European Network of Councils for the Judiciary

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The Council for the Judiciary monitors European trends and developments through its active involvement in the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ). The ENCJ provides a solid platform for knowledge exchange, as well as strengthening the positions of European judicial organisations in Brussels. Membership is open to all national institutions in the EU Member States, which operate independently of the legislative and executive branches of government, and which are ultimately responsible for supporting and ensuring the impartial and independent judicial branch. Click here for information on the members and observers of the ENCJ. The Council for the Judiciary was one of the initiators of the ENCJ and has been a member of the organisation’s Steering Committee since its establishment in 2004. The ENCJ is managed by a president and an executive board and also maintains a General Assembly, consisting of representatives of the members, which convenes annually.



The ENCJ's mission

The ENCJ is the central body connecting the European judicial organisations in the EU Member States and represents them in the EU. The organisation promotes independent, responsible adjudication and best practices in order to allow the judiciary to ensure timely and effective justice for all.


Objectives of the ENCJ

  • Strengthening long-term relationships with EU institutions.
  • Optimising the process of providing expertise and opinions to the legal sector.
  • Promoting independent Councils for the Judiciary.
  • Enabling the judiciary to ensure timely and effective justice for all.






In order to achieve the wider objectives, members of the ENCJ actively exchange knowledge and information regarding the organisation and procedures of the judiciary. For one, a large number of surveys are distributed within the ENCJ dealing with a wide variety of issues.

The Council’s International Cooperation Division is responsible for completing these surveys, in which it often consults with members of the judiciary.




They also make sure the objectives are achieved, by adopting an implementation plan for the coming year in the annual General Assembly. This plan typically presents four different projects for the members of the various working groups to tackle. Also for the purpose of these working groups, surveys are sent to the members of the ENCJ.

During the General Assembly in Sofia on 5-7 Juni 2013 the following reports of the 2012-2013 projects were adopted:

  1. Distillation of ENCJ Guidelines (pdf, 203 KB) (Marja van Kuijk represented the Council as a member of this working group).
  2. Judicial reform (pdf, 499.8 KB) (Frans van Dijk and Esther de Rooij represented the Council as members of this working group).
  3. Standards III (pdf, 254.4 KB) (representatives: Elske Amelsfort-van der Kam and Willem Korthals Altes).

In 2013-2014, the following projects will be launched:

  • Project 1: Independence of the Judiciary - developing tangible indicators for the structural independence of the judiciary – (in cooperation with the European Commission).
  • Project 2: Handbook - Principles of the ENCJ (This project is a continuation of last years’ project on Distillation of ENCJ Guidelines).
  • Project 3: Minimum Standards for Case Allocation and Recusal.

Read more about Themes & projects and reports from previous years.