ENCJ President addresses the congress of Polish Lawyers in Katowice PDF Print E-mail
On 20 May 2017 over a 1000 lawyers and judges gathered in Katowice in Poland for a congress to discuss the reform of the judiciary and the state of the rule of law in Poland. The congress was organised by the Association of Polish Judges "Iustitia", the Supreme Bar Council and the National Council of Legal Advisers. The President of the ENCJ Ms Nuria Diaz Abad addressed the audience and explained ENCJ's position in relation to the planned judicial reform in Poland. 
 
Statement of the ENCJ Executive Board concerning judicial reforms in Poland PDF Print E-mail
The ENCJ has been following the situation in Poland closely and has on several occasions called upon the executive to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to undertake reforms to the justice system only after meaningful consultation with the Council for the Judiciary and the judges themselves .
In an opinion drafted at the request of  the National Judicial Council of Poland (Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa – KRS) in relation to draft-legislation that would affect both the composition and functioning of the KRS, the Board of the ENCJ concluded that the draft laws could harm the independence of the judiciary in Poland and that ENCJ standards were not met in several fields . It also stated that these standards are not developed to serve the interests of the judiciary. The standards simply reflect the shared principles and values of the EU Member States which guarantee a proper functioning of a democratic system based on the Rule of Law.
An ENCJ delegation recently met a group of representatives of the Polish judiciary and was informed about the ongoing reform of the judiciary by the governing party. Draft legislation currently being considered by the government includes the possible dismissal of all presidents and vice-presidents of common courts and subsequent appointment of new presidents by the executive; the setting up of disciplinary chambers consisting of peoples’ representatives in the Supreme Court and the dismissal of the Presidents and a substantial number of judges of the Supreme Court. In addition, there are reports of regular attacks upon the judiciary in the media by the executive and intimidation of individual judges.
The Board of the ENCJ is gravely concerned by the developments, which are taking place in Poland. The Board wishes to point out that a key requirement for maintaining and enhancing mutual trust between judicial authorities in the EU, as a basis for mutual recognition, is the independence, quality and efficiency of the judicial systems and respect for the rule of law.
The Board of the ENCJ reiterates that the Rule of Law is at the core of the European Union. Respect for the Rule of Law is a prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental values listed in the Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights. To uphold and protect the Rule of Law is a responsibility for both the judiciary and other state powers. For the effective preservation of the Rule of Law, independent and accountable justice systems are needed. The Board emphasizes that fair and impartial courts are the key institutions of an independent judiciary.
Done in Brussels
26th April 2017

The ENCJ has been following the situation in Poland closely and has on several occasions called upon the executive to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to undertake reforms to the justice system only after meaningful consultation with the Council for the Judiciary and the judges themselves (Warsaw Declaration 3 June 2016).

Read more...
 
2017 EU Justice Scoreboard PDF Print E-mail

The European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Ms. Vera Jourova presented the 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard on Monday 10th April. eu_justice_scoreboard_2017

According to the Commission this 5th edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard confirms that effective justice systems are essential to build trust in a business and investment-friendly environment in the single market. Ms Jourova therefore encourages Member States to ensure that any justice reform respects the rule of law and judicial independence as this is key for citizens and businesses to fully enjoy their rights. An independent and well-functioning justice system is a fundamental pillar of every democracy.

As with previous editions the ENCJ and its Members collaborated with the European Commission on the Scorebaord specificially in the chapter dealing with Judicial Independence.

 
ENCJ Digital Justice Seminar, Amsterdam PDF Print E-mail

On 31st March the ENCJ organised a Digital Justice Seminar in the District Court of Amsterdam. The aim of the meeting was to identify the role and position of Councils and/or the Judiciaries in the Digital Justice Age. In many countries the judiciaries are not, or not sufficiently involved in the development of new e-justice applications. Participants will explore what the position of the judiciary is, or should be, in the whole digitisation process. The seminar also served to identify the ENCJ Strategy in this field. 

The programme was organised around discussions on 4 themes:

1. Access to Justice in a Digital Age - presentation Merit Kolvart, Ministry of Justice Estonia
2. Big Data - presentation Bart van der Sloot, Tilburg University
3. IT systems: from being supportive to running the system
4. European e-Justice Strategy digital_justice_amsterdam

Report with findings and conclusions of the seminar.

 
Statement by the Executive Board on the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome PDF Print E-mail

Brussels, 25th March 2017

On the day that the European Union is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, the ENCJ, which unites the Councils for the Judiciary and similar autonomous bodies from the EU Members States, would like to reiterate the following:

The rule of law is at the core of the European Union. It is one of the fundamental values upon which the EU is founded, together with democracy and fundamental rights. These common values have been debated and settled in legislations and laws, enabling peaceful cooperation for the last 60 years. Respect for the rule of law is a prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental values listed in the Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights.

To uphold and protect the rule of law is a responsibility for both the judiciary and other state powers. The ENCJ calls on the Member States to respect fair and impartial courts, as the key institutions of an independent judiciary.

For the effective implementation of the rule of law, independent and accountable justice systems are needed. The ENCJ strongly believes that today the network is of vital importance to the further development of judiciaries in Europe. The ENCJ will continue its efforts to promote effective judicial systems in terms of efficiency, quality, independence and accountability for the benefit of all.

 
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ENCJ News
05/04/2016 > CCJE and the CCPE publish report on the challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States
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Report from the CCJE and the CCPE on the main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States The Bureaus of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE [ ... ]


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ENCJ President addresses the congress of Polish Lawyers in Katowice

On 20 May 2017 over a 1000 lawyers and judges gathered in Katowice in Poland for a congress to discuss the reform of the judiciary and the state of the rule of law in Poland. The congress was organised by the Association of Polish Judges...

Statement of the ENCJ Executive Board concerning judicial reforms in Poland

The ENCJ has been following the situation in Poland closely and has on several occasions called upon the executive to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to undertake reforms to the justice system only after meaningful consultation...

2017 EU Justice Scoreboard

The European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Ms. Vera Jourova presented the 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard on Monday 10th April. According to the Commission this 5th edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard confirms that effective justice...

ENCJ Digital Justice Seminar, Amsterdam

On 31st March the ENCJ organised a Digital Justice Seminar in the District Court of Amsterdam. The aim of the meeting was to identify the role and position of Councils and/or the Judiciaries in the Digital Justice Age. In many countries the...

Statement by the Executive Board on the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome

Brussels, 25th March 2017 On the day that the European Union is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, the ENCJ, which unites the Councils for the Judiciary and similar autonomous bodies from the EU Members...

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On 17th March the President of the ENCJ, Nuria Díaz Abad and the director of the ENCJ Office Monique van der Goes, had a meeting with the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union Michael O´Flaherty and Jonas Grimheden...

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ENCJ Executive Board´s opinion on the drafts law of Poland

On 30th January 2017 the ENCJ Executive Board adopted an opinion upon the request of the Polish Krajowa Rada Sadownictwa. The opinion deals with the draft laws that the Minister of Justice of Poland sent to the KRS for their views and sets out...
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