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Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

The rule of law is one of the main values upheld by the Council of Europe and the judiciary is its cornerstone. It was to strengthen the role of judges in Europe that the Committee of Ministers set up the Consultative Council of European Judges.

The Consultative Council of European Judges is an advisory body of the Council of Europe on issues related to the independence, impartiality and competence of judges. It is the first body within an international organisation to be composed exclusively of judges, and in this respect, it is unique in Europe.

By establishing the Consultative Council of European Judges, the Council of Europe highlighted the key role of the judiciary in exploring the concept of democracy and the rules by which it operates.

The CCJE adopts Opinions for the attention of the Committee of Ministers on issues regarding the status of judges and the exercise of their functions.

The CCJE may be requested by member States to look into specific problems concerning the status and/or the situation of judges. It addresses topical issues and, if necessary, visits the countries concerned to discuss the ways of improving the existing situation through developing legislation, institutional framework and/or judicial practice.

News... (20/04/2017)

 The CCJE Bureau has adopted on 7 April 2017 an Opinion concerning the draft legislation on the Polish National Council of the Judiciary

Opinion of the Bureau of the CCJE concerning the draft legislation on the Polish National Council of the Judiciary

Meeting of the CCJE working group in charge of drawing up Opinion No. 20 on "the role of courts with respect to uniform application of the law"

The CCJE Working group in charge of drawing up Opinion No. 20 on the role of courts with respect to uniform application of the law will meet in Rome (Italy) from 7 to 9 June 2017. The first meeting of the Working group took place in Paris from 8 to 10 March 2017, in view to examine the draft structure of the Opinion.


The role of court presidents


Strasbourg, 10 November 2016 - The Council of Europe’s Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) adopted its Opinion No. 19 (2016) on the role of court presidents.

In this Opinion, the CCJE clarifies the role of court presidents concerning the representation of the court, relations within the court with other judges, and presidents’ management functions as regards court staff and infrastructure. The key tasks of court presidents are to represent the court and other judges, to ensure the effective functioning of the court, improving the service the court renders to society, and to preside over the judicial work of the court.

The Opinion emphasises that, in the performance of their duties, court presidents protect the independence and impartiality of courts and of individual judges, and they should act at every moment as a guardian of these values and principles. Relations between court presidents and other state bodies are particularly sensitive. Irrespective of the particular model of such relations, court presidents play an important role in the prevention of any interference in courts’ activities.

As regards relations with the media, court presidents should keep in mind the interest of society in being informed, while taking due account of the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial and the right to respect for private and family life of all persons concerned in the proceedings, as well as of the protection of the confidentiality of proceedings.

The Opinion also sets out the principles relating to the qualifications required to become a court president, the body responsible for his/her selection, the evaluation of his/her work and the term of office. A chapter of the Opinion is specifically dedicated to the role of presidents of Supreme Courts.

Opinion No. 19 on the role of court presidents

At its last plenary meeting, the CCJE adopted the following statement regarding the situation of justice in Turkey

Link to the statement

Following the request of the Polish Judges’ Association “IUSTITIA” on behalf of the Polish associations of judges, the CCJE Bureau has elaborated its comments on the appointment of judges in Poland

Comments by the CCJE Bureau




 2017 Calendar

2016-2017 Terms of reference

Action plan



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The press

Other events

2017 European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) General Assembly
Paris (France)
7 to 9 June 2017
Debate on the standardisation of law
Bucharest (Romania)
27 February 2017
Day for judges of the "Association suisse des magistrats de l'ordre judiciaire"
18 November 2016
Luzern (Switzerland)

The conferences

International Conference: "Binding Effect of the Judicial Decisions"
19 to 21 June 2017
Brno, Czech Republic



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