Results of the 4th ENCJ Survey on the Independence of Judges carried out in 2022 reveal struggles in the realm of cooperation with other state powers. In a State governed by the Rule of Law, all state powers should support each other in carrying out their functions, and all should refrain from interfering with the competence of others. The remuneration of judges is directly linked to judicial independence, therefore close cooperation of all state powers in this realm is vital.
On 31st of January the Hungarian Council for the Judiciary has issued comments and recommendations on the draft legislation proposed by the Ministry of Justice of Hungary.
The Council draws attention to the fact the proposed legislation does not meet the commitments made by the Hungarian Government to the European Union and the declared intentions to strengthen the role and powers of the National Judicial Council of Hungary.
The European Commission has invited the ENCJ to contribute to the European Commission Rule of law report.
ENCJ's contribution (for the ENCJ contribution, click here) is amongst other based on the information collected from ENCJ Members', the ENCJ general statements, actions and letters.
The Executive Board of the ENCJ welcomes the milestones set by the European Commission to strengthen Judicial Independence in Hungary. The strengthening of the competences of the Judicial Council of Hungary is necessary for it to safeguard Judicial Independence and will improve the checks and balances in the Judicial system. A Council for the Judiciary can only fulfill its role if it is independent of the legislature and executive and is attributed with sufficient powers.
On 17 and 18 October 2022 an ENCJ Board delegation visited Hungary upon the the invitation of the National Judicial Council (OBT). The visit was to show solidarity and support the members of the OBT in their efforts to uphold the Rule of Law and Judicial Independence in Hungary. At the ceremonial meeting of the OBT the President of the OBT and the ENCJ President delivered a speech.
On 7 September 2022, the delegations of four judicial networks: the ENCJ, the Network of Presidents of the Supreme Courts of the EU, the European Judges Association and the Network of Councils of State of the EU met the Commissioner for Justice, Mr Didier Reynders. The delegation also met with the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley and other members of the European Parliament from a various political groups.
At the ENCJ General Assembly in Athens on 3 June 2022, five Members and Observers presented their best idea which has been successful and has led to positive change.
The ENCJ General Assembly united in Athens adopted a declaration on judicial solidarity in times of crisis. The declaration sets out what judicial solidarity entails and which actions could be taken to support any judiciary under attack.
During its meeting in Athens on 1 June the ENCJ General Assembly decided to renew the mandate of Filippo Donati as President till 30 November 2022. The General Assembly also elected Dalia Vasarienė to succeed Filippo Donati as of 1 December 2022. (mandate December 2022- June 2024). Filippo Donati is a non-judicial member of the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura of Italy. Dalia Vasarienė is a judicial member of the Judicial Council of Lithuania elected by her peers.
In addition 4 new Board members were elected:
In 2022 the ENCJ organized the 4th survey among judges about their independence. The survey was held in early 2022 in 27 countries and 15.821 judges participated. The report with full results can be found here.