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Conference Regulations

Circle of Presidents
Brussels, May 16, 2002

Art. 1

These Regulations are based on the Statute of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts adopted on May 16/17, 1999, in Warsaw.

Art. 2
Organisation of the Congress

1. The Conference of the European Constitutional Courts generally holds a Congress every three years.
2. The Congress comprises an opening and a closing session as well as debates.

Art. 3
National reports and general report

At the preparatory meeting the “Circle of Presidents” selects the topics and specifies the requirements for the presentation of the national reports, the elaboration of a questionnaire and designates the general rapporteur(s).

Art. 4
Running of the Congress

1. The Congress starts with a solemn opening session. It ends with a special closing session.
2. The “Circle of Presidents” decides whether the discussions take place in the plenary assembly and/or in committees.
3. The “Circle of Presidents” designates a chairperson for each committee.
4. The “Circle of Presidents” designates for each Congress the technical requirements for the presentation of each theme by the rapporteur as well as for interventions by the participants.

Art. 5
Observers and Guests

I. May be admitted as observers:
1. supranational European Courts;
2. European Constitutional Courts and similar institutions within Europe which do not yet seek full or associate membership;
3. commissions and institutions of the Council of Europe and the European Union which deal especially with constitutional jurisdictions;
4. non-European Constitutional Courts and similar institutions.

II. May be admitted as guests:
1. the highest courts of the host country;
2. other European and non-European courts;
3. other institutions dealing with constitutional jurisdictions;
4. individuals.

III. The host court proposes at the preparatory meeting which observers and guests shall be invited to the next Congress.

IV. The “Circle of Presidents” may admit, on the day preceding the opening of the Congress, other observers and guests to the Congress.

Art. 6
Rights of participation of associate members

Associate members have the following rights of participation:

1. attendance at the Congress;
2. presentation of a national report on the specific themes of the Congress;
3. participation in the debates;
4. presentation of written proposals to the “Circle of Presidents”.

Art. 7
Rights of participation of observers and guests

I. Observers have the following rights of participation:

   1. attendance at the Congress;
2. presentation of a report on the specific themes of the Congress;
3. participation in the debates.

II. Guests have the following rights of participation:
Attendance at the sessions of the Congress; in exceptional cases, the chairperson of the session may give them permission to take part in the debates.

Art. 8
List of participants

For the preparatory meeting and the Congress, the host court provides the participants with an updated list of full members with voting right, associate members, observers and guests.

Art. 9
Circle of Presidents

1. The “Circle of Presidents” meets in general on the day preceding the opening of the Congress and also before the closing of the Congress.

2. In general, a preparatory meeting will be held in the first year after the last Congress to prepare the next Congress.

3. Other meetings of the “Circle of Presidents” may be held if necessary.

4. Decisions may be taken by way of circular resolution.

Art. 10

1. The written invitation to the meetings of the “Circle of Presidents” must be accompanied by a draft agenda.

2. The agenda is approved at the beginning of the meeting; the topics of the meeting are presented individually (see appendix).

3. The decisions taken are written in the minutes of the meeting.

4. Full and associate members receive the minutes in writing.

Art. 11

The “Circle of Presidents” may create committees which elaborate a report regarding specific issues, such as the admission or exclusion of Constitutional Courts or similar institutions or regarding organisational questions of the Conference.

Art. 12

1. The official languages of the debates during the Congress and at the “Circle of Presidents” are French, English, German, Russian and, where appropriate, another official language of the host court with simultaneous translations.

2. Members may request simultaneous translation into another language at their own expense. The host court arranges this additional simultaneous translation as far as technically possible, or states the reasons why it cannot be arranged. If there are problems due to the fact that there are too many requests, priority is given to members by order of length of membership.

3. The “Circle of Presidents” may be requested to allow that an interpreter translates the intervention of a delegation, at the latter's own expense, into one of the official languages.

4. The written national report is to be presented in an official language of the member as well as in French or in English.

5. The general report will be written in French and English.

6. The host court may in addition publish the general report in one of its official languages.

Art. 13
Seating order

1. In the “Circle of Presidents” and at the Congress, full members take their seats in general in order of their admission as full member; if they have been admitted simultaneously, they sit in alphabetical order.

2. At the Congress, full members are to be seated up-front, followed by associate members, observers and guests. The seating order of associate members, observers and guests is similar to that for full members.

3. The host court may change the seating order for reasons of equity.

Art. 14
Media and publicity

1. The media (press, radio, television) are invited to the opening and closing sessions. The “Circle of Presidents” decides whether these two sessions are open to any other persons.
2. The debates are not public.
3. The meetings of the “Circle of Presidents” are not open to the public.

Art. 15
Financial contribution of full members

1. In principle, full members bear their own travel and hotel expenses.
2. The general costs of organising the Congress, which are to be borne in equal parts according to Art. 11 para. 2(a) of the Statute, are the following:

 1. rental of the premises;
2. printing costs;
3. costs of the translation of written documents;
4. interpretation costs;
5. administrative overheads;
6. costs of local transportation.

3. The “Circle of Presidents” decides whether and how far the following costs may be part of the general Conference costs in accordance with Art. 11 para. 2 (a) of the Statute:

  1. costs of food;
2. costs of a possible excursion;
3. specific costs of providing an Internet site for the Conference;
4. costs of specific security measures.

4. The “Circle of Presidents” furthermore decides on the number of delegates per country whose costs will be covered by the budget of the Conference.

Art. 16
Financial contribution of associate members and observers

1. Associate members and observers bear their own travel and hotel expenses.
2. Associate members and observers may be required to pay a participation fee for each participant. That fee comprises the costs of food, a possible excursion as well as a reduced, fixed amount contributing to the general Conference costs set forth in Art. 11 para. 2(a) of the Statute.
3. The costs of special programmes are billed separately.
4. The amount of the participation fee is decided on the bases of a proposal made by the host court.

Art. 17
Financial contribution of guests

1. In general, guests bear their own travel and hotel expenses.
2. Guests do not contribute to the general Conference costs set forth in Art. 11 para. 2(a) of the Statute and do not pay for the costs of food or a possible excursion.
3. In general, the costs of special programmes are charged to guests.
4. The host country is free to cover all other costs fully or in part.
5. The “Circle of Presidents” may moreover decide that these costs be partly or entirely included in the general Conference costs.

Art. 18
Entry into force

1. These Conference Regulations enter into force on the day of their adoption by the “Circle of Presidents”.
2. They are drawn up in French, English, German and Russian.
3. The French version is authentic.