Rules of procedure of the Administrative Tribunal
(Entry into force 1 September 1982, modified 27 October 1994, 30 January 2002 and 1 January 2014)
The Administrative Tribunal of the Council of Europe,
Having regard to Articles 59, 60, And 61 of the Staff Regulations;
Pursuant to Article 13 of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal,
hereinafter referred to as “The Statute”;
Adopts the present rules:
Section I - ORGANISATION OF THE TRIBUNAL
Chapter I - The Chairmanship of the Tribunal
The Chairman of the Tribunal shall be a member appointed by the European Court of Human Rights from among those who hold or have held judicial office in one of the member States of the Council of Europe or with another international judicial body, other than present judges of the Court, in accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Statute.
The Chairman shall carry out the duties assigned to him in the Staff Regulations, the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal and these Rules. He shall in particular:
a. direct the work of the Tribunal and the Registry,
b. preside at its hearings,
c. represent the Tribunal in the administrative matters.
Chapter II - Registry of the Tribunal
1. The Registry of the Tribunal shall consist of the Registrar and Deputy Registrar appointed by the Secretary General, after having consulted the Chairman of the Tribunal. In the discharge of their duties they shall be responsible only to the Tribunal.
2. In accordance with Article 14, paragraph 1 of the Statute, the Secretary General shall provide the Tribunal with any other necessary staff for its operation, particularly the Council of Europe translation and interpretation services.
The Registrar of the Tribunal shall, under the Direction of the Chairman, be responsible for the work of the Registry. In particular:
a. he shall assist the Tribunal and its members in the discharge of their duties,
b. he shall be the channel for all communications made by or addressed to the Tribunal,
c. he shall have the custody of the archives of the Tribunal.
A register shall be kept at the Registry in which shall be entered the date of registration of each appeal.
The Registrar of the Tribunal shall send the Tribunal’s judgements to the Secretary General for publication, in accordance with Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Statute.
Chapter III - The functioning of the Tribunal
The seat of the Tribunal shall be at the seat of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The Tribunal may, however, if it considers it expedient, exercise its functions elsewhere in the territories of the member states of the Council of Europe.
The Tribunal shall be convened by the Chairman who shall fix its order of business.
1. The Tribunal shall normally consist of the Chairman and two other regular judges.
2. In the absence of the Chairman or one of the said regular judges, the Chairman shall be replaced by the Deputy Chairman and each other regular judge by one of the substitute judges appointed by the Chairman.
1. The Tribunal shall deliberate in private. Its deliberations shall be confidential.
2. Only the members of the Tribunal shall take part in the deliberations. The Registrar and Deputy Registrar shall be present. No other person may be admitted except by special decision of the Tribunal.
Section II - PROCEDURE
Chapter I - General Rules
The official languages of the Tribunal shall be English and French.
The appellant may bring his appeal in person and conduct his own case. He may also be represented and assisted by one or several advisers of his choice.
The Tribunal may designate one or more of its members to take, on its behalf, such action as the Tribunal considers expedient or necessary for the proper performance of its duties under its Statute, and in particular, hear witness or experts or examine documents. Such members shall duly report to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal, or when it is not in session, the Chairman, may, giving reasons, order the joinder of two or more cases.
The Tribunal’s hearings shall be public but on its own initiative or at the request of one of the parties, the Tribunal may, giving reasons, decide that the hearing will be held wholly or partly in camera.
Chapter II - Institution of proceedings
1. Appeals brought before the Tribunal under Article 60 of the Staff Regulations shall be addressed to the Registrar of the Tribunal.
2. Appeals shall be lodged in writing in one of the official languages of the Tribunal and signed by the appellant or its representative. Two copies thereof shall either be sent by registered post or handed to the Registrar who shall acknowledge receipt.
3. Appeals shall be presented in the form contained in the Appendix which forms an integral part of these Rules.
The Registrar shall without delay transmit one copy of the appeal to the Chairman and one copy to the Secretary General.
1. The Chairman shall set a time-limit for the submission by the Secretary General of his observations in writing, to which all supporting documents not already submitted by the appellant shall be attached. The observations of the Secretary General shall be communicated to the appellant ; the Chairman shall set a time-limit for any written observations which the appellant may wish to submit in reply.
2. The chairman may call upon the parties to submit any additional information which he considers necessary to the procedure.
1. The appellant must substantiate the grounds of admissibility of his appeal, as mentioned in Article 60, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Staff Regulations.
2. If, during the written procedure, the Chairman considers the appeal to be manifestly inadmissible, Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Statute shall apply. Any decision of rejection is given by on Order of the Chairman.
1. The Tribunal may strike an appeal out of its list of cases:
a Where the appellant states that he wishes to withdraw his appeal ; or
b Where the circumstances, in particular the appellant’s failure to provide information requested or to observe time-limits set, lead to the the conclusion that he does not intend to pursue his appeal.
2. In this case, the Tribunal shall also rule in accordance with the procedure set out in Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Statute. It shall inform the appellant of its decision, of which a copy shall be sent to the Secretary General.
3. The Tribunal may decide to restore an appeal to its list of appeals if it considers that the circumstances justify such a course.
1. The complainant may apply to the Chairman for a stay of execution of the act complained of within the meaning of Article 59, paragraph 2 of the Staff Regulations, if its execution is likely to cause him grave prejudice difficult to redress. In that event Article 59, paragraph 9 of the Staff Regulations shall apply.
2. The Chairman shall rule within 15 days of the application, in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute. The decision shall be communicated in writing to the person concerned within 15 days.
1. If the complainant has been granted the stay of execution of the act complained of but does not bring an appeal before the Tribunal within the time-limit prescribed in Article 60, paragraph 3 of the Staff Regulations, the stay of execution shall expire automatically.
