Strasbourg, 11 April 2016
BUREAU of the CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS
Report of the 24th meeting
Saverne, 2 March 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 24th meeting in Saverne on 2 March 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 President informed about his forthcoming participation in the Conference on the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child organised on 5-6 April 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria, within the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Conference participants would discuss the newly adopted Strategy for the Rights of the Child and would exchange their views on the five priority areas identified in the Strategy. The Conference would identify how all actors in the member states can work together to realise the objectives of the Strategy.
5. The President also informed about his forthcoming participation in the High-Level Conference of Ministers of Justice and representatives of the judiciary on “Strengthening judicial independence and impartiality as a pre-condition for the rule of law in Council of Europe member states” on 21-22 April 2016 in Sofia, also organised within the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The aim of the Conference is to stimulate the dialogue among member states on problems of independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and to highlight and provide incentives for ongoing reforms.
6. In particular, the Council of Europe Plan of Action on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality in member states, prepared at the initiative of the Secretary General, would be presented and discussed at this Conference, and ways would be identified on how to support member states in its implementation. The Plan of Action is based on several important documents including the report entitled “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe” prepared jointly by the Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the Bureau of the CCPE at the initiative of the Secretary General.
7. The President also informed that he had accepted an invitation to the Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors on 11-15 September 2016 in Dublin. The topic of the Conference is ‘The Prosecutor and the Investigator’. The Conference would provide an opportunity to examine the relationship between prosecutors and investigators in different jurisdictions. In this regard, the President will present the CCPE Opinion No. 10(2015) on the role of prosecutors in criminal investigations which directly concerns the topic of the Conference.
III. PREPARATION OF the Opinion No. 11 on the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, including as regards the fight against organised crime and terrorism
8. The Bureau briefly discussed the preliminary structure prepared by the Secretariat for the draft Opinion No. 11 (document CCPE-GT(2016)1Prov). The timeliness of the topic of this Opinion was discussed, along with the need to cover in a comprehensive manner all relevant principles and aspects. In particular, the possible contents and sequence of the chapters of the Opinion was examined. The Bureau has taken note of the preliminary structure and decided to put it for consideration and possible amendments by the Working Group during its 18th meeting (3-4 March 2015).
9. The Bureau decided, once the structure is finalised and adopted by the Working Group, to invite its members to divide the preparation of different chapters of the draft Opinion between themselves. The timetable for contributions should be decided by the Working Group.
IV. OTHER WORK OF THE CCPE
10. The Bureau discussed the process of adoption of the report prepared jointly by the Bureau of the CCJE and the Bureau of the CCPE at the initiative of the Secretary General entitled “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”.
11. The President briefed the members of the Bureau on his presentation of the report, together with Mr Johannes Riedel, member of the CCJE Bureau, to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 20 January 2016.
12. After the presentation of the report, the delegations from 17 member states took the floor, welcomed the report and highly praised it. They thanked the Bureaus of the CCJE and the CCPE for having prepared, within a short period of time, a comprehensive document on the justice systems in almost all member states. They also fully accepted the fact that, as the President and Mr Riedel underlined, the report was not a result of a systematic and scientific effort and that, given the time constraints, the incidents reported were not based on thorough and exhaustive research. The delegations underlined that the strength of the report was that it contained all basic principles for the judicial independence and impartiality, and it provided an excellent picture of how the justice systems should be developed. The report would undoubtedly be helpful in connection with the preparation of the Council of Europe’s thematic Plan of Action on judicial independence and impartiality. The delegations noted that, while there was no uniform system of justice in the member states, there were common goals, as the report had very well demonstrated.
13. As regards the concrete situations and incidents in the member states, the delegations agreed that the report had given a good overall picture. At the same time, certain inconsistencies were noticed. Some delegations regretted in particular the use of certain electronic media sources. The delegations were invited to present their comments in writing in order that they may be considered.
14. The Secretariat noted that the deadline of 7 March 2016 was established for the submission of comments. As was decided previously, the comments received would be distinguished as following: 1) factual inconsistencies; 2) clarifications regarding various aspects of legislation or practices; 3) general observations. The report would be corrected as regards the very few factual inconsistencies. As regards the clarifications, they would be published in a separate document along with the report itself. General observations would not be included in that document, but they would be shared with the members of the CCJE and the CCPE.
V. OTHER ITEMS
15. The next meeting of the Bureau will take place in Paris on 26 May 2015.
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 18th meeting of the CCPE-GT and the draft Opinion No. 11 on «the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, including as regards the fight against organised crime and terrorism » / Préparation de la 18ème réunion du CCPE-GT et du projet de l’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. Follow-up to the report prepared jointly by the Bureau of the CCJE and the Bureau of the CCPE for the attention of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe entitled “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”/ Suivi au rapport préparé conjointement par le Bureau du CCJE et le Bureau du CCPE à l’attention du Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l’Europe intitulé « Défis pour l’indépendance et l’impartialité du système judiciaire dans les États membres du Conseil de l’Europe »
6. Other work of the CCPE / Autres travaux du CCPE
7. Any other business / Divers
 Please see for more details paras 10-14 of the present report.