The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović issued a Comment on 3 September 2019, titled ‘The independence of judges and the judiciary under threat’. Judges for Judges warmly endorses her call to “be stronger, more resolute and more vocal in defending the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary”.
Niek van de Pasch
The Commissioner recalls previous efforts to address serious intrusions on judicial independence in Europe, notably a recommendation of the Committee of Ministers, a judgement of the European Court of Human Rights, a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly, various opinions of the Venice Commission, several publications of the Group of States against Corruption and ‘unprecedented steps’ by institutions of the European Union.
Although these developments show that Europe has not been complacent, the Commissioner signals “increasing and worrying attempts by the executive and legislative to use their leverage to influence and instruct the judiciary and undermine judicial independence (…) and even resort to threats against judges”. To conclude, she paves the way forward: “We should be stronger, more resolute and more vocal in defending the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, [because] when the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary are undermined, human rights are undermined.”
Click here for the full text of this Comment.
Photo: Gunnar Vrang