Mr João Arsénio de Oliveira (Ministry of Justice, Portugal)

(Elected CDCJ President from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020) 


This is the website of CDCJ – its window for the world.

CDCJ, the European Committee on Legal Co-operation, is the oldest steering committee of the Council of Europe and I have the honour to be its chair.

It’s still active because its competences are of paramount importance, touching almost all aspects of everyone's daily life, and many of which are the object of international legal instruments that it has negotiated. Whether in the scope of Private Law, Nationality Law, Administrative Law or any other branch of Law on which the CDCJ is concerned, the quality, timeliness and usefulness of its work are internationally recognized. It is sufficient to recall its recent work on digital evidence, child-friendly justice, judicial independence, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), medical liability, and the protection of whistleblowers, just to mention only a few.

Being Chair of CDCJ is a huge challenge. I must maintain its tradition of competence in the work carried out whilst at the same time, encourage and facilitate innovation, keeping CDCJ in touch with the latest legal developments and acting whenever novelty requires an international perspective. During my mandate, I will employ my best endeavours in bringing to a successful conclusion on-going projects on online dispute resolution mechanisms and, legal aid schemes, and in starting new projects in the area of artificial intelligence and, should there be agreement, on protecting the professional activities of lawyers. CDCJ will also pay special attention to the review of implementation of the Sofia Action Plan on judicial independence and impartiality.

Increasing visibility of CDCJ and its activities will be another of important challenge for me. I hope that by developing new communication tools, CDCJ will become both more active and more visible to the legal community, as well as to the public at large. CDCJ will obviously keep focused on the many and significant co-operation activities that assist member states in improving their legal systems and, as a result, the rule of law.

CDCJ is a family of experts from all over Europe. We will surely do our best to continue honouring the Committee’s legacy of more than 5 decades of activity, always having in mind that the world changes and we must change with it.