Rechters voor Rechters woont procedure Hondurese collega’s bij in Costa Rica

Gepubliceerd op: 4 februari 2015 in: Activiteiten, Honduras | Nog geen reacties

Op 2 en 3 februari heeft collega Katrien Witteman (rechtbank Noord-Holland) in San José, Costa Rica namens Rechters voor Rechters de zitting bijgewoond van het Inter-Amerikaans Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens (CIDH). Het gaat om Adán Guillermo López Lone, Luis Alonso Chévez de la Rocha, Ramón Enrique Barrios Maldonado en Tirza del Carmen Flores Lanza.

Rechters voor Rechters heeft sinds het bezoek van de twee – in de nasleep van de staatsgreep in 2009 – ontslagen Hondurese rechters Tirza del Carmen Flores Lanza en Adan Guillermo Lopez Lone aan Nederland op 2 november 2010 geregeld contact met hen onderhouden. (Zie ook de berichten op onze site onder het kopje Honduras.)

Onze Stichting is door hen gevraagd om daarbij aanwezig te zijn. Lees verder…;

Oleksandr Volkov to be reinstated as Supreme Court Judge on 2 February

Gepubliceerd op: 2 februari 2015 in: Oekraïne | Nog geen reacties

Mr. Volkov was dismissed from his position as Supreme Court Judge in Ukraine on 17 January 2010, under then President Viktor Yanukovych. On 9 January 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his dismissal was unlawful and was a flagrant denial of the natural course of justice. On 25th December the Verkhovna Rada voted with a majority of 257 to implement the judgment of the European Court and to abrogate its  resolution of 17 January 2010 concerning the dismissal of Mr. Volkov. Lees verder…;

Case of Baka v. Hungary has been referred to Grand Chamber of the ECHR

Gepubliceerd op: 17 december 2014 in: Algemeen, Hongarije | Nog geen reacties

At its last meeting (Monday 15 December 2014), the Grand Chamber panel of five judges decided to refer one case and to reject 13 other referral requests.

The following case has been referred to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Baka v. Hungary: which concerns the premature termination of the applicant’s mandate as President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Hungary and his lack of access to court to challenge the termination.

Een kritische rechter en de fragiele rechterlijke onafhankelijkheid in Hongarije

Gepubliceerd op: 8 december 2014 in: Algemeen, Hongarije | Nog geen reacties
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM)

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM)

In het Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM 39-5 2014 ) staat een annotatie van de zaak Baka t. Hongarije (EHRM 27 mei2014) met een noot van S. Dijkstra: ‘Een kritische rechter en de fragiele rechterlijke onafhankelijkheid in Hongarije‘.

Samenvatting | Het EHRM oordeelt dat Hongarije in strijd heeft gehandeld met artikel 10 EVRM door de ambtstermijn van de President van het Hooggerechtshof voortijdig te beëindigen wegens de kritiek die hij op verschillende wetsvoorstellen heeft geleverd. Eén van de wetsvoorstellen betrof de verplichte  vervroeging van de pensioenleeftijd voor rechters, een voorstel waarvan het HvJEU heeft geoordeeld  dat het in strijd is met de richtlijn voor gelijke behandeling in arbeid en beroep. Het EHRM zet de zaak  in de sleutel van de rechterlijke onafhankelijkheid.

 

 

Lees verder…;

Structural deficiencies undermine independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation

Gepubliceerd op: 8 december 2014 in: Activiteiten, CIJL_ICJ, Rusland | Nog geen reacties

The Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL)

A new ICJ report concludes that a comprehensive reform of the system judicial appointments and promotions, as well as of other aspects of the judicial system, is essential to ensure that the judiciary in Russia is independent and able to be an effective guardian of the Rule of Law.

Following a mission to the Russian Federation, the report examines issues of judicial selection, the appointment and promotion of judges, considers the institutional, procedural and practical aspects of judicial appointments and promotions.

