Thursday 17 June 2010

Procedure for Electing Judges at the Court

The secretariat of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly has issued a document on the 'Procedure for Electing Judges to the European Court of Human Rights'. It is a handy summary of all the rules and developments on the issue of the last few years. The belated entry into force of Protocol 14 on the 1st of June extended the terms of office of the current judges and provides that newly elected judges will have a term of office of nine years. Still, several judges will retire from the Court after many years of acclaimed service. A timetable in the document indicates the foreseen elections for 2010 and 2011. These will include replacements for the highly valued President of the Court, Costa, in 2011 and of judges Jaeger of Germany and Rozakis of Greece later this year amongst others. A great loss of experience, for which one may hope highly qualified replacements will come. Last but not least, the end of the predicament of Maltese judge Giovanni Bonello (born in 1936) is in sight. He was due to retire in 2004 already but for lack of a replacement he is still going strong and continues to write his extremely well-phrased separate opinions, often imbued with a fine sense of irony - I can strongly recommend them to everyone!