HCJ relaunch

Amend the Law on the High Council of Justice (HCJ) to enhance the selection process ensuring that its members have impeccable reputation and integrity (an end-October 2020 structural benchmark). Through an amendment of the HCJ Law (Law No. 2016/1798-VIII), and consistent with the March 2020 decision of the Constitutional Court, an independent commission will be established to pre-screen potential candidates to the HCJ and assess their integrity. This commission will perform a similar one-off screening of existing HCJ members. At least half of the commission’s members will be respected experts with recognized ethical standards and judicial experience, including with relevant experience in
other countries. The commission will give said experts a crucial role and decisive vote. In addition, the amendment will outline the procedures and criteria for the pre-selection process for the HCJ candidates, including a call by the commission for applications. The commission will then nominate at least two persons for each vacancy, which will be forwarded to the respective appointing authorities as designated by the Constitution for final selection and approval. In case of negative assessment by the commission of an existing HCJ member, the commission will send and publish a recommendation for dismissal to the respective appointing authority.

Amend the HCJ’s organic law (Law No. 2016/1798-VIII) by end-November 2020 to create a permanent inspectorate unit in the HCJ. This unit will be responsible for investigating disciplinary cases against judges and submitting recommendations to the HCJ for disciplinary actions and sanctions against judges. We will ensure that the unit will be composed of permanent staff to ensure consistency in investigative practice and continuity and evenhandedness in the treatment of judicial disciplinary cases.