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

(Elected CDCJ President from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020; re-elected until 31 December 2021) 


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

The European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) is one of the steering committees of the Council of Europe which works on a daily basis to uphold the rule of law. It is also the oldest with the broadest competences and I have the honour to be its chair.

This committee is very active, and its competences are of paramount importance in fields that touch almost all aspects of everybody’s daily lives. Whether in the scope of Private Law, Nationality Law, Administrative Law or any other branch of Law in which the CDCJ is concerned, the quality, timeliness and usefulness of its work are internationally recognised. It is sufficient to recall its recent work on online dispute resolution mechanisms, legal aid schemes, digital evidence, judicial independence and impartiality, administrative law, child-friendly justice, preventing and resolving disputes on child relocation, the rights and the best interests of the child in the context of parental separation and in care proceedings, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the protection of whistleblowers and medical liability to mention just a few.

Being Chair of the CDCJ is a very challenging task, especially during the peculiar time we are living in. 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 to bringing on-going activities and projects to a successful conclusion such as reviewing the implementation of the Council of Europe Plan of Action on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality, while mindful of the new emerging issues needing attention, for example the use of new technologies in legal areas, such as artificial intelligence in administration or on protecting the professional activities of lawyers.

Increasing the visibility of CDCJ and its activities will equally be a priority. I hope that by developing new communication tools, CDCJ will remain innovative and at the forefront as much as possible, and become more and more visible within the organisation, the legal community, as well as to the public at large. CDCJ will continue to help member States requesting assistance in improving their legal systems and, as a result, the rule of law.

CDCJ is a family of experts from 47 countries all over Europe who will certainly do their best to continue honouring the Committee’s legacy of more than 5 decades of activity, always having in mind that the world evolves and the CDCJ must evolve with it.