2. If the complainant brings an appeal before the Tribunal, the stay of execution shall be maintained throughout the appeal proceedings, in accordance with Article 60, paragraph 4 of the Staff Regulations, unless the Tribunal, on a reasoned request from the Secretary General, decides otherwise.
Chapter III - Oral proceedings
Oral proceedings shall normally be held. The parties may inform the Tribunal in writing that they are waiving such proceedings.
1. When the case is ready for hearing, the Chairman shall fix the date thereof. The Registrar shall give at least 30 days notice of this date to the judges and substitutes on the Tribunal who are called to sit the documents relating to the hearing.
2. The Tribunal shall determine the order of oral proceedings.
1. The Tribunal may, of its own initiative or at the request of a party, decide to hear any witness or expert as well as any person whose evidence or statements seem likely to assist the hearing. The Tribunal may require any member of the staff of the Council of Europe whom it decides to hear to appear before it.
2. A party desiring to have witnesses, experts or other persons heard at the hearing shall give notice thereof to the Registrar at least 21 days before the date fixed for the opening of the hearing at which the person is to be heard. Such notice shall contain the names and description of the persons whom the party desires to be heard and shall indicate the subject to be dealt with by their evidence or statements and the language which will be used.
3. The Tribunal may, on its own initiative or at the request of a person appearing before it, order the hearing to be held in camera.
1. The persons whom the Tribunal decides to hear in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 5 of the Statute shall be summoned by the Registrar at least 7 days before the date fixed for the opening of the hearing. During the oral proceedings, the Tribunal may decide to hear a person who has not been summoned if it considers this will assist the hearing.
2. Any member of the staff of the Council of Europe whom the Tribunal decides to hear shall appear before the Tribunal or the members appointed for that purpose, in accordance with Rule 13 of these Rules, and may not refuse to provide the information requested. Any refusal to appear or to give evidence deemed to be unjustified by the Tribunal shall be brought to the notice of the Secretary General.
3. The Tribunal shall take a decision concerning any objection to a person whom it has decided to hear.
1. Each witness shall make the following declaration before being heard:
“I swear” or “I solemnly declare upon my honour and conscience” - “ that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.
2. Each expert shall make the following declaration before being heard:
“I swear” or “I solemnly declare” – “ that I will discharge my duty as an expert honourably and conscientiously”.
The Tribunal may put questions to the persons whom it has decided to hear. These persons may be questioned, with the permission of the Chairman by the parties or their advisers.
The Tribunal may refuse to admit evidence which it considers irrelevant or without probative value. It may also limit oral evidence if it considers sufficient evidence has been adduced.
Any witness, expert or other person whom the Tribunal decides to hear may, if he has not sufficient knowledge of the official languages, be authorised by the Chairman to speak another language. In such event the necessary interpretation shall be supplied by the Council of Europe in accordance with Rule 3, paragraph 2 of these Rules.
In accordance with Article 11, paragraph 4 of the Statute, the Tribunal may decide that the Council of Europe shall reimburse the travel and subsistence expenses of persons heard by the Tribunal.
1. The Tribunal may, at any stage of the proceedings, call for the production of documents or of such other evidence as it finds necessary.
2. The Tribunal may arrange for any other measures of inquiry which it finds necessary.
If, during the oral proceedings, a member is replaced by another member, the Tribunal shall determine whether that part of the proceedings preceding the replacement should be recommenced. If more than one member is replaced during the oral proceedings, such proceedings must be recommenced.
The Tribunal or, when it is not in session the Chairman, shall rule on any application for the adjournment of a hearing, which may also be adjourned on its own initiative.
Chapter IV - Judgements of the Tribunal
1. Judgements of the Tribunal shall be delivered in public unless the Tribunal decides to deliver a written judgment.
2. Judgments of the Tribunal shall be signed by the Chairman and the Registrar. They shall include a summary of the facts and the proceedings, the reasons in point of law, and the operative provisions of the judgment. They shall not indicate if they have been taken by a unanimous or by a majority decision.
3. Judgments of the Tribunal shall also include an order for costs in accordance with Article 11 of the Statute.
The original of each judgment shall be filed in the archives of the Registry. The Registrar shall deliver a copy to each of the parties.
Applications for rectification of a clerical error in a judgment in accordance with Article 12, paragraph 2 of the Statute shall be made to the Chairman in writing.
Section III - FINAL PROVISIONS
Chapter I - Intervention
In accordance with Article 10 of the Statute any natural person to whom the Tribunal is open for the purpose of lodging an appeal may, before the commencement of the hearing, apply to intervene in an appeal by claiming that he has a sufficient interest in the result of a case submitted to the Tribunal. Such authorisation may also be granted to the Staff Committee under the same conditions. Submissions made in an intervention shall be limited to supporting the submission of one of parties.
1. An application to intervene shall be lodged with the Registrar of the Tribunal who shall send a copy to the parties.
2. The Tribunal shall rule on the admissibility of any application to intervene. It shall determine in each case the form which such an intervention must take.
3. The Chairman shall decide what documents the Registrar shall send to the person intervening.
Chapter II - Miscellaneous provisions
The Tribunal may, when a party claims that he is unable to comply with these Rules, waive the relevant rule if the waiver does not affect the essential principles of the procedure.
The Tribunal or, when it is not in session, the Chairman may extend the time-limits applicable to the parties in the proceedings provided for in these Rules.
All matters not provided for in the present Rules shall be dealt with by decision of the Tribunal or, when it is not in session, by decision of the Chairman, which shall be binding only in respect of the particular case.
These Rules shall apply to appeals included in the list of cases of the Tribunal from 1 September 1982.