Towards a common European justice

"FIDE echoes the Proposal for a Directive that establishes a Statute for Judges of the European Union, published by the AJFV and that will be the subject of debate in a session of Fide which will take place on April 19"

The importance of the independence of the judges of the member states of the European Union has led several judges belonging to the Association of Judges Francisco de Vitoria to prepare a letter that has led to a session organized FIDE next April 19.

The European Union is founded on the essential values ​​of respect for human dignity and rights, freedom, democracy, equality, legal certainty, justice and the rule of law. All these values, principles and rights are guaranteed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter, CJEU) in its work of ensuring the proper application and interpretation of the Law that the Member States have been carrying out through their respective jurisdictional bodies. . It is up to the Member States to establish the necessary remedies to guarantee effective judicial protection in the areas covered by Union law. To this it should be added that, within the Community sphere, the preservation and effectiveness of the area of ​​freedom, security and justice without internal borders constitutes a primary objective.

Thus, the European Union offers its citizens a place where the free movement of people and the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Charter are guaranteed, all subject to the rule of law, which, ultimately and in all caso, requires independent judges in its Member States. Finally, we must not forget that the judges of the Member States are judges of the European Union who guarantee effective judicial protection in the areas covered by Union Law, carrying out the imperative and decentralized application of EU Law to through prosecution, the filing of preliminary rulings before the CJEU and the EU judicial cooperation mechanisms. However, and unlike the judges that are members of the CJEU, the national judges of the EU Member States lack a common statute that, in their capacity as judges of the European Union, guarantees them the minimum standards of independence necessary to preserve the application of Union Law within the framework of the rules of the Rule of Law.

Although, in general, the fundamental principles and basic guarantees of the separation of powers and the independence of the Judiciary are enshrined in the constitutional texts of the Member States - or form part of their constitutional traditions - it has been verified in recent years how in some Member States those principles and guarantees have been subjected to significant tensions. The European Commission has identified these challenges in its annual Reports on the Rule of Law in the Union and in each of its Member States. The European Union has put in place different mechanisms aimed at strengthening the Rule of Law in all Member States and the The jurisprudence of the CJEU has been highlighting the importance of respecting certain essential rules for the preservation of the independence, impartiality and tenure of judges, as an essential guarantee of the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the Union. A working group made up of judges who are members of the AJFV has prepared a document that sets out some guidelines on the establishment of a common minimum required throughout the European Union to ensure the independence, impartiality and tenure of its judges. With this, they intend to encourage reflection on the need to explore ways to strengthen the independence of the Union's judges, at a historical moment in which, in some Member States, the Judiciary is facing difficult challenges.

Once the document has been prepared, the AJFV considers it essential to disseminate it and make it known to civil society. In doing so, a triple objective is pursued:

  1. Transfer the relevance of preserving judicial independence due to the undesirable consequences that its absence could entail.
  2. Articulate from the community institutions mechanisms that ward off the risk that that independence could be diminished in the more or less near future.
  3. Open the possibility that other groups – also involved in achieving an objective of effective judicial protection – make contributions that can improve the proposal of reference guidelines.

If you want to attend the session, or find out more about it, visit our website.

Proposal for a Directive establishing a Statute for Judges of the European Union

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