Committee suggests streamlined procedure for electing judges of the Strasbourg Court

A PACE committee has proposed further improvements to the procedure the Assembly uses to elect judges to the European Court of Human Rights – including streamlining the procedure for rejecting lists of candidates which do not meet the required standards.

The Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights, in a draft resolution based on a report by Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC), said it should be possible for the committee to propose to the Assembly the rejection of lists of candidates by a simple majority of its members present, rather than a two-thirds majority as is the case now.

The committee said it should have the power to propose the rejection of lists of candidates when:

  • not all of the candidates on a given list fulfil all the conditions laid down in the Convention concerning the qualifications of judges;
  • the procedure used at national level to select the three candidates does not fulfil “minimum requirements of fairness and transparency”;
  • the Council of Europe’s Advisory Panel of Experts, set up to assist governments with their selection of candidates, has not been duly consulted.

Under the Convention, judges must be “of high moral character and possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognised competence”.

The Assembly elects one of three candidates put forward by governments. It has tasked the committee with interviewing all candidates, assessing their CVs and making recommendations before it votes.