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Webinar: Where are we now and where are we going? The future of the European Court of Justice and other European courts

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Webinar: Where are we now and where are we going? The future of the European Court of Justice and other European courts

The fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has created an extraordinary opportunity to raise democratic societies in that part of the world. However, since the 2008 economic crisis and throughout the ongoing pandemic, Europe has seen a rise of populist movements, which depart from governing by “the rule of law” in favour of the “rule by law”. During our final seminar in the “Spring with the Rule of Law in CEE” series, a panel of distinguished guests, including Professor Anneli Albi, Professor András Sajó, Professor Joseph Weiler, and Professor Ineta Ziemele, will talk about case law and to what extent it is generally applicable.

March 4, 2022
14:00 CET (UTC+1)
online

To what extent is the case law generally applicable?

The goal of the final seminar is to summarize the recent achievements of the “Spring of with the Rule of Law” project (including the events which took place between April 2021 and the final seminar). The discussion about the future of the European judicial institutions, with a particular reference to the European Court of Justice, seems essential. During the previous meetings, we discussed the practical meaning of the rule of law concept, the scope of activity of the European Court of Human Rights, and controversies surrounding judicial independence in Europe. The conclusions from these discussions indicate that the implementation of the decisions issued by the European Courts depends on the political will of the member states. Lack of such will usually is manifested by a tendency to ignore these decisions, in particular when the decisions may, on the one hand, impact internal politics of a member state, and on the other hand, when European institutions are forced to make political calculations of gains and losses. All of these elements require a more profound reflection by academics and judges.

During this webinar, the main question we will pose to the panel is: To what extent the case law is generally applicable? In other words: can we formulate a universal standard of the rule of law that would be applicable in Europe, or should we focus close attention on the local context, and protect essential values. This question is more than justified in the face of widespread populism and the crisis the European project is facing.

The panel discussion will be hosted by Professor Adam Bodnar, former Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, and Dean of the Faculty of Law in Warsaw, at SWPS University.

About the series

The webinar series “Spring with the Rule of Law in CEE” is organised by Riga Graduate School of Law and SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. The series aims to raise the awareness of participants about the fundamental concepts of the rule of law system, its Central and Eastern European specifics and the traps that await society during the creation of a fully democratic political community.

Participants have an opportunity to attend meetings and discussions with acclaimed experts who have spent their time on in-depth research of the rule of law, Central and Eastern Europe, and the legal practices strengthening these ideals.

This is the final webinar in the “Spring with the Rule of Law in CEE” series. The 4-part series has been running since April 2021.

Review the series:

  1. Webinar: The Ideal of the Rule of Law and Why it Matters
  2. Webinar: Clarities and Unclarities About Fundamental Notion of Justice
  3. Webinar: The Court of Justice to the rescue of the rule of law 

Panelists

Andreas Sajo 300
András Sajó
 

is a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (2009-17). He is a University Professor at the Central European University (CEU). Professor Sajó was the founding dean of Legal Studies at CEU. In addition to his stature as a prominent constitutionalist, he is also a distinguished scholar in the human rights field, including media regulation. Professor Sajó has been extensively involved in legal drafting throughout Eastern Europe. In addition, he participated and/or advised in drafting the Ukrainian, Georgian, and South African constitutions. He served as Counsel to the President of the Republic of Hungary (1991-1992) and chaired the Media Codification Committee of the Hungarian Government (1994). He is a member of the American Law Institute (1997) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1995). Full bio

Joseph Weiler
Joseph Weiler
 

is University Professor at NYU Law School and Senior Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard. He served previously as President of the European University Institute, Florence. Prof. Weiler is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL) and the International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON).

Anneli Albi 300
 
Anneli Albi

is Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law and European Law at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK). She obtained her doctorate from the European University Institute in Florence (2003) and her law degree from the University of Tartu in Estonia. Prof. Albi has co-edited the key two-volume reference book National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law (Springer&Asser Press, 2019, open access at https://www.springer.com/us/book/9789462652729). On the basis of the twenty-nine national reports in the book, Prof. Albi is currently completing a major comparative monograph, which identifies three broader constitutional traditions in Europe and explores how substantive comparative European constitutional law has been changed by autonomous EU and global law and governance. The book also explores structural issues in the discourse on EU and national constitutions, on the basis of literature on the epistemology of EU law. Amongst a variety of consultancy, Professor Albi has been an invited expert at a European Parliament hearing on the Future of Europe, and has served for several years as an expert to the European Commission’s Gender Equality Network. More information

avatar female
 
Ineta Ziemele

holds a Law degree from the University of Latvia. She completed her postgraduate studies of the American legal system, the law and politics of the European Communities and political science at the University of Aarhus, in Denmark. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Law at the University of Lund, in Sweden and a Doctor of Law degree at the University of Cambridge. She was a parliamentary assistant at the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia (1990-1992) and a consultant to the Foreign Affairs committee of the Republic of Latvia (1992-1995). Additionally, Ms. Over the course of her career, Professor Ziemele has held numerous positions, including university assistant in the Legal and Political Theory Department and the International Law and Law of the Sea Department; subsequently a lecturer in the International Law and European Law; founder and director of the Human Rights Institute, University of Latvia (1993-1999); Advisor to the Prime Minister of Latvia (1995); Advisor to the Human Rights Directorate General of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France (1999-2001); 'Söderberg' Professor, visiting professor and subsequently International Law and Human Rights Law professor, Riga Graduate School of Law, Latvia (since 2001); visiting professor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, University of Lund (2001-2005); Judge and President of Chamber at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (2005-2014); corresponding Member of the Academy of Science of Latvia (since 2017); author of numerous publications in the field of public international and national law; founder and member of the editorial board of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law; Judge at the Constituti onal Court of the Republic of Latvia (2015-2020); President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia (2017-2020); and a Judge at the Court of Justice since October 2020.

Panel Host

300 adam bodnar
Adam Bodnar
Ph.D. / Associate Professor;

is a lawyer specializing in constitutional law and human rights and Dean of the Faculty of Law in Warsaw at SWPS University. He has held the position of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland since September 2015. He is also a former Vice-President of the Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights (2010-2015). Throughout his career, he has been working with many NGOs, including Panoptykon Foundation (Chair of the Foundation Council), ClientEarth Poland (member of the Program Council), Professor Zbigniew Hołda Association (co-founder and member of the board). Additionally, he was a member of the Civic Legislation Forum operating at the Batory Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (2014 - 2015).

Prof. Bodnar is an author and co-author of numerous scientific publications, in particular on the topic of human rights. His doctoral theses A multilayer citizenship in the European constitutional space received a special prize in a competition organized by Przegląd Sejmowy (Sejm Overview), a bi-monthly publication of the Polish Parliament (Sejm). Professor Bodnar obtained his post-doctoral degree (habilitacja) at the University of Warsaw in 2019. His post-doctoral dissertation was published as Wykonywanie orzeczeń Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka w Polsce. Wymiar instytucjonalny (Implementation of Judgements of the European Tribunal for Human Rights in Poland. Institutional Dimension), (Wolters Kluwer).

Partners

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Contact

SWPS University: Filip Cyuńczyk
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RGSL: Ieva Racenaja
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