ree of justice

By Laws and Procedures of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions


By-Laws and Procedures of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions

1. Seat of the Conference 

The seat shall be in Brussels (Belgium). 

2. Membership of the Conference

Only National Justice and Peace Commissions can become members of the Conference of the European Justice and Peace Commissions. The applicant Commission has to be recognized and/or established by its national Bishop's Conference. The applicant Commission has to be situated in a European country. 

3. General Assembly (GA)

3.1 Membership
The GA comprises representatives of the member Commissions of the Conference.
3.2 Frequency
The General Assembly shall convene once in any given calendar year, preferably during the month of September.
3.3 Convocation
At its yearly meeting the GA shall confirm the dates and place of its next yearly meeting. It shall be the responsibility of the President to send out a convocation containing an invitation and agenda for the GA to all member Commissions at least two months prior to the meeting.
3.4 Procedures
Decisions of the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple voting majority. Still, the GA decides to use a qualified majority (75 %), if required, for concrete proposals such as the annual Concerted Action. Decisions concerning persons shall be taken through a secret balloting process. Each Commission shall be entitled to one vote. If a member Commission is unable to send a representative to the GA, it should inform the President at least two weeks in advance. The absentee can request an attending Commission to represent its interests. The GA shall appoint a Voting Committee who will have the responsibility to supervise the voting process and to count the votes. 

4. President and vice-President 

 The General Assembly elects a European President and a vice-President for a mandate of three years. The President and the Vice-President cannot come from the same national commission. 

5. General Secretary 

The position of General Secretary of J&P Europe is connected structurally to the working-structure of theCommission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) in Brussels for a period of three years.  The appointment of the General Secretary (GS) is a joint decision of J&P Europe and COMECE. The GS is employed by COMECE and seconded to work for the European Conference part-time. For the work carried out for J&P Europe the GS is accountable to the Executive Committee. 

6. Executive Committee (EXCO) 

6.1 Mandate
The GA elects the members of the EXCO for a period of three years. The EXCO has the responsibility to ensure adherence to the mission, vision and goals set out by the GA. The EXCO shall prepare proposals for the GA, ensure, together with the General Secretary, implementation of the decisions passed by the GA and shall direct the European Conference between the annual sessions of the GA. Together they prepare the agenda for the GA and program for the International Workshop. The out-going EXCO shall propose candidates for membership in the new EXCO to the GA.
6.2 Membership
There are between five and nine seats on the EXCO. The President and the vice-President shall be members of the EXCO ex officio. Every member Commission is invited to propose candidates for five to seven seats of the EXCO. No person may sit more than two consecutive mandates in the EXCO. The criteria for election to the EXCO shall be the candidates’ active involvement in the work of their national commission and the European Conference, their insight in the issues and inspiration of Justice and Peace. EXCO members are expected to have a working knowledge of English. The EXCO should reflect the richness of the Conference and should have a balance of gender and a balance between the regions of the Conference over time. EXCO members are expected to work at the service of the European Conference, and not primarily as representatives of their national commissions. The GS is not a member of the EXCO, but attends all of its meetings and communicates on a regular basis with EXCO.
6.3 Frequency of meetings
The EXCO shall meet at least three times a year, of which one meeting shall be convened along with the General Assembly.
6.4 Organisation of EXCO work
The work of EXCO shall be governed by agreed internal regulations. The General Assembly is informed about it. 

7. Meeting of the General Secretaries

There is an annual meeting of the General Secretaries of the national Commissions, preferably during the month of March. 

8. Legal Association

8.1 Name, seat and financial year
The Association bears the name “Justitia et Pax Europa e.V.”, and it is entered in the register of associations in Germany. It has its seat in Bonn (Germany). The financial year of the Association shall be a calendar year.
8.2 Purpose of the Association
The Association devotes itself to support the activities of theConference of European Justice and Peace Commissionswith the task to form and promote an international network.
8.3 Membership
The members of the Association may be natural and legal entities that are members of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions.
8.4 The Board
The Board consists of the EXCO of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions. The President shall be the President of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions or a member of the EXCO nominated by him or her in agreement with the EXCO.
8.5 The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall advise and support the Association in exercising its activities. 

9. Finances

9.1 Budget
The budget for the current expenses of the European Conference falls under the responsibility of the legal association “Justitia et Pax Europa e.V.”. It is kept with a period that follows the calendar year. The budget and the accounts of the Conference are to be approved by the General Assembly. The budget of the Conference is to be met through the national contributions from the members Commissions and through fundraising. The annual budget will consist of the expenses of the President,    the salary and expenses of the General Secretary, the costs of organizing the meetings of the GA, International Workshop and the Secretary Generals' meeting, and the running costs of the secretariat.
9.2 Not included in the budget
It is up to the member Commissions concerned to meet the costs for the participation of EXCO members and members of Working Groups in their respective meetings. 

10. Joint Activities

10.1 General requirement
The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions unites a wide range of different experiences and mentalities, working methods and cultures. This constitutes its wealth, and at the same time it is a challenge for the Conference when it comes to develop common forms of work. The concrete development of such forms of work will contribute to the growth of a European culture.
10.2 Forms of action
The General Assemblies and their related InternationalWorkshops  connected with actions and symbolic acts. The intention of these is to show that our Church and the European community together make up one community, which is engaged in a learning process and is mutually supportive. The Concerted Actions (CAs) are agreed upon by a qualified majority of the member commissions during the General Assembly. The CAs are implemented on the national level by the commissions. If agreeing to join the CA, the national commissions commit themselves to approach their national members of the European Parliament (if applicable), their delegations to the Council of Europe and their national parliaments and governments on the matter concerned. The Conference’s presidency supports these CAs on the European level, approaching for instance the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe. The participatory status that the Conference enjoys with the Council of Europe offers particular opportunities for advocating our concerns. A number of prerequisites will have to be fulfilled for a concerted action to be successful: relevance to the qualified majority of Commissions, professional preparation of the material, participation of the commissions in the preparation, and adoption by the Conference at its General Assembly .

11. Working Groups 

 Permanent or ad hoc Working Groups (WGs) may be set up by the General Assembly for predetermined objectives and themes or to assure regional co-operation. Terms of reference shall be determined by the GA. WGs are always accountable to the GA through the EXCO. 

12. Representation of the Conference at international institutions and organisations 

The EXCO shall decide who is to represent the Conference at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France). The Conference has “participatory” status in this institution. The EXCO also decides who the persons are, or which Commission(s), can represent the Conference at international and other organisations and agencies, meetings and conferences. 

13. Guests 

The guests invited to the General Assembly, International Workshop and to the meetings of the EXCO will be invited solely by the General Secretary and the EXCO.