MEDELOn the 30th anniversary of MEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés - Solidarity, Dignity, Justice

In June 1985, a group of European magistrates  - judges and prosecutors - founded MEDEL - Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, based on the strong belief that a united Europe could not be limited to free markets, but had to be based on fundamental rights and the Rule of Law in democratic societies.

Thirty years later, Europe has changed in ways that were then hardly imaginable – totalitarian regimes have fallen, democracy spread, borders opened and several new Member States joined the European Union.

AppealAppeal - Democracy requires independent courts, judges and prosecutors

(An independent and active justice is essential to the development of awareness about the social relevance of the fundamental rights)

In a democracy, all citizens must hold the principle that rulers and the ruled are equally subject to respect objectives rights and duties enshrined in Constitutions, Treaties and Charters of Fundamental Rights. The defence of a truly national and European citizenship therefore takes on two key dimensions: a normative guarantee of rights and an effective implementation.

National constitutions, bills of rights and the European treaties have granted to the courts - all courts - a right and a duty not to enforce unconstitutional laws or laws which contravene the fundamental rights therein enshrined.

MEDELMEDEL is calling on all public authorities and media in Turkey to cease attacks against the Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç

Medel is following closely the discussions on the judicial reform bill currently before the Turkish Grand National Assembly. MEDEL would like to stress that an independent and impartial judiciary, based on a clear separation of powers and in line with European standards, is key for a democratic system of checks and balances.

We call on the Government and Parliament of Turkey to anchor any reform of the Judiciary to the criteria of the Venice Commission, particularly to respect the role of the Constitutional Court and to abide the decisions of the Constitutional Court.

Assises de la JusticeA delegation of MEDEL, among others including its president António Cluny (Portugal) and Hans-Ernst Boettcher (Germany) (photo) participated in the two day conference "Assises de la Justice", organized by the European Commission.

It was a gathering of judges, lawyers, scholars and (EU) policy makers to collect ideas on how to achieve a true European area of justice and meet the expectations of the citizens.

The written contribution of MEDEL can be found here.

RougeMontesquieu had explained just how important separation of powers is for democracy and the guarantee of freedom. How far has Europe come in its observance of this democratic principal as its core value?

The independence of justice, the quintessential principle of democracy, is today threatened in many European countries, both externally and internally, as the result of lack of effective protection of its independence, despite the proclamation of the ruling principle.

MEDEL, the organization of European magistrates, which since its foundation in 1985 has been concerned with the effectiveness of independence of justice, could not remain silent in the face of such an alarming observation and used the commemoration of the assassination of Judge Falcone as an opportunity to initiate this unprecedented event.

Audit Serbie conferenceThe audit on Serbian judiciary was issued June 29th 2012 in Belgrade.

The judiciary system established as a result of the reforms implemented since 2009 with the brutal dismissal of a significant number of judges and prosecutors does not under any circumstances respond to the requests of an independent, impartial judiciary that serves its citizens.

Thus the fact arises that the judiciary reform process needs to be revised and re-implemented in line with different modalities, with the priority request being to resolve the issues of judges and prosecutors which have been "relieved of their judicial functions" without respect for the most fundamental principles. A need also arises for a comprehensive programme of continuous education for judges and prosecutors facing wide scale changes at the level of the whole Serbian judiciary.

MEDELOpen letter to Spanish judiciary authorities

As jurists, lawyers, judges, academics and human rights defenders of different nationalities signing below, we are writing to you in order to express our perplexity regarding the decision on 3 February 2010 of the Investigative Judge of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court in the special case Nº: 20048/2009.

The judge decided to continue the judicial investigation against Justice Baltasar Garzón, allegedly responsible of the offence of judicial prevarication.

The criminal complaint was filed against Justice Garzón for trying to fulfill the obligation of the Spanish State to investigate crimes against humanity committed during Franco’s dictatorship, in particular enforced disappearances. He is allegedly responsible of disregarding the 1977 Amnesty Law, of violating the principle of non retroactivity of criminal law and the principle of legality and prescription of criminal action.

Palais justice BelgradeIn order to eliminate the major unconstitutionalities and encourage the indispensable public debate on the set of draft judiciary laws, the Judges' Association of Serbia held a round table entitled "Judiciary Laws" on 8 November 2008, which was attended by eminent experts - law college professors and judges and representatives of international organisations and associations. After analysing the degree in which the draft laws are harmonised with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and international standards, the participants adopted the following conclusions:

1. The transitional and final provisions of the Act on Judges and Act on the High Judicial Council allow for the politicisation of the judiciary and impermissible political influence by prescribing the so-called general re-election of judges, in contravention of the explicit constitutional provisions, and by establishing procedures varying from those envisaged by the main provisions of those very laws - procedures related to the nomination of the members of the first High Judicial Council from amongst the ranks of judges and the determination of the necessary number of judges by the first High Judicial Council (with the prior consent of the Minister of Justice).

Strengthen the Judiciary's Independence in EuropeConference "Judicial independance in Europe, models of self government and self responsability" 

Frankfurt am Main, 7 - 8th november 2008.

The conference program

Papers :

Following European trends, challenges and choices (Eric Alt) : There is no unique model, but choices need to be made to develop mutual confidence and efficiency. We have to invent new scales of justice, so that a German judge or prosecutor asking his French or Italian counterpart for some investigations can be sure that the work is done fairly and in good time. This depends on a whole system, but the guarantees of independence are an important part of this system.

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