Strasbourg, 24 August 2016
BUREAU of the CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS
Report of the 25th meeting
Paris, 26 May 2016
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 25th meeting in Paris on 26 May 2016. The meeting was chaired by Mr Cedric VISART de BOCARME (Belgium), President of the CCPE.
2. The following Bureau members were also present:
- Ms Alessandra GIRALDI (Denmark), Vice-President of the CCPE;
- Mr Peter McCORMICK (Ireland);
- Mr Han MORAAL (The Netherlands).
3. The agenda is set out in Appendix I.
II. COMMUNICATION by the President, members OF THE BUREAU AND THE SECRETARIAT
4. The Bureau members were informed by the President on his participation, on 5-6 April 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the Conference on the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child which was organised within the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021), recently adopted by the Council of Europe, was the main topic of this event. The participants discussed a comprehensive approach, with involvement of all relevant institutions, for the implementation of the Strategy focusing on its five priority areas.
5. The President went on to highlight his participation, on 21-22 April 2016 also in Sofia, in the High-Level Conference entitled “Strengthening judicial independence and impartiality as a pre-condition for the rule of law in the Council of Europe member states”. The participants included the Ministers of Justice and representatives of the judiciary, and they had lively debates on the current state of affairs including challenges for the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. In particular, the Plan of Action on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality in member states, prepared at the initiative of the Secretary General and recently adopted by the Council of Europe, was presented at this event. The participants exchanged opinions on ways of the implementation of the Plan of Action and various measures to be taken, such as the legislative amendments, practical arrangements, improvements of mechanisms and procedures and public awareness.
6. The members of the Bureau discussed the potential contributions of the CCPE to this process and agreed that its expertise and its Opinions adopted so far should be made readily available. They suggested to distribute the Plan of Action to all members of the CCPE with a view to their collaboration and future contributions. The Secretariat would keep informed the Bureau about all relevant developments as regards the implementation, in particular within the framework of project activities, bilateral or multilateral, requiring an input by the CCPE experts.
7. The Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) to be held on 11-15 September 2016 in Dublin, Ireland, was also discussed. The President had been invited and he would participate. This year, the IAP event would focus on the relations between prosecutors and investigators, and therefore this would be an excellent occasion to present the CCPE Opinion No. 10(2015) on the role of prosecutors in criminal investigations.
III. PREPARATION OF the Opinion No. 11 on the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, including IN RELATION TO The fight against organised crime and terrorism
8. The Bureau briefly discussed the draft prepared by the Secretariat (document CCPE-GT(2016)3Prov1) based on the contributions of the members of the Working Group, as well as of the Secretariat, in accordance with the plan agreed during 18th meeting (3-4 March 2016) of the Working Group. The Bureau members emphasised their appreciation for these contributions. At the same time, they noted the excessive length of the draft (23 pages) and that in some chapters, certain repetitions could be seen. Therefore, even though an excellent content of the draft was provided by the Working Group and the Secretariat, some editing of the form was considered necessary.
9. It was therefore decided to suggest to the Working Group, during its forthcoming 19th meeting (26-27 May 2016), to focus on streamlining the text and avoiding repetitions. The members of the Bureau also discussed some concrete issues such as the necessity to look at the quality of the prosecutors’ work from strategic level. They also looked into the evaluation of the prosecutors’ work. Evaluation is a way to improve the quality of the work of prosecutors, however it was not the aim of the Opinion to enter into the technics of the evaluation.
10. The members of the Bureau also discussed specific issues and conditions related to the fight against terrorism and organised crime, such as the legislation, means of the prosecution services, their status and powers.
11. All above-mentioned issues would be highlighted and discussed during the meeting of the Working Group which would develop the text of the draft and set up the further timetable for its finalisation before the CCPE plenary meeting.
IV. OTHER WORK OF THE CCPE
12. The members of the Bureau noted that the CCPE increasingly received complaints from various countries related to the status of prosecutors and the exercise of their duties. In that regard, the question for the CCPE was how to react. They discussed the CCPE mandate and agreed that it was relevant for responding to such complaints. However, a procedure needed to be elaborated, including setting up a Task Force for such cases, composed of the members of the Bureau, Working Group or the CCPE in general. The documents prepared by the Task Force would be subject, as it was always the case in the past as well, to review and revision by the Bureau.
13. The members of the Bureau mentioned the adoption of the report prepared jointly by the Bureau of the CCPE and the Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) at the initiative of the Secretary General entitled “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”, and exchanged their views on the follow-up to this report, including provision of legislative expertise and review of specific situations endangering the independence and impartiality of prosecutors. This report was one of the documents on which the recently adopted Plan of Action on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality was based.
14. The members of the Bureau also discussed the Report by 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 possible contributions to its follow-up which would essentially be in line with the contributions to the follow-up to the joint CCPE/CCJE report mentioned above.
15. The request of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) regarding the sports crime was also examined. In particular, the CDPC Secretariat was planning to set up an “informal platform” (group of experts) offering them the opportunity to meet on regular basis in order to exchange experience as regards combating match-fixing / sports fraud / corruption / money laundering and promoting the implementation of the Convention CETS n°215 “Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions”. The Bureau decided to make available the CCPE experts for working in this group once it is established and becomes operational.
V. OTHER ITEMS
16. The plenary meeting of the CCPE would take place in Strasbourg on 17-18 November 2016.
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 19th meeting of the CCPE-GT and the draft Opinion No. 11 on « the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, including in relation to the fight against organised crime and terrorism » / Préparation de la 19ème réunion du CCPE-GT et du projet d’Avis No. 11 sur « la qualité et l’efficacité du travail des procureurs, y compris dans le domaine de la criminalité organisée et de la lutte contre le terrorisme »
5. Discussion of the Report by 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 follow-up to the joint report of the Bureaus of the CCJE and CCPE : “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”/ Discussion 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 le suivi du rapport conjoint des Bureaux du CCJE et du CCPE : « Défis pour l’indépendance et l’impartialité du système judiciaire dans les États membres du Conseil de l’Europe »
6. Participation of the CCPE in other meetings in and outside the Council of Europe / Participation du CCPE à d’autres réunions au sein et à l’extérieur du Conseil de l’Europe
7. Any other business / Divers
 Adopted at the 1249th meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 2 March 2016 (document CM(2015)175final).
 Adopted at the 1253rd meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 13 April 2016 (document CM(2016)36final).
 Published on 24 March 2016 on the CCPE and CCJE websites (document SG/Inf(2016)3rev).
 See paras 5-6 of the present report.