Independent supervision of internal controls FAQ

What is meant by "internal control mechanisms”?

On what is the "supervision of internal controls" based?

What happens to the results?

What is the CSJ’s role in the judiciary’s internal evaluations?

 

What is meant by "internal control mechanisms”?

The High Council of Justice has no powers as regards the definition of this term: these mechanisms are laid down in law.

These mechanisms are:

1. Monitoring the regularity of the service (article 140 of the Judicial Code).

2. Maintaining order, the regularity of the service, the application of laws and regulations in courts (article 399 of the Judicial Code).

3. The missions of general assemblies of courts (article 340 of the Judicial Code).

4. The general supervision of courts (article 398 of the Judicial Code).

5. The general supervision of the public prosecutor’s department (article 400 of the Judicial Code).

6. The communication of any failure by members of the public prosecutor’s department to perform their duties (article 401 of the Judicial Code).

7. The supervision of the members of the public prosecutor’s department, in their capacity as judicial police officers (article 402 of the Judicial Code).

8. The supervision of legal secretaries of the Court of Cassation (article 402a of the Judicial Code).

9. The supervision of the members and staff of the clerk’s office and members of the public prosecutor’s department (article 403 of the Judicial Code).

10. Disciplinary powers (articles 404 to 414 of the Judicial Code).

11. The removal of judges on grounds of public order (article 651 of the Judicial Code).

12. The removal of judges because the deliberations have taken too long (article 650 of the Judicial Code).

13. Challenges (article 838 of the Judicial Code).

14. The annulment of decisions on grounds of abuse of authority (article 1088 of the Judicial Code).

15. The denunciation of judicial decisions by the public prosecutor by order of the Justice Minister (article 441 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

16. Appeals in the interests of the law (article 442 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

Other than these mechanisms provided for in law, it is important to emphasise that internal control mechanisms can also be perceived in a broader way, like all control mechanisms used as modern management tools, where the aim is to improve the operation of the judiciary.

The Joint Advisory and Investigation Committee (CAER) is not, for example, competent to assess the supervision by the Justice Minister of all the officers of the public prosecutor’s department (Explanatory statement, Ann. parl., House, 1997-98, 1677/1-97/98, 59). Moreover, the law expressly stipulates that the CAER is responsible for the general supervision of the use of internal control mechanisms within the judiciary.

On what is the "supervision of internal controls" based?

The bodies that are competent to carry out these controls must transmit an overall summary report on how the use of internal control mechanisms can be improved.

The CAER can request any relevant information from these authorities. The Justice Minister is notified at the same time.

But in this case too, it is important that the CSJ does not interfere, for example, at any stage in ongoing disciplinary cases.

What happens to the results?

The CAER draws up an annual report which is forwarded for approval to the CSJ’s General Assembly. The report is approved and communicated to the Justice Minister, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the chiefs of jurisdiction of the courts and the relevant public prosecutor’s departments.

What is the CSJ’s role in the judiciary’s internal evaluations?

In 2000, and alongside the establishment of the CSJ, an internal evaluation system entered into force at the judiciary.

The CSJ was entrusted with a key mission: to draw up a list of criteria, used to assess judges from 2 August 2000. In accordance with the relevant legal provisions, this list has been approved by the King. Since then, the CSJ has issued an opinion on the evaluation of judges, in which it has called for a review of the system.