Mr Eral Knight (Ministry of Justice of the United
    Kingdom), Chair of the CDCJ

Dear visitors and readers,

I am delighted and honoured that, at their last plenary meeting of November 2023, members of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) put their trust in me as their Chair starting from 1 January 2024.

As Chair, I will do my best to guide the committee effectively in the performance of its many tasks in the field of public and private law and in advising the Committee of Ministers on all questions within its areas of competence. The objectives set out in the committee's terms of reference and work programme for 2024-2027 will direct us, and I will of course be mindful of the outcome declaration of the Fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Reykjavík, 16-17 May 2023).

For those who are familiar with the work of the committee and for those wishing to learn more about the activities of the CDCJ, either underway or planned, let me provide a brief list of some of the activities to be undertaken in the coming years that showcases the diversity of topics that the committee is tackling:

-     A draft convention for the protection of the profession of lawyer to be approved in 2024;

-     A draft Recommendation on the rights and the best interests of the child in care proceedings to be approved in 2024 – this instrument goes hand in hand with the draft recommendation on the rights and the best interests of the child in parental separation proceedings (approved, jointly with the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child – CDENF, in November 2023);

-     Practical tools to improve the implementation of the European Convention on Information on Foreign Law (CETS No. 062) and its additional protocol (CETS No. 097) to be produced by the end of 2024;

-     A compendium of good practices in respect of legal aid and representation, access to information and to justice for children in procedures relating to the determination of nationality or statelessness by the end of 2025;

-     A non-binding legal instrument regarding stateless children’s access to nationality, including guidance on child-sensitive procedures relating to the determination of nationality or statelessness by the end of 2026;

-     A draft Recommendation on rights of donor-conceived persons to know their origins by the end of 2026.

What all these activities have in common is the aim of developing or reinforcing legal standards in the public and private law fields that are common across Europe in areas where there is clear added value (e.g. lack of standards or need for practical tools to improve implementation of existing standards). As you can see, this is an ambitious work programme and the coming years will be challenging but undoubtedly also rewarding.

Please enjoy browsing the committee’s website to learn more about its past, current and future activities.


Eral Knight