Since 1963, the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) is responsible for the standard-setting activities of the Council of Europe in the field of public and private law. The legal areas within its remit include: civil law, commercial law, family law, nationality issues, administrative law, Rule of Law questions, justice, and public law. Over time these have changed in importance: some have ceased to be relevant for the Council of Europe, others have been developed whilst others continue.
Moreover, in accordance with its terms of reference, the CDCJ has contributed regularly to the preparation of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Justice in respect of issues within its fields of competence and ensured, as appropriate, the follow-up of any decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers subsequent to these conferences.
The structure and working methods of CDCJ have evolved over the years. Since 2011, they comply with Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods. Its work is no longer carried out by standing committees but by time-based working groups set up to complete specific tasks.
The Council of Europe implements many co-operation projects with member and neighbourhood states to support their justice sector reform. The European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), which is also responsible for facilitating co-operation between member states in the areas of its competence, contributes with its members and thanks to their expertise to the success of these projects, in particular on the application of standards developed by the CDCJ.