Special procedures - Article 19

The ad hoc tripartite committee examines, considering voluntary conciliation

The ad hoc tripartite committee examines the substance of the representation, with the possibility to suspend the procedure if the parties agree to optional voluntary conciliation, and reports back to the Governing Body.

The representation is examined by an ad hoc tripartite committee, if the Governing Body has established one for that purpose. The ad hoc committee consists of three members chosen in equal numbers from the Government, Employers’ and Workers’ groups. No representative or national of the State against which the representation has been made and no person occupying an official position in the association of employers or workers which has made the representation may be a member of the committee. Ratification of the Convention concerned is a condition for membership of governments in these committees, unless no government titular or deputy member of the Governing Body represents a country which has ratified the Convention concerned.

The Standing Orders set out, among other things, the powers of the tripartite committee during its examination of the representation, essentially for communicating with the complainant organization and the government against which the representation is made.

The meetings of the committee are held in private and all the steps of the procedure are confidential.

During the examination of a representation, the CEACR suspends its examination of the issues covered by the representation until the Governing Body has taken a decision. Therefore, until the procedure comes to an end, this may preclude examination of the matter by the CAS. This should be taken into account in the decision to have recourse to a representation under article 24 of the ILO Constitution, or to make an observation to the CEACR under article 23 of the ILO Constitution.

The Governing Body has recently decided that the examination of the merits of the representation may be temporarily suspended, for a maximum period of six months, so as to allow for optional voluntary conciliation or other measures at the national level. The suspension will be subject to the agreement of the complainant organization, as expressed in the electronic form for the submission of a representation, and of the government.

A report on the examination of the representation by the ad hoc committee will be prepared for the Governing Body. It will contain information on the steps taken in examining the representation, its conclusions concerning the issues raised in the representation, and its recommendations as to the decision to be taken by the Governing Body. Prior to the 2000s, where the government’s response was not considered satisfactory, the Governing Body was entitled to publish the representation and the response. Over recent years, the reports of the ad hoc tripartite committees have been systematically made available to the public in the ILO website. It is possible to search in the NORMLEX database for the exact phrase “Report of the Committee set up to examine the representation” to find examples of these reports.