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PACE streamlines procedure for electing judges of the Strasbourg Court

PACE has further improved the way the Assembly elects judges to the European Court of Human Rights, including streamlining the procedure for rejecting lists of candidates which do not meet the required standards.

In a resolution based on a report by Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC), the Assembly's Standing Committee decided that the Assembly's Committee on the Election of Judges should be able 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 will have the power to propose the rejection of lists of candidates when:

  • not all of the candidates on a given list fulfill 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 its Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights with interviewing all candidates, assessing their CVs and making recommendations before it votes.