The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), is organising the 7th Intercultural Workshop on Democracy, 28-29 October 2019, at the Palais of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, on the theme:

"The High Councils of the Judiciary and the Independence of Justice"

French / English / Arabic interpretation

Council of Europe to hold its 7th workshop on democracy as part of its co-operation projects in the Southern Mediterranean

This 7th workshop on democracy, held by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in co-operation with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) under the French Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, will focus on High Judicial Councils and the independence of justice.

In new democracies, setting up High Judicial Councils is a mean of guaranteeing the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and safeguarding the rule of law and democracy. The aim of the workshop is to support the functioning of such Councils and ensure that Council of Europe standards on appointment and evaluation of judges, co-operation with prosecutor’s offices, and communication and training are applied.

By combining academic work and theoretical ideas with practical experience in the field, the Intercultural workshops on democracy represent a unique platform for the analysis and exchange of good practices and experiences between state institutions such as ministries, parliaments, constitutional courts and other courts in Europe and in the Arab world.

The goal is to facilitate exchange between the participants on four main topics: the constitutional and/or legislative framework for High Judicial Councils; the procedure to appoint members of such Councils and similar bodies; their powers; and their interaction with the executive and the legislative.

The workshop will bring together leading experts on the independence of the judiciary from Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. It is one of the activities being held as part of the joint Council of Europe-European Union’s programme entitled “Ensuring Sustainable Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean”, South Programme III.