Judicial reform : presentation

Justice and Legal Co-operation Department


Judicial reform activities aim at strengthening and consolidating the application of the rule of law in the Council of Europe’s member states. They are based on the findings of the ECtHR, the Venice Commission, the CEPEJ, the execution of the ECtHR judgments and the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE). These activities help member states implement their judicial reform initiatives in line with relevant European standards and/or the obligations and commitments undertaken at the moment of their accession to the Council of Europe.

Assistance takes many forms. Legislative expertise is provided to ensure that domestic regulations conform to the requirements of the rule of law (in particular the independence of the judiciary from executive and legislative powers) and that the member States are aware of the implications of its implementation. Assistance is provided to help set up or strengthen high judicial councils and judicial academies. Other outputs include drafting training curricula and selecting lecturing staff, improving the transparency of judicial systems, improving the transparency of the selection procedures of judges and prosecutors, strengthening the awareness of the requirements related to the appointment, dismissal and salaries of judges and prosecutors, strengthening the accountability of judges and prosecutors, putting in place or strengthening effective systems of free legal aid, improving the enforcement of judicial decisions, strengthening the administration of justice through the training of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, as well as auxiliary court personnel (clerks, registrars) and bailiffs, improving the efficiency of court management, and providing technical advice on improved administration and the computerisation of courts.

2009 ongoing programme(s):

Capacity building on independent judicial systems and strengthening the role of judicial professions (2008-2010)