The Supreme Court and the High Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation merger and a process of re-appointment of judges to the new Supreme Court, which was highly relevant to the mission’s more general concern with judicial appointments, are addressed in the report.

The report concluded that weaknesses in the judicial appointments process have contributed to shortcomings in the independence of the Russian judiciary, which the ICJ has highlighted in previous reports of 2010, the State of the Judiciary in Russia and of 2012 Securing Justice: the Disciplinary system for judges in the Russian Federation.

Lees verder…;

Update about the hearing of Judge Miroslava Todorova

Gepubliceerd op: 17 november 2014 in: Activiteiten, Algemeen, Bulgarije | Nog geen reacties

As promised an update about the hearing of colleague Miroslava Todorova before the Supreme Adminstrative Council (SAC) in Sofia. Judges for Judges attended the hearing last Thursday, together with obervers from ICJ and MEDEL. The president of the five members’ panel welcomed the observers and their interpreter explicitly. Todorova was not present herself. The date initially set for the hearing had been postponed and last Thursday, Todorova had court sessions in the Sofia Regional Court herself. The SAC allowed the representative of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), Todorova’s counsel (Mrs. I. Lulcheva) and the prosecutor (who has an advisory role in the disciplinary proceedings) to plea. Subject of appeal was the judgment of the three members’ panel of the SAC of July 1st 2014, holding Todorova’s demotion for a period of one year. Whereas in July 2013, the prosecutor supported Todorova and advised the SAC to annul the dismissal, this time, unfortunately, it underlined the SJC’s view that the (five members’ panel of the) SAC should order Todorova’s demotion for a period of two years. In short, Todorova’s main arguments are that the demotion is in violation with the principle of ne bis in idem (given her salary cut in 2012 for the same act: delay in issuing the reasoning in a number of cases), that the statutory limitation period for initiating discplinary proceedings has not been considered, and that the circumstances of the case (a.o. her heavy caseload and her de facto leave from the court after the dismissal) should be given more weight. It appears that the SAC’s judgment of July 1st, 2014 – which will be translated in English soon – gives space for a full reconsideration. It is not clear when the five members panel of the SAC will deliver its judgment. We will keep you informed. Judges and Judges and ICJ will prepare a trial observation report.

Judges for Judges observes hearing Judge Miroslava Todorova

Gepubliceerd op: 12 november 2014 in: Algemeen, Bulgarije | Nog geen reacties

Since July 2012 Judges for Judges has been following the disciplinary proceedings against our Bulgarian colleague Judge Miroslava Todorova.

In short: Todorova served many years as an outstanding judge in the criminal section of the Sofia City Court and as the leader of the Bulgarian Judges’ Association. In that last capacity, in 2009-2012, she was critical of interferences by the executive branch of government in the work of the judiciary, and of the consistently poor management of Bulgaria’s judiciary. Following to accusations of influence and bias in organised crime cases by the then Minister for Interior Affairs, Todorova filed a court case for slander against him. Subsequently, she was dismissed from the judiciary by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on 12 July 2012. The official ground for her dismissal was the long delays in issuing the reasoning in a number of court cases.

We informed you about the different stages in these proceedings, and the annulment of the dismissal, before. [See this link].

On 16 July 2013, the so called five members panel of the Supreme Administrative Council (SAC) ordered the SJC to take a new decision. The SJC’s decision that followed, on 27 March 2014, was the demotion of Todorova from the Sofia City Court to the Sofia Regional Court for a period of two years. Todorova requested the suspension of the implementation of the ruling, but this request was rejected by the SAC in two instances. On Todorova’s appeal to the SJC’s new sanction – the second gravest after dismissal – the (three members panel of the) SAC upheld the demotion, but reduced it to one year. Both the SJC and Todorova lodged an appeal against the SAC’s judgment. It is this appeal that will be subject of the hearing that will take place before the five member panel of the SAC, this Thursday at 10:30h in Sofia.

