EUROPEAN UNION FORUM OF JUDGES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
1. Name, Seat, Objectives
An international non-profit association named "European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment" is established.
The registered office of the Association is at the Cour Constitutionnelle de Belgique, place Royale 7, 1000 Bruxelles.
The purpose of the Association is to promote, in the perspective of sustainable development, the implementation of National, European and international Environmental Law.
The Association seeks more particular to :
- share experience on judicial training in environmental law
- foster the knowledge of environmental law among judges ;
- share experience on environmental case law;
- contribute to a better implementation and enforcement of International, European, and national environmental law.
Within this framework, the Association may initiate or promote studies and publish a review or juridical collections.
Recognising each other’s independence, the Association shall promote contacts and exchanges of information between its Members or Observers and with the European Union authorities.
At intervals to be established by the General Assembly, it shall organise a colloquium to consider matters falling within its terms of reference.
The Association shall set up a database, consisting principally of decisions, advises and studies by its Members relevant to the purpose of the Association, reports and conclusions produced during the colloquiums of the Association as well as any other useful information.
2. Members Article 4
Can be Member of the Association: every judge interested in environmental law who is member of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights or a court or tribunal of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association or of a former Member State of such an organisation.
There are four categories of Members: corresponding Members, working Members, honorary Members and associated Members. Members that retire as a judge can become honorary Member.
Judges from third states may be accepted as associated members.
The General Assembly decides upon applications for membership.
The founders Members are :
for Belgium : Luc Lavrysen, Juge à la Cour d’arbitrage ;
for France : Guy Canivet, First President of the Cour de cassation ;
for Great Britain : Lord Justice Robert Carnwath, Judge Royal Courts of Justice ;
for Italy : Amedeo Postiglione, Counseller with the Cour de cassation.
Similarly empowered judges of States which are engaged in negotiations with a view to their actually joining the European Union can be admitted as Observers.
Decisions concerning the admission as Observer are made by the General Assembly.
As soon as the State to which it belongs has joined the European Union, the Observer becomes automatically at its request a Member of the Association.
A representative of the European Commission, of the Council of Europe, of the United Nations Environmental Programme and, subject to approval of the general assembly, other international organisations, can participate in the activities of the association in an observer capacity.
Decisions concerning the exclusion of Members and Observers are made by the General Assembly and require a two-thirds majority of those Members present.
Every Member or Observer may withdraw from the Association by sending a recorded delivery letter to the secretary general of the Association who shall inform all Members and Observers of this decision.
A Member or Observer who withdraws from the Association has no right to its assets.
3. General assembly
The General Assembly has power to do anything instrumental to achieving the purpose of the Association.
The General Assembly is composed of one working Member per Member State and per European Court. Each working Member has one vote. He can appoint a substitute who has voting right when the working Member is absent.
Observers attend the General Assembly with a consultative voice.
The General Assembly shall meet by right each year, in principle on the occasion of the colloquium referred to in Article 3.
Its quorum is half the Members of the Association at the time of the meeting.
Except in particular cases provided for in these Articles, decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the Members present. They shall be notified to all Members and Observers.
The Association shall be administered by a Board.
The Board may take any measure required for the functioning of the Association in the interval between general assemblies.
The Board shall comprise :
the secretary general,
The president, the vice-presidents, the secretary general, the treasurer and the auditor are elected by the General Assembly for a renewable period of 2 years.
The First Board shall be elected by the First General Assembly held in 2004. The founder Members shall, prior to this election, act as a Provisional Board.
The Board shall meet at least once a year and whenever convened by its president.
The quorum of the Board shall be at least half of its Members.
Decisions are taken by a majority of the present Members of the Board. In the case of an equality of votes the president's vote shall prevail.
Minutes of all meetings shall be sent to all Members and Observers of the Association.
In emergencies or when the minor importance of the point under consideration does not justify calling a meeting of the Board, the president or the secretary general is authorised to ask for the written agreement of the members of the Board.
The secretary general shall be in charge of the general secretariat of the Association.
The general secretariat is in particular responsible for the following tasks :
- he shall set up and manage the database referred to in Article 3 ;
- he shall promote and co-ordinate activities relating to the development of the studies referred to in Article 3 and activities relating to the exchange of experience such as training courses ;
- he shall suggest themes for the colloquiums or other meetings of the Association ;
- he shall attempt to strengthen the ties between Members and Observers as well as with the European Union Authorities ;
- he is responsible for the everyday management of the Association.
Every document binding the Association shall, unless there be express authority of the Board for someone else to sign, be signed by the president, the secretary general or the treasurer who will not have to justify to outsiders the powers they have been granted to this end.
The Board, represented by the secretary general, shall have the sole right to institute, defend and have conduct of all judicial actions concerning the Association .
5. Working languages
The working languages of the Association are English and French. All documents produced at the Association's expense shall be prepared in these languages.
6. Finances, budget and accounts
The assets of the Association shall comprise :
- subscriptions from Members ;
- such gifts and grants as may be made by Members or by any public or private person or institution, and in particular by any European Union Authority, as are accepted by the Board ;
- receipts resulting from the activities of the Association.
The General Assembly shall determine the amounts of the Members' subscriptions.
The financial year of the Association runs from 1st January to 31st December.
The Board approves the budget of the following financial year and, if need be, carries out adjustments of the budget of the current financial year.
The Board shall provisionally settle the accounts for each past financial year approved by the auditor. The Board shall submit the accounts for the past two financial years to the General Assembly.
7. Amendments to the articles - dissolution of the association
Amendments to the Articles and the dissolution of the Association require a two-thirds majority vote of the General Assembly.
In case of dissolution, the General Assembly shall decide on the transfer of the Association's assets to a similar institution.
The Association shall be governed by Title III of the Belgian Law of June 27th, 1921 concerning non-profit associations, international non-profit associations and foundations.
Done in Brussels, on February, 28th, 2004.
Luc Lavrysen, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Belgium, Koningin Fabiolalaan 15, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Guy Canivet, First President of the Cour de Cassation, Quai de l’Horloge 5, 75055 Paris, France
Lord Justice Robert Carnwath, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL, United Kingdom
Amedeo Postiglione, Judge of the Corte Suprema di Cassazione of Italy, Via Cardinal Pacca 19, 00165 Rome, Italy