The Council of Ministers, at its meeting of January 20, 2017, on the proposal of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, of Justice and of the Presidency and for territorial administrations, has adopted an agreement which lays down guidelines for the elaboration of a list of candidates for the election of incumbent judge of the European Court of human rights.
For general knowledge, the publication is available as an annex to the present resolution.
Madrid, January 25, 2017.-the Vice-President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency and for territorial administrations, P.D. (order PRE/934/2012, of 24 April), the Undersecretary of the Presidency and for territorial administrations, José María Jover Gómez-Ferrer.
Annex agreement which lays down guidelines for the elaboration of a list of candidates for the election of judge of the European Court of human rights article 20 of the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and ratified by Spain on 26 September 1979 (BOE No. 243) (, October 10, 1979) (ECHR, hereinafter), establishes that the European Court of human rights (ECHR in the future) will be made up of a number of judges equal to that of States Contracting members.
Article 22 of the ECHR provides that judges shall be elected by the Parliamentary Assembly by a majority of votes cast from a list of three candidates submitted by each Contracting State.
The Contracting States have repeatedly expressed interest in that holders of the ECHR judges candidates fulfil effectively the qualities conventionally required, especially with regard to the broad knowledge in the practice of internal legal systems and international law, as well as a knowledge of one of the two official languages of the ECHR and at least, enough passive knowledge of the other, as a means of ensuring the independence and impartiality of the same, high quality, and consistency of jurisdictional decisions of the High Court. For this purpose, in the conclusions of the high-level conferences held under the auspices of the successive rotating presidencies of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Interlaken, Izmir and Brighton, has been highlighting the need to increase the transparency of selection procedures, in order to ensure the proper qualifications of the candidates.
By decision of November 10, 2010, giving follow-up to these commitments, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe created the Advisory Panel of experts on candidates for the election of holders judges to the ECHR in order to evaluate, before his elevation to the Parliamentary Assembly, the fulfilment of the requirements established in the agreement by the shortlists of candidates proposed by the Contracting States.
With this same purpose, the Committee of Ministers approved on 29 March 2012 a «guidelines on the procedure of selection of candidates for the post of associate judge of the ECHR"in which, as well as playing the conventional requirements previously set out, makes additional recommendations recommended linguistic minimum requirements of candidates, the nomination procedure the selection procedure and the motivation of the final resolution.
And it is appropriate to note, for these purposes, that the qualifications required of candidates for regular judges of the ECTHR, requires the realization of a meticulous and exhaustive selection process. For this reason, it is particularly recommended that the three candidates that make up the list approved by the Council of Ministers are able to comply in their entirety, before reaching the age of retirement, the nine-year term for which would be appointed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Given this background, the Council of Ministers has estimated appropriate to establish guidelines for the purpose of make mentioned shortlisting of candidates holding the ECHR judges, at the time where it is necessary to proceed to the same.
In accordance with the powers provided for in article 97 of the Spanish Constitution and in the exercise of the discretionary power which corresponds to propose candidates for the highest international jurisdictional functions, the proposed final will correspond to the Council of Ministers agreement for the purpose of forwarding for consideration by the Advisory Panel to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
By virtue, on the proposal of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, of Justice and of the Presidency and to the local authorities, the Council of Ministers, at its meeting of January 20, 2017 ACUERDA first.
When, in accordance with the provisions of the ECHR, necessary to propose by the Kingdom of Spain candidates judge holder of the ECHR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cooperation shall communicate the need to adopt such decisions to the ministries of Justice and of the Presidency and for territorial administrations and the Executive Board of foreign policy, in order to draw up the proposal of candidates pursuant to the present agreement.
In accordance with the ECHR, candidates must be of the highest moral character who possess the qualifications required for the exercise of high judicial functions or be jurisconsults of recognized competence, not being able to exercise during his tenure any activity that is incompatible with the requirements of independence, impartiality or availability necessary for an activity exercised in time full.
Advertising for the start of the selection process shall be guaranteed through publication in the «Official Gazette», as well as those additional procedures that the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, justice and the Presidency and for territorial administrations decide, so it comes to knowledge of the potentially suitable candidates and for a reasonable time. Nominations may be submitted in any of the places that article 16.4 of the law 39/2015, on 1 October, of the common administrative procedure of the public administrations.
Constitutes a Committee to assess the adequacy of the nominations, which will be composed of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of State for Justice, Deputy Minister of Justice and the Undersecretary of the Presidency and for territorial administrations.
The Chair of the Committee shall be responsible to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
The decisions of the Committee shall be taken, in any case, by agreement of all its members.
The powers conferred on its members shall not be delegable.
The Secretariat of the Committee shall be a State Attorney appointed by the Attorney General the Director of the service legal in the State, who will attend the meetings with voice but without vote.
For the exercise of its functions, the Committee will be also supported by a number of advisors who may represent, among others: to the legal department international of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, to the Council General of the Court, to the General State Prosecutor's Office, the Ombudsman and the Office of interpretation of tongues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cooperation.
The Committee will evaluate the curriculum vitae received and conduct the interviews deemed necessary for the purpose of checking the suitability of candidates for the post to cover, if that, in any case, shall meet the following requirements:-hold Spanish nationality.
-Do not exceed the age of 61 years in the deadline for the submission of candidatures.
-Demonstrate a knowledge of one of the two official languages of the Court (English and French) and at least enough passive knowledge of the other.
Examined the curriculum vitae and conducted any interviews, the Committee will prepare a proposal for shortlisting candidates for holders of the ECHR judges, in which efforts are made to generally integrate candidates of both sexes, and which shall be communicated to the Executive Board of foreign policy prior to his elevation to the Council of Ministers so that it may decide.
Once approved the list by the Council of Ministers, will be transfer of the same to the Advisory Panel of experts of the Council of Europe on candidates for the election of judges headlines the ECHR.