On behalf of Judges for Judges, Janneke Bockwinkel, will attend this hearing, together with observers from MEDEL and ICJ. We will give an account of the hearing in a few days.

Our latest newsletter

Gepubliceerd op: 7 november 2014 in: Activiteiten, Algemeen, Bulgarije, Rusland, Slowakije, Zimbabwe | Nog geen reacties

Our latest newsletter is now available in english.

  • Justice Moses Chinhengo (ICJ Commissioner) and Lloyd Kuveya (ICJ Legal Advisor) paid a fleeting visit to the Netherlands between 4-6 June 2014 to follow a programme prepared by Judges for Judges at the request of and together with Zimbabwe Watch.
  • Commissioner Jolien Schukking writes about the ICJ mission to Russia and her involvement in the selection, appointment and promotion of judges.
  • Werner Stemker Köster writes about the judicial developments in ‘his’ Slovakia.
  • Finally, Janneke Bockwinkel, our trial-observer in Bulgaria, sketches the input of Judges for Judges during the visit by a group of Bulgarian judges to the Netherlands. It was organised by Judges for Judges to discuss a ‘twinning’ project.

Click here for the newsletter (pdf) | Our archive | Lees hier hier het origineel in het Nederlands |

 

Onafhankelijkheid rechter in Europa gewaarborgd?

Gepubliceerd op: 16 oktober 2014 in: Activiteiten, Algemeen, Oekraïne | Nog geen reacties
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM)

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM)

In het redactioneel van het Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten (NTM 39-4 2014 ) wordt ook aandacht besteed aan de activiteiten van Rechters voor Rechters.

‘Bent u wel eens bang geweest?’ vraagt een Nederlandse rechter aan zijn Oekraïense (ontslagen) collega Oleksandr Volkov. ‘Als je dat toelaat, ben je verloren’, antwoordt Volkov met een sceptisch en tegelijk onverschrokken glimlachje.

Het EHRM laat er gelukkig geen misverstand over bestaan dat ‘issues concerning the functioning of the justice system constitute questions of public interest, the debate of which enjoys the protection of Article 10. Even if an issue under debate has political implications, this is not in itself sufficient to prevent a judge from making a statement of the matter.’ In het kader van de proportionaliteitstoets wijst het EHRM er vervolgens op dat ‘the fear of sanction has a “chilling effect” on the exercise of freedom of expression and in particular risks discouraging judges from making critical remarks about public institutions or policies, for fear of losing their judicial office.’ Het EHRM wijst er vervolgens op dat this chilling effect niet slechts de rechter raakt, maar society as a whole.

 

 

Lees verder…;

Bolivia: politicians’ “trial” of judges an affront to the independence of the judiciary

Gepubliceerd op: 16 oktober 2014 in: Bolivië, CIJL_ICJ | Nog geen reacties

The Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL)

The ICJ condemns the imminent “trial” of Constitutional Court judges by Bolivia’s Senate, in proceedings that could see the judges sent to prison over politicians’ disagreement with a legal ruling.

The proceedings “violate the independence of the judiciary and the right to fair trial,” the Geneva-based organization wrote today in an open letter to all Senators and Deputies of the legislative assembly.

The charges in the trial, scheduled to begin on 21 October, are based entirely on a precautionary ruling by the judges that parts of a new law regulating notaries should not be implemented until the Court has an opportunity to hear a constitutional challenge to the law.

“The spectacle of dozens of politicians pretending to act as an independent and impartial criminal court, threatening to throw constitutional court judges in jail over a difference of opinion as to interpretation of the law, is incompatible with respect for human rights, the separation of powers, and the rule of law,” said Matt Pollard, Head of the Centre for Independence of Judges and Lawyers at the ICJ.

Constitutional Court Judges Soraida Rosario Chanez Chire and Ligia Mónica Velásquez Castaños are to be tried on 21 October, while proceedings against Judge Gualberto Cusi Mamani have reportedly been temporarily suspended for reasons of health. The judges were suspended from duty on 28 July. Lees verder…;