The CSM is presided over by the President of the Republic. The Minister of Justice acts as the Vice President.
In addition, there are sixteen other members. Four who are not Magistrates in private law courts sit on the two formations of the CSM. Twelve Magistrates who are in the private law courts are split between the two formations, five sitting judges and one public prosecutor constitute the formation dealing sitting judges and five public prosecutor and one sitting judge constitute the formation dealing with public prosecutor.
The President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate each respectively appoint one prominent figure (who must not be an MP or a member of the private law court system) and the General Assembly of the Conseil d'état elects one Conseiller to be members of the CSM.
When the CSM deals with sitting judges, it is composed of one sitting judge (without taking hierarchy into account) from the Cour de Cassation who is elected by his peers, one First President from a Court of Appeals, one President of a court of first instance also elected by his peers, as well as two sitting judges and one public prosecutor elected by all the other Magistrates in a two-tier election.
Similarly, when the CSM deals with public prosecutors, it is composed of one public prosecutor (without taking hierarchy into account) from the Cour de Cassation, one Chief Public Prosecutor, one Chief Public Prosecutor from the Tribunal de Grande Instance, two public prosecutors and one sitting judge elected under the same conditions.
The CSM carries out the majority of its duties under the Constitution using these two separate formations, dealing respectively with sitting judge and public prosecutor. Ordinary meetings held by each formation (outside of the formal sessions presided over by the President of the Republic of the Minister of Justice) are chaired by one of the CSM's members elected for this purpose for a non-renewable term of one year.
The term of office of all CSM members, both those elected and appointed, is four years and is non-renewable.
The sixteen members of the CSM
The sixteen members of the CSM meet regularly in plenary session to discuss subjects of common interest, standardize practices of the two formations within the CSM and support a united body of magistrates both within the Council and among all Judges.