Europeanisation and Eurinfra
The Eurinfra project was launched in 2000 with the objective of improving knowledge of European law within the Dutch Judiciary. The main objectives were to improve accessibility of the sources of information related to European law through web technology; improving knowledge of European law among Dutch judges, and supporting, establishing and maintaining a network of court coordinators specialising in European law (Gerechtscoördinatoren Europees Recht). For an overview of activities designed to promote a European focus within the Judiciary, please see our English brochure about the Eurinfra project (pdf, 301.2 KB).
The initial objectives of the Eurinfra project, in which CBB, Bistro (currently known as IVO Rechtspraak), SSR and the Council all collaborated, have since been achieved, but the project is still running, having been integrated into the Judiciary’s quality policy In order to promote professionalism and expertise, it is important to maintain a continuing focus on European and international law. The Council once again highlighted the importance of this in the Agenda of the Judiciary 2011-2014.
Exchange programmes, Mutual benefit
The general objective of the exchange programmes is to improve mutual insight, understanding and confidence in adjudication in the EU Member States. This confidence is important both in terms of the recognition between the countries of court rulings and decisions and in terms of promoting uniformity of law in the European Union. Particularly when it comes to recognition between the Member States, a basic trust in each other’s legal systems (organisation) is essential – a trust based on insight and understanding. In addition, maintaining trust in the adjudication of other countries will ultimately also make both the Judiciary and the parties involved more efficient. Finally, these types of exchange programmes encourage the parties involved to reflect on their own systems and organisation, thereby improving the quality of the Dutch legal system.
A number of Dutch courts have been actively involved in organising international activities, including in the form of long-term exchange programmes with courts based in EU Member States and beyond. Many Dutch judges regularly attend conferences and symposiums abroad, and promoting knowledge of European law is a key focus as well.
International judges’ networks
There are many different networks all over the world devoted to justice and adjudication (both dealing with legal and more practical issues), and we have seen the emergence of various ‘functional’ judges’ networks (focusing on competition law, environmental law, commercial law, immigration law, and juvenile and family law). The Council for the Judiciary is actively involved in the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (Encj.eu).
These networks can potentially play an important role in increasing knowledge, identifying and monitoring relevant trends and developments, and representing interests. Network members have the opportunity to discuss problems relating to the application of EU law, as well as to disseminate relevant court decisions. In association with the court boards, the Council for the Judiciary has taken it upon itself to promote the participation of Dutch judges in these networks. Against this background, it was decided that members of the Dutch judiciary should be given the opportunity to participate in European and/or international networks and/or conferences relevant to the Dutch judiciary.