Accountability and Freedom of Expression of Magistrates and Attorneys in Europe

17th June 2021 @ 1:45 pm – 18th June 2021 @ 5:30 pm Europe/Rome Timezone

What is the transnational training about?

This Transnational Training Workshop will discuss why accountability is important for ensuring the rule of law and how it can be ensured while preserving the freedom of expression of magistrates, as well as their independence and impartiality. Justice reforms in several Member States have also impacted on the system of disciplinary, civil and criminal liability of magistrates, raising issues of disguised external political pressures on the magistrates. While disciplinary actions should serve to strengthen the rule of law, they can also be used
to break it. The Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights have increasingly dealt with questions regarding the compatibility of domestic accountability systems with provisions in the EU Treaties, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights (e.g. C-564/19, C-585/18, C-624/18, and C-625/18, C‐83/19, C‐127/19 and C‐195/19, C‐355/19; Baka v Hungary, L.P and Carvalho v Portugal), and several other cases are pending before these Courts on the compatibility of magistrates’ accountability mechanisms with European principles of judicial independence. This workshop looks at the most recent European standards on de iure and de facto accountability of legal professions (in particular, judges, prosecutors and attorneys), and freedom of expression as resulting from: the case law of the European Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights; European primary and secondary law; and Council of Europe instruments.

The following issues will be addressed during the training, in light of the most recent practice from the EU Member States: evaluation, promotion, and removal of magistrates; disciplinary, civil and criminal actions against judges and prosecutors; freedom of expression of magistrates, including the freedom of judges of interacting with the Court of Justice of the EU under Article 267 TFEU, and freely expressing their views on the CJEU preliminary rulings; challenges faced by domestic courts, prosecutors and attorneys in ensuring the respect of CJEU standards on disciplinary, civil and criminal sanctions against magistrates; standards necessary to ensure that accountability mechanisms fulfill both responsibility and public trust, without endangering independence and impartiality.

TRIIAL project is co-funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers, Grant Agreement No. 853832.

The Transnational Training Workshop aims to support judges, attorneys and prosecutors to foster cooperation by providing knowledge on the substantive and procedural tools on accountability, independence and impartiality as offered by the overlapping EU and Council of Europe based standards.

The training is offered within the European Commission’s funded project TRIIAL – TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of judges and arbitrators safeguarding the rule of Law under the EU Charter (Horizon 2020, project no. 853832, JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2018). The TRIIAL Project provides training activities and tools for judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and arbitrators on the European rule of law, mutual trust, judicial independence, impartiality and accountability (see the dedicated website here).

Download the programme

Contact person for general information

For additional information on the transnational training, or questions concerning the call for applications, you can contact: