Composition and working methods of committees
Committees are composed of representatives or substitutes of the Assembly. All committees (with the exception of the Committee on the Honouring of obligations and commitments by member states, known as the Monitoring Committee and the Committee of Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs) have an equal number of alternates of the same nationality who have the same rights although they may not be elected chairperson of that committee. Other members of the same nationality can replace absent members of the committee.
Nominations to committees are proposed by national delegations and ratified by the PACE, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee), the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs and the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights being an exception.
At the beginning of each session, i.e. in January of each year, the committees are reconstituted and elect their chairperson and three vice-chairpersons. The chairperson can be re-elected once, i.e. remain in office for a maximum of two sessions only.
In general, a committee can work when one third of its members are present.
Its discussions are held in camera, but the committee is free to admit anybody to its meeting whom it wishes. Secretaries to national delegations and to political groups may attend the meetings of committees, except for those of the Monitoring Committee and the committe on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights.