Human & Constitutional Rights, Documents

European Commission of Human Rights - Rules of Procedure

To obtain this file as a WordPerfect document, download here

Previous Next

Title I: Organisation of the Commision

Chapter I :The Commission

Rule 1

1. The Commission sits in plenary session, in Chambers and in Committees set up under Article 20, paragraphs 2 and 3, of theConvention.

2. Unless otherwise stated, the terms "Commission" and "President" in these Rules shall mean "Chamber" and "President of the Chamber" in relation to cases referred to Chambers, and "Committee" and "President of the Committee" in relation to cases referred to Committees.

Chapter II: Members of the Commission

Rule 2

1. The duration of the term of office of members of the Commission elected on 18 May 1954 shall be calculated as from this date. Similarly, the duration of the term of office of any member elected as a consequence of a State becoming a Party to the Convention after 18 May 1954 shall be calculated as from the election.

2. However, when members are re-elected on the expiry of their terms of office or are elected to replace a member whose term of office has expired or is about to expire, the duration of their term of office shall, in either case, be calculated as from the date of such expiry.

Rule 3

Before taking up their duties, members of the Commission shall, at the first meeting of the Commission at which they are present after their election, make the following solemn declaration:

"I solemnly declare that I will exercise all my powers and duties honourably and faithfully, impartially and conscientiously and that I will keep secret all Commission proceedings."

Rule 4

1. Members of the Commission shall take precedence after the President of the Commission and Presidents of Chambers according to the length of time they have been in office.

2. Members having the same length of time in office shall take precedence according to age.

3. Re-elected members shall take precedence having regard to the duration of their previous terms of office.

Rule 5

Resignation of a member shall be notified to the President of the Commission who shall transmit it to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Chapter III: Presidency of the Commission

Rule 6

1. The Commission shall elect its President in plenary session not later than the second session after the date of the entry into office of members elected at periodical elections of part of the Commission in accordance with Article 22, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

2. The term of office of the President of the Commission shall be three years.

3. If the President of the Commission, before the normal expiry of his term of office, ceases to be a member of the Commission or resigns from office, the Commission shall as soon as possible elect a successor to hold office for the remainder of the said term.

4. Each Chamber, voting separately, shall elect its President and Vice-President as soon as the Chambers have been constituted according to Rule 24, paragraph 3.

5. The term of office of the President of a Chamber shall be eighteen months. On the expiry of this term the presidency of the Chamber shall be assumed by the Vice-President for the remainder of the period for which the Chamber has been constituted. At the same time the Chamber concerned shall elect a new Vice-President.

6. A member of the Commission who has served as the President of a Chamber shall not be eligible for re-election as President or Vice-President of a Chamber until eighteen months have elapsed since the end of his previous term of office.

7. The elections referred to in this Rule shall be by secret ballot; only the members present shall take part. Election shall be by an absolute majority of the members of the Commission or of the members of the Chamber concerned, as appropriate.

8. If no member receives such a majority, a second ballot shall take place. The member receiving the most votes shall then be elected. In the case of equal voting the member having precedence under Rule 4 shall be elected.

Rule 7

1. The President of the Commission shall direct the work of the Commission and preside at its plenary sessions.

2. The Presidents of Chambers shall preside at the meetings of the Chamber which has elected them.

3. Each Committee shall be presided over by the member taking precedence under Rule 4 of these Rules.

4. The term "President" shall in these Rules, where appropriate, include also any member acting as president.

Rule 8

1. The Presidents of Chambers, according to the order of precedence laid down in Rule 4, shall take the place of the President of the Commission if the latter is prevented from carrying out the duties of President or if the office of President is vacant.

2. The Vice-President of a Chamber shall take the place of the President of the Chamber which has elected him if the latter is prevented from carrying out his duties or if the office of President of Chamber is vacant.

3. The President of the Commission may delegate certain functions to the President of either Chamber.

Rule 9

1. If the President of the Commission and the Presidents of Chambers are at the same time prevented from carrying out their duties, or if their offices are at the same time vacant, the duties of President of the Commission shall be carried out by another member according to the order of precedence laid down in Rule 4.

2. If the President and Vice-President of the Chamber are prevented from carrying out their duties in respect of that Chamber, or if their offices are at the same time vacant, the duties of President shall be carried out by another member according to the order of precedence laid down in Rule 4.

Rule 10

Members of the Commission shall not preside in cases to which the High Contracting Party, of which they are nationals or in respect of which they were elected, is a party.

Rule 11

Where the President of the Commission or the Presidents of the Chambers for some special reason consider that they should not act as President in a particular case, they shall be replaced in accordance with the provisions of Rule 8, paragraph 1, and Rule 9.

Previous Next

Human and Constitutional Rights Resource Page
Documents|Document Menu