Challenges to judicial independence and rule of law in the European Union offers to take stock of these legal developments.
For more than a decade, the European Union has been re-examining the ways to safeguard Member State compliance with the foundational values enshrined in Article 2 TEU, with special attention to the rule of law, judicial independence and the right to a fair trial.
The European Commission funded TRIIAL Project (1 Jan 2020 – 30 June 2022) aimed to address the needs of the legal community confronted with rule of law backsliding in many Member States of the European Union. In some States, (proposed) reforms of the systems of administration of justice gave rise to the litigation before European courts, whereas in others these developments have sparked debates about the need for reform and updating the existing arrangements with the view of ensuring the demands of the rule of law. These phenomena have led to the refinement and further development of existing standards of judicial independence, impartiality and accountability with a view to ensuring mutual trust among the Member States of the European Union. Both the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights have contributed to this process.
In the framework of TRIIAL project a group of researchers from a large number of jurisdictions across the European Union have worked to develop the collective knowledge on how standards of judicial independence, impartiality and accountability have been shaped on national and supra-national levels. They have contributed to a database collecting national and international materials on the topic, conducted interactive trainings and exchanges aiming at engaging the legal community in the collective reflection and development of the standards, and have created a set of tools that can be used to disseminate the knowledge of the standards and to train practitioners across the EU. This conference aims to present these results both in terms of the standards and the toolbox and to reflect over its uses in the future.
The event opens with the presentation of the TRIIAL toolbox: database, training materials, casebook and online learning platforms and continues to present the results of the research undertaken in the project. Representatives of the consortium will present the national reports. The second panel will examine the challenges the rule of law issues pose to mutual trust and mutual recognition, while the third panel will focus on the standard of judicial independence as developed in the recent case law as well as soft law. Panel IV will reflect on the applicability of the standards of independence to the special context of arbitration. The closing panel discussion will attempt to draw conclusions and look into the future. Each of the panels starts with a brief 10 min introduction of main findings of the research and continues with the discussion of the issues by panelists.