On May 11, 2020, the Deputy Chairman of the High Council of Justice Mr. Oleksii Malovatskyi participated in the web-conference of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) at the invitation of the leadership of this organization
Opening the web-conference, Mr. Kees Sterk, previous ENCJ’s President (mandate termination on June 10, 2020) emphasized the necessity to continue the hard work to guarantee principles of rule of law and to ensure the independence of the judiciary in order to prevent cases of politicization of justice, interference in the activities of the judiciary by other branches of government and encroachment on the independence of judges. Examples of such negative tendencies were the situations that took place in Hungary and Poland.
The participants of the webconference were also addressed by Mr. Didier Reynders - Commissioner for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission and Mr. Michal Šimečka - Member European Parliament, rapporteur Rule of Law report EC. They talked about the measures that the European Commission and the European Parliament are going to implement with aim of protecting the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and the proper reacting in cases of intent to destroy the judicial independence (on the examples of Poland and Hungary). In particular, it was about the preparation by the European Commission of the Rule of Law report in EU countries.
The first annual Rule of Law Report is one of the major initiatives of the Commission’s Work Programme for 2020. It is part of the comprehensive European rule of law mechanism announced in the Political Guidelines of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The report of the European Commission will cover all Member States with objective annual reporting. The rule of law mechanism will act as a preventive tool, deepening dialogue and joint awareness of rule of law issues. The annual Rule of Law Report will monitor significant developments, both positive and negative, relating to the rule of law in Member States.
During the event the work plan of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary for 2020-2021 was presented.
For reference: European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (hereinafter - ENCJ) was established in 2004, and, starting from 2007, according to its statute, it is an international non-profit association. ENCJ unites councils of justice and high councils for judiciary of different EU Member-States.
The tasks of the ENCJ are:
• to ensure the cooperation between different councils of justice/judiciary;
• to promote mutual acquaintance with the principles of organization, work and powers of the various councils of justice/judiciary and with the judicial systems of the states belonging to it;
• to promote the independence of the judiciary from the legislative and executive branches of government;
• to increase the transparency of the judiciary in the eyes of society;
• discuss and promote approaches that enable the judiciary to administer justice in an efficient and operative manner.
During an online meeting on 10 June 2020 the ENCJ General Assembly elected Filippo Donati as the new President (mandate June 2020- June 2022). Filippo Donati is a non-judicial member of the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura of Italy. He is a full professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Florence.
Starting from 2017, the leadership of the High Council of Justice participates in annual General Assemblies of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary.