06 to 07 May 2021

Transnational Training Workshops on: Judicial Appointments & Judicial self-government

Published 5 months ago

This transnational training workshop will discuss the topic of judicial appointments in Europe in light of the most recent caselaw developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), and how these recent jurisprudential developments can be applied at the national level.

In particular, the following issues will be addressed:

  • institutional aspects in the system of appointment for judges (e.g. the role of the Judicial Councils, court presidents, Ministries of Justice, judges’ associations);
  • re-assignment of judges to other cases/courts; re-shaping adjudicating panels;
  • direct and indirect influence of the executive in the process of appointing judges, and more generally in the organisation of the justice system.

Various aspects of judicial appointments are coming up before the CJEU and ECtHR, as highlighted in the following cases: concerning judicial reform in Poland C-619/18, Commission v. Poland; C- 192/18 ; C‑811/19, C‑840/19; C‑357/19, C‑547/19 and before the ECtHR concerning the appointment to the High Court of Appeals Guðmundur Andri Ástráðsson v. Iceland App no 26374/18, on judicial removals in Baka v Hungary App No 20261/12 or assessment of judicial performance Guz v Poland App No 965/12.

Judicial standards are developed as a part of the European principle of judicial independence under Articles: 2, 7, 19 (1) TEU; Arts. 258 and 267 TFEU; 47 EU Charter; 6 and 13 ECHR. And more issues have been raised by the 2020 Rule of Law Report of the European Commission. Notably, almost all EU Member States have either adopted or negotiated some form of the reform of the justice system (See: Figure 1 of 2020 Justice Scoreboard). Many of the reported reforms gave rise to doubts as to their compliance with EU law, in particular, with the standard of external independence of the judges: the system of judicial appointments and guarantees of irremovability from the office.

These developments indicate the need for an updated discussion of the implementation of the CJEU and ECtHR standards on rule of law, independence and accountability in relation to judicial appointments. Given the European Union and Member States’ linked and interactive legal systems, it is up to national judges to evaluate these reforms both within the remit of their own legal systems and, in enforcement of mutual recognition claims, vis-à-vis justice systems of other Member States of the European Union.

We thus invite domestic and European judges to a discussion focused on the standards of judicial independence as it manifests itself in the determination of the system of judicial appointments. The Transnational Training Workshop aims to support judges, prosecutors and lawyers in developing cooperation amongst them by providing knowledge on the substantive and procedural tools on magistrates’ independence as offered by the overlapping EU and Council of Europe based standards. The training will highlight the different techniques of judicial interaction which would be able to protect judicial bodies from external and internal pressures and foster the European Union’s rule of law.

The training is offered within the European Commission’s funded project TRIIAL - TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of judges and arbitrators safeguarding the rule of Law under the EU Charter (Horizon 2020, project no. 853832, JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2018). The TRIIAL Project provides training activities and tools for judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and arbitrators on the European rule of law, mutual trust, judicial independence, impartiality and accountability.

Who should apply

Judges and lawyers of all EU Member States, but also representatives of other legal professions are invited to apply and participate in open access sessions.

From all participants up to 30 will be admitted to closed sessions. Preference will be given to those who also fulfill the role of trainers at national training institutions for judges and attorneys and those who represent TRIIAL consortium Member States.

The participation is free of charge. Participants will be provided with certificates of participation