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CCJE: Judges' associations need to be involved in reforming the justice system


The Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) calls upon providing the opportunities for realization of the right of judges to associate and refrain from any interventions which might infringe the independence of the associations of judges.

This is stated in the new CCJE opinion on “The role of associations of judges in supporting judicial independence”.

The CCJE notes that associations of judges in European countries have different aims, the size of their membership and the qualifications for membership, however, a common feature for them all is establishing and defending the independence of judges, safeguarding their status and, ensuring adequate working conditions for judges. In this way, the associations help foster and improve the rule of law.

Also, the CCJE emphasizes that associations of judges should be closely involved in processes, connected with the reforming of justice system.

As the HCJ Chairman Andrii Ovsiienko repeatedly noted that the Council, within its powers, actively implies opinions of the CCJE, in particular, regarding judiciary and the status of judges. The Council, together with other bodies of judicial governance and self-governance, shall take all necessary measures to ensure the independence of judges and the authority of the judiciary.

The HCJ also regularly consults with judicial associations on issues urgent to the judiciary and aspects of the implementation of judicial reform. The Council recently decided to immediately launch a public professional discussion in the legal community on draft laws amending the rules governing the judiciary and the status of judges. The HCJ initiated this discussion in order to develop a common position on determining the optimal way to overcome the problem of staff shortages in Ukrainian courts as soon as possible and to effectively ensure the right of citizens to access to justice. 

For reference: In 2000, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe established the CCJE to strengthen the role of judges in Europe. The CCJE is an advisory body to the Council of Europe on issues related to the independence, impartiality and powers of a judge. It is the only body in the Council of Europe that has only judgesThe main purpose of the CCJE is to prepare opinions on the status of judges and the performance of their professional duties. These opinions are prepared by the working group on the basis of the replies to the questionnaires distributed to the Member States and approved by the plenary meetings of the Consultative Council. CCJE opinions are sent/provided to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and to the member states of the Council of Europe for internal implementation.