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Safeguarding the Rule of Law in Europe - The importance of an independent judiciary

The Member States of the European Union have committed themselves in the EU Treaties to the rule of law and democracy. However, in many places, authoritarian political movements, which seek to undermine rule-of-law institutions and procedures and call into question the tripartite division of power and the obligation to respect fundamental and human rights, are growing in strength.

Hence, the independence of the judiciary is under attack. Why is the independence of the judiciary of central importance and who protects it? What is the role of European courts in this field? What will be the impact of the recent ECB judgement of the German Federal Constitutional Court on the cooperation of courts in Europe? In face of the current challenges, how can the protection of the rule of law and human rights in Europe be ensured and extended? How should European institutions, in particular the European Commission as the guardian of the EU Treaties, operate in the upcoming months? And finally, what role should be taken by Germany in the context of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union to start in July 2020?

We would like to discuss these questions across the borders during an online conference on 25 June from 10 am to 1pm.

 

Current challenges for the rule of law

10:00    Opening of the event

Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director of the German Institute for Human Rights

Maciej Taborowski, Ph.D. habil., Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland

10:10    Input

Andreas Bovenschulte, Ph.D., Mayor of Bremen (a partner city of Gdańsk)

Aleksandra Maria Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk (a partner city of Bremen)

No rule of law without an independent judiciary

10:25     Key Notes: The Importance of Judicial Independence

Prof. Małgorzata Gersdorf, Ph.D. habil., former First President of the Polish Supreme Court

Ulrich Maidowski, Ph.D., Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court

10:45    Debate: The attack on the independence of judges in Poland

Prof. Włodzimierz Wróbel, Ph.D. habil., Judge of the Polish Supreme Court

Prof. Angelika Nußberger, Ph.D., Member of the Venice Commission; former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights; Judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Moderator: Prof. Armin von Bogdandy, Ph.D., Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Representative of the audience, asking questions on their behalf: Grażyna Baranowska, Ph.D., Human Rights Centre, Poznań

11:40     Break

Ensuring the rule of law in Europe

11:50     Key Note: How can the EU ensure the rule of law and judicial independence of the judiciary in its Member States?

Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice

12:00    Debate: How can Germany contribute to the protection of the rule of law in Europe during its presidency of the EU Council

Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice

Irina Speck, Head of EU Policy and Strategy / European Directorate-General at the German Federal Foreign Office

Adam Bodnar, Ph.D. habil., Prof. of the University of Warsaw, Polish Commissioner for Human Rights

Magdalena Adamowicz, Ph.D., Member of the European Parliament

Prof. Beate Rudolf, Ph.D., Director of the German Institute for Human Rights

Moderator: Maximilian Steinbeis, Verfassungsblog (a blog on constitutional law)

Representative of the audience, asking questions on their behalf: Grażyna Baranowska, Ph.D., Human Rights Centre, Poznań

13:15    Closing of the event

Download Programme (PDF, 177 KB, not barrier-free)


Livestream:
The conference will be broadcast in German, Polish and English via livestream: www.institut-fuer-menschenrechte.de/livestream.
You can directly participate with your questions.

We twitter live about the event: #RuleOfLaw #EU2020DE

Registration:
Please use our registration form.

Contact:
Ute Sonnenberg
Zimmerstraße 26/27 | 10969 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 259 359-453
sonnenberg(at)institut-fuer-menschenrechte.de