European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary (RECJ)
CCJE and the CCPE publish report on the challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States PDF Print E-mail
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) and the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) have jointly submitted to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe a report on the “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”. This report follows the Secretary General’s 2015 report: ”State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe – a shared responsibility for democratic security in Europe“, where the CCJE and CCPE were requested to “urgently draft a comprehensive review of the main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in member states”. This report is published together with a document compiling the comments on this report, forwarded to the Secretariat by the member states of the Council of Europe.

On the request of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the Bureaus of the CCJE and CCPE have jointly prepared and submitted e a report on the “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe”. The report follows the Secretary General’s 2015 report: ”State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe – a shared responsibility for democratic security in Europe“, in which the CCJE and CCPE were requested to “urgently draft a comprehensive review of the main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in member states”. The report is published together with a document compiling the comments on this report, forwarded to the Secretariat by the member states of the Council of Europe.

The ENCJ has been involved in the preparation of the report and ENCJ´s reports, in particular the report on Independence and Accountability of the Judiciary have been used by the CCJE and CCPE for their report.  

 
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.

 
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).

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ENCJ Newsletter 7th Edition PDF Print E-mail
The 7th Edition of the ENCJ Bulletin is published. In this new edition, you may read a report of the last meeting of the General Assembly in Vilnius, and news regarding the Judiciary and the judicial policies in several European countries.
 
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