National procedures for the selection of candidates for the European Court of Human Rights
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 8 October 2010
(36th Sitting) (see Doc.
12391, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human
Rights, rapporteur: Mrs Wohlwend). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 8 October 2010 (36th Sitting).
1. It is the Parliamentary Assembly’s
task, by virtue of Article 22 of the European Convention on Human Rights
(ETS No. 5, the Convention), to elect judges of the highest calibre
to the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) from a list of
three candidates nominated by states parties. This provides “democratic legitimacy”
to judges elected by the Assembly.
2. This presupposes that states parties to the Convention transmit
to the Assembly a list of three jurists with the necessary qualifications,
experience and stature, as required by Article 21, paragraph 1,
of the Convention (“The judges shall be of high moral character
and must either possess the qualifications required for appointment
to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognised competence”),
so that member states, and in particular their highest judicial
authorities, fully acknowledge the Court’s authority.
Hence, in order to be in a position to choose between candidates
with the necessary standing and authority, the Assembly reiterates
the need for rigorous, consistent, fair and transparent national
selection procedures, as specified in its Resolution 1646 (2009)
on the nomination
of candidates and election of judges to the European Court of Human
It follows that, as “[t]he authority of the Court is contingent
on the stature of judges and the quality and coherence of the Court’s
case law” (paragraph 7 of Assembly Resolution 1726 (2010)
on the effective implementation
of the European Convention on Human Rights: the Interlaken process),
the Assembly fully supports all attempts by states parties to enhance
the quality of candidates transmitted to it, in particular by improving,
where necessary, national selection procedures. Seen from this perspective,
it welcomes the recent initiative of the President of the Court
to set up a panel of experts to advise governments before lists
of candidates are transmitted to the Assembly.