etc. Do the competitions lead to a job, a training school?
What are European standards in this respect?
Quels sont les modes de recrutement : concours (interne, externe, autre…), examens professionnels… Le concours donne-t-il accès à un emploi, à une école de formation ?
Quels sont les standards européens en la matière ?

Presentation of practice in the European states: members of the Working party of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE-GT) /
Présentation de la pratique dans des Etats européens : membres du Groupe de travail du Conseil Consultatif de Juges Européens (CCJE-GT)

Presentation of European standards: Mr Raffaele Sabato, Chair of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Présentation des standards européens : M. Raffaele Sabato Président du Conseil Consultatif de Juges Européens (CCJE)

Debate / Débat

16h00 coffee break / pause café

16h15 Recruitment on the basis of competence / Un recrutement axé sur la compétence

What is the nature of the tests taken by candidates : academic, professional…? written, oral?
Quelle est la nature des épreuves que devraient subir les candidats : épreuves académiques, professionnelles… ? écrites, orales ?

Presentation of current practice in Romania:/ Présentation de la pratique actuelle en Roumanie :
Dana Vartires, Judge, High Court of Cassation / Juge, Cour Suprême de Cassation
Dana Garbovan, Judge, First Instance Court of Oradea /
Juge au Tribunal de Première Instance d’Oradea

Debate / Débat

17h15 Conclusions
17h30 End of the working session / Clôture de la session


1 See, to this effect, Opinion no. 4/2004 of the Consultative Council of European Judges of Europe