Conference of the Heads of the Supreme Courts of the EU Member States

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As part of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, the conference of the heads of the supreme courts of the Member States of the European Union was held on February 21, 2022 in Paris, organized jointly by the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Council and the Council of State.

Broadcast - Conference of Presidents of Supreme Courts of Member States of the European Union : Opening plenary session (10h15 - 11h15)

Broadcast - Conference of Presidents of Supreme Courts of Member States of the European Union : Closing plenary session (17h - 18h40)


This conference was dedicated to the question of the role that judges are called upon to play, in Europe, in consolidating the rule of law.

Around 100 participants attended, representing 24 European Union Member States and 48 Supreme Courts.

Ms. Chantal Arens, First President of the Court of Cassation, Mr. François Molins, General Prosecutor at the said Court, Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council, Mr. Didier-Roland Tabuteau, Vice-President of the Council of State, Mr. Koen Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union and Mr. Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights opened this day of discussions at the Court of Cassation, with an introductory plenary session.

Three workshops were then held simultaneously at the three high courts.

New challenges

At the Constitutional Council, the workshop on the theme: "Courts faced with new public health, technological and environmental challenges" was an opportunity to bring to light, through dialogue and exchange of experiences, common questions and differences in approach. What expertise can the judge rely on? How to take into account the spatial and temporal dimensions of health, technological and environmental phenomena? What role should judges play in settling the new questions raised by these issues? These are some of the issues addressed during the workshop.

The relationship to time

Taking the time to judge properly but also knowing how to judge in a timely manner; being able to deal with urgency while managing to place his mission in a long-term perspective... What is the judge's relationship with time? Such a question was put at the center of the workshop entitled: "The judge and time: judge of the moment and judge of the long term" at the Council of State.

The articulation of standards

The workshop of the Court of Cassation focused on "The protection of fundamental rights: the challenges of the articulation of national law and European laws".

National judges are one of the keystones of the European system of guarantees of fundamental rights. It is up to them, on the one hand, to ensure the effective respect of these rights enshrined in national constitutional texts, and on the other hand, in application of the principle of subsidiarity, to exercise their office as ordinary judges of the law of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. If, in Europe, normative pluralism tends to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights, it is also a factor of legal complexity and carries within itself the seed of a fragmentation of the law.

This workshop will have shed additional light on the overlapping mechanisms that exist between national laws and European standards.

At the end of these workshops, Mr. Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, and Mr. Eric Dupond-Moretti, Minister of Justice, closed the conference.

To know more :
> Workshop note - Court of cassation
> Workshop note - Constitutionnal council
> Workshop note - Council of state
> Program

Key figures :
24 European Union Member States represented
42 Supreme Courts represented
2 European courts represented: the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Right


Copyright : Court of Cassation