Strasbourg, 22 May 2017
BUREAU of the CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS
Report of the 26th meeting
Strasbourg, 27 February 2017
Document prepared by the Secretariat
Directorate General I – Human Rights and Rule of Law
1. The Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) held its 26th meeting in Strasbourg on 27 February 2017. The meeting was chaired by Mr Peter McCORMICK (Ireland), President of the CCPE.
2. The following Bureau members were also present:
- Mr José Manuel SANTOS PAIS (Portugal), Vice-President of the CCPE
- Mr Han MORAAL (The Netherlands)
- Mr Antonio VERCHER NOGUERA (Spain)
3. The agenda is set out in Appendix I.
II. COMMUNICATION by the President, members OF THE BUREAU AND THE SECRETARIAT
4. The President informed the members of the Working Group about the invitation to an international Conference on the “Binding Effect of Judicial Decisions”, organised by the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice, within the framework of the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Conference will be held from 19 to 21 June 2017 in Brno, the capital of the Czech judiciary, with the participation of the Presidents of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts of the Council of Europe member states, judges of European courts and leading academics. Mr Cédric Visart agreed to participate in this Conference.
III. PREPARATION OF the Opinion No. 12 on the rights of victims, witnesses and vulnerable persons
5. The members of the Bureau examined the draft structure of the Opinion, prepared by the President (document CCPE-BU(2017)3), as well as the aide-mémoire for the Opinion, prepared by the Secretariat (document CCPE-BU(2017)2). Both documents would serve as a basis for the preparation of the final version of the structure of the Opinion during the forthcoming meeting of the Working Group on 27-28 February 2017, and then for the text of the Opinion.
6. The members of the Bureau recommended that the Opinion should be very concrete and highlight the practical issues as regards the work of prosecutors concerning victims, witnesses and vulnerable persons, in line with best European standards and practices. Thus, the Opinion should focus on finding an ideal model of the prosecutor’s role in the protection of the rights of victims, witnesses and vulnerable persons. Of course, the Opinion would have to be descriptive to some extent as regards the existing systems in the member states, but its main purpose would be to point out the way for the future via clear declaration and recommendations.
7. The Bureau decided that when the final structure of the Opinion is elaborated and approved by the Working Group, its members would be invited to take on the task of preparing various chapters, as is customary. The distribution of chapters among members, as well as the timetable for contributions, would have to be decided by themselves.
IV. OTHER WORKS OF THE CCPE
8. The members of the Bureau discussed the follow-up to the report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe – 2016 on the “State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law - a security imperative for Europe” which proposed to “develop the methodology and establish a regular in-house evaluation mechanism on the independence and impartiality of the judiciaries of the Council of Europe member states”.
9. The plenary meeting of the CCPE on 17-18 November 2016 welcomed this report and decided that, as a follow-up, the CCPE Bureau would prepare a report on an annual basis focusing on the status of the public prosecution services in member states, relying on information received from the CCPE members, on the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the opinions of the Venice Commission, and on the reports of the Human Rights Commissioner and of the Parliamentary Assembly. As decided by the plenary meeting, these reports would not contain ratings or rankings of member states’ performance and would not constitute a monitoring mechanism.
10. The Bureau members discussed the upcoming process of preparation of the report, in line with the above-mentioned proposal of the Secretary General, i.e. focusing on the independence and impartiality of prosecutors. In order to identify issues of concern in the member states, relevant questions would have to be sent to all members of the CCPE, and their responses would then be included in the report, along with relevant references to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and documents of the above-mentioned bodies of the Council of Europe.
11. The members of the Bureau also emphasised that the preparation of this report would constitute follow-up to the Council of Europe Plan of Action on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality in member states.
12. The Bureau also proposed to prepare, prior to the next plenary meeting and with the help of the Secretariat, a list of possible topics for future opinions to have a clear perspective of the work of the CCPE. This work should always stick to the main challenges of the prosecutorial services, in line with the Recommendation (2000)19. It was also agreed to organise a half-day CCPE-BU and CCPE-GT ad hoc meeting, immediately after the plenary meeting in November, in order to discuss the working methods for the CCPE future works.
V. OTHER ITEMS
13. The next meeting of the Bureau would take place in Paris on 15 June 2017.
1. Opening of the meeting / Ouverture de la réunion
2. Adoption of the agenda / Adoption de l’ordre du jour
3. Communication by the President, members of the Bureau and the Secretariat / Communication du Président, des membres du Bureau et du Secrétariat
4. Preparation of the 20thmeeting of the CCPE-GT and the draft Opinion No. 12 on «the rights of victims, witnesses and vulnerable persons» / Préparation de la 20ème réunion du CCPE-GT et du projet de l’Avis No. 12 sur « les droits des victimes, des témoins et des personnes vulnérables »
5. Follow-up to the report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe – 2016 on the “State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law - a security imperative for Europe” and to the Joint Report of the Bureaus of the CCJE and CCPE on the “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”, and situation of the prosecutors in member States of the Council of Europe / Suivi du rapport établi par le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe - 2016 sur la « Situation de la démocratie, des droits de l'homme et de l'Etat de droit - un impératif pour la sécurité de l'Europe » et du rapport conjoint des Bureaux du CCJE et du CCPE sur les « Défis pour l’indépendance et l’impartialité du système judiciaire dans les États membres du Conseil de l’Europe », et la situation des procureurs dans les Etats membres du Conseil de l’Europe
6. Other work of the CCPE / Autres travaux du CCPE
7. Any other business / Divers
 See the Report’s Executive Summary, proposed actions and recommendations, judicial independence: 3rd bullet point (page 7).
 See the report on the 11th plenary meeting of the CCPE (document CCPE(2016)4), para 6.
 Adopted at the 1253rd meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 13 April 2016 (document CM(2016)36final).