13th meeting of the Preparatory Committee – 7 & 8 December 2015

The Committee held its thirteenth meeting at the Italian permanent representation of the European Union, December 7-8. The meeting started with the election of a new Chair and Vice Chair. Alexander Ramsay (SE), the previous Vice Chair of the Committee was elected Chair and Louise Åkerblom (LU) was elected to replace him as Vice Chair.

The new Chairman confirmed the future meeting dates of the Preparatory Committee. These are planned for February, April, May and June 2016. This is in line with the earlier communication that the Preparatory Committee are focussing their attention to complete their work by the middle of 2016.

During the first day of the meeting Tracey Webb, the spokesperson for the sub-group responsible for the court fees and the ceiling for the recoverable costs, presented a revised compromise proposal to the Committee. The proposal met, in general, with favourable comments. The sub-group is now mandated to fine-tune the proposal before it reverts back to the Committee for agreement at the next meeting. The rest of the day was spent on discussing the draft Protocol on Privileges and Immunity of the UPC. It is clear that there is an emerging consensus and that the Committee can be expected to conclude these discussions in a near future.

On day two the Committee agreed by a vote on the Mediation Rules. Furthermore the Rules governing the Registry and the Rules of the Advisory Committee were discussed. The draft proposals met in general with favourable comments and the Committee is now expected to agree upon them at its next meeting. Thereafter the coordinator of the HR & training working group presented the draft Service Regulation and the suggested design of the judicial recruitment and training process. The presentation was followed by a debate and the issues will now be further elaborated by the working group.

The design of the recruitment procedure is a crucial part of the preparatory work, not only for the actual recruitment, but also for the training of the future judges. This is a highly prioritised work-stream and the Committee will revert to the issue at its next meeting. After the next meeting it is expected that further clarity can be provided. Those individuals who took part in the pre-selection exercise in 2013 and anyone who is interested in judicial appointments should follow developments on this website for any further updates. As originally envisaged this website will advertise the start of the recruitment process.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place 24 & 25 February 2016.