The UPC Preparatory Committee met for the last time last week in the Hague. It was an opportunity for the Preparatory Committee to agree minor amendments to the Rules of Procedure, which it will soon publish.
The Provisional Application Phase:
This meeting signals the start of the next stage of the UPC, the provisional application period. This period will start after 13 states, that have already signed and ratified the UPCA, approve the protocol on provisional application. (See here for more on the Protocol on Provisional Application). The Preparatory Committee declared that “the Committee (is) confident this would happen in order to enable the provisional application to start at the end of May 2017“.
The Protocol is necessary for the Court to make preparations before it becomes operational in December 2017. The provisional application phase will notably see the nomination of judges, whose process of recruitment has now started. It will also allow for the testing of the IT system and “ensure resources are in place and trained in readiness for the Court opening”.