TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE CDCJ
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.
The terms of reference of the CDCJ set out the main tasks and the expected results of the Committee, its working methods, its composition as well as the specific qualifications of its members.
Type of Committee: Steering Committee
Terms of reference valid from: 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021
Pillar: Rule of Law
Programme: Rule of Law based institutions
Sub-programme: Legal co-operation
Under the authority of the Committee of Ministers, the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) will oversee the Council of Europe’s work in the field of public and private law and advise the Committee of Ministers on all questions within its areas of competence, taking due account of relevant transversal perspectives. For this purpose, the CDCJ will:
Governments of member States are invited to designate one or more representatives of the highest possible rank in the field of public and private law, with responsibility at the national level for the planning, development and implementation of policies relevant to the work of the Committee and appointed by their governments to co‑ordinate at national level all elements of government policy relevant to the work of the Committee.
The Council of Europe will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative 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.
In accordance with decisions CM/Del/Dec(2013)1168/10.2 of the Committee of Ministers, in cases where there is no convention-based body including all the Parties, non-member States are invited to take part, with a right to vote, in the committee meetings pertaining to the conventions to which they are Parties.
The following may send representatives, without the right to vote and at the charge of their corresponding administrative budgets:
- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
- Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;
- European Court of Human Rights;
- Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights;
- Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe;
- Committees or other bodies of the Council of Europe engaged in related work, as appropriate.
The following may send a representative without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:
- European Union (including, as appropriate, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA));
- Observer States to the Council of Europe: Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America;
- United Nations International Law Commission (ILC);
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR);
- International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT);
- Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH);
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE-ODIHR);
- International Commission on Civil Status (ICCS).
The following may send representatives, without the right to vote and without defrayal of expenses:
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).2
48 members, 1 meeting in 2020, 3 days
48 members, 1 meeting in 2021, 3 days
7 members, 2 meetings in 2020, 2 days
7 members, 2 meetings in 2021, 2 days
The Committee will also appoint one (two if possible) Gender Equality Rapporteur(s) and one Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and one Children’s Rights 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.
Whenever appropriate, it will prioritise environmentally sound working methods, such as virtual meetings facilitated by information technology and written consultations.
The CDCJ supervises its subordinate body:
- Committee of experts on the rights and the best interests of child in parental separation and in care proceedings (CJ/ENF-ISE) (see separate terms of reference).