13 Article 18(1) is taken verbatim from Article 39(1) CCPR, which is based, in turn, on Article 21(1) of the ICJ Statute. Rule 15 provides for the election of five officers: a Chairperson, three Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur.18
14 According to Article 18(1), the Committee shall elect its officers for a term of four years. Chapter IV (Rules 16 to 21) is entitled ‘Officers’ but does not really define the term. Since the RoP have been amended several times, it is no longer clear who the officers of the Committee are and what their respective functions are called. Rule 16 provides, similar to other RoP of human rights treaty bodies, that the ‘Committee shall elect from among its members a Chairperson, three Vice-Chairperson and a Rapporteur’. But Rule 17 refers ‘Chairperson, members of the Bureau and Rapporteurs’.19 This gives the impression that there are more than the five officers indicated in Rule 16.
15 The term ‘Bureau’ is nowhere defined but usually the five officers together constitute the Bureau. For a Committee of only ten members, a Bureau of five members seems to be excessive. In larger bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, a Bureau of five members serves the purpose of equitable geographic distribution among the five regional groups of the UN system. The Committee does its best to ensure an equal distribution, but this would require in the present composition that the single members from Asia and Africa must always be elected officers.
16 Having clarified that the Bureau consists of the Chairperson, three Vice-Chairpersons and one Rapporteur, the question remains why Rules 12 and 16 speak of ‘Rapporteurs’ in plural. It seems that the Committee mixed up the Rapporteur of the Committee (the member responsible for the annual report to the General Assembly) with other ‘Rapporteurs’ who, according to Rule 61(3), may be appointed by the Committee to perform such duties as mandated by the Committee, eg Country Rapporteurs, the Rapporteurs on Follow-up and the Rapporteurs on reprisals. Are such Rapporteurs also officers to be elected for a term of two years in accordance with Article 18(1), as suggested by Rule 16? Since Rule 61(3) uses the term ‘appoint’ rather than ‘elect’, it is believed that the plural of ‘Rapporteurs’ in Rules 12 and 16 is simply a mistake, that only the five persons mentioned in Rule 15 are to be considered as officers (together as Bureau) to be elected in accordance with Article 18(1), and that other Rapporteurs and similar subsidiary bodies may also be appointed for a shorter term of office, such as one year.20
17 Rules 11 to 14 determine election procedures, beginning of term of office, the filling of vacancies and the solemn declaration of members of the Committee. These five officers of the Committee are elected for a term of two years and may be re-elected (Rule (p. 501) 17). If any of the officers is unable to continue serving in his or her position, a new officer is elected for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor (Rule 21). As of the forty-fifth session in 2010, the RoP explicitly provide that in electing its officers the Committee ‘shall give consideration to equitable geographical distribution and appropriate gender balance and, to the extent possible, rotation among members’.21
18 Rule 61(1) permits the Committee to establish ad hoc subsidiary bodies, such as working groups, and define their composition and mandate as it deems necessary. The subsidiary body shall elect its own officers and adopt its own RoP. Failing such, the Committee’s RoP are to apply. In addition, Rule 61(3) sets out the possibility for the Committee to generally appoint one or more of its members as ‘Rapporteurs’ with mandates to perform special duties.22
19 With regard to the individual complaint procedure, Rule 112 further specifies that the Committee may establish a working group for the purpose of deciding on the admissibility and making recommendations on the merits of the complaint or otherwise assisting the Committee. The members of the working group should be no less than three and no more than five. The working group can also designate Special rapporteurs for specific complaints.23 Moreover, since 2002 the Committee has established a Pre-sessional working group of three to five members to assist the plenary in its work under Article 22, a Rapporteur for new complaints and interim measures; a Rapporteur for follow-up on decisions adopted under Article 22 (Rule 120); and a Rapporteur on reprisals under Article 22.24 The Pre-sessional working group seems to be no longer in place as of 2005.25
20 Similar functions were created in the framework of the reporting procedure under Article 19, namely a Country Rapporteur and alternate Rapporteurs, a Rapporteur for follow up to concluding observations (Rule 72), and a Rapporteur on reprisals under Article 19;26 and the inquiry procedure under Article 20, namely a Rapporteur for follow up under Article 20 (which is exercised jointly by the Rapporteur for follow up under Article 22); and a Rapporteur on reprisals under Article 20.27
21 Strictly speaking, with the entry into force of the OPCAT in 2006, another subsidiary body, the SPT, was established.28 As the OPCAT was established with a view to complement and reinforce the provisions of the Convention, the two treaties set up various ways in which the CAT Committee and the SPT interrelate. First and foremost, Article (p. 502) 10(3) OPCAT and Rule 62 CAT provide that the CAT Committee shall meet with the SPT at least once a year, during the regular session they both hold simultaneously in November. They have also decided to set up an informal contact group to strengthen their cooperation.29 Secondly, Article 16(3) OPCAT and Rule 63 CAT oblige the SPT to submit its annual report to the CAT Committee, who references it in its own annual report to the States parties and the GA. Finally, under Article 16(4) OPCAT if a State party refuses to cooperate with the SPT, the CAT Committee may, at the request of the SPT, decide to make a public statement or to publish the report of the SPT.30 In practice, however, the SPT has developed in a fairly autonomous way with its own RoP31 and has presented itself as ‘a brother committee’ rather than a ‘sub-committee’.32