Bilateral cooperation

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Priority Country Policy

The Council for the Judiciary often receives requests for cooperation from other countries. In order to use its limited capacity as effectively as possible, the Council has developed a Priority Country Policy. The priority countries, with which we are working on building long-term relationships, which includes using experts for projects and promoting exchange programmes, are Romania, Suriname and Turkey. We have also designated a number of ‘focal countries’, with which we work together at a less ambitious level. This group includes the potential EU Member States and Candidate Member States, along with Indonesia and Morocco. For all other countries, we only give a standard presentation about the Judiciary, and in some cases organise a court visit.




Launched by the European Commission in 1998, Twinning is one of the European Union’s main Institution Building programmes. The programme is designed to assist and support the beneficiary countries (Candidate and Potential EU Member States) in developing a modern and efficient government, so as to allow them to implement European Community Law (acquis communautaire). As part of the Twinning programme, national experts in the Member States work closely with their peers in the beneficiary country in order to implement the necessary reforms.

The Council for the Judiciary is currently involved in a Twinning project headed by Germany related to ‘the Judiciary and the Media’ in Turkey. After a series of study trips to the Netherlands, judges will be trained in Turkey later this year on the role of the media and appropriate conduct.




Beside the EU Twinning projects, the Council also contributes to international projects by searching for and providing experts within the Judiciary who give training courses and seminars and advise on legislative issues. As part of these efforts, the Council is working closely with the Ministries of Security and Justice and Foreign Affairs, as well as with organisations that are independently involved in developing the rule of law in other parts of the world, including the Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC).



Study visits

The Council regularly welcomes international delegations on study visits. These groups are often part of existing partnerships such as Twinning, training courses or other international projects, while the Council also receives many requests on an occasional basis. The Council consults with other organisations involved in order to assess whether the request can be honoured and determine what might be a suitable programme.

If you would like to make a request for a visit to the Council, please download this form (pdf, 621.8 KB) and send it to