How to gain trust in Councils of the Judiciary?

Published 7 September 2017

Judges hold negative opinions of Councils of the Judiciary, Pablo José Castillo Ortiz, Lecturer in Law, University of Sheffield UK, argues in the latest issue of The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law. The lack of trust is the result of the interaction between institutional, political and socio-legal conditions: the range of powers of the Councils, their control by political elites and interest groups, and the degree of judicial corruption.

Councils of the Judiciary have spread in Europe under the assumption that they contribute to a central aspect of the Rule of Law: the independence of courts and judges under their authority. However, a recent survey of the European Network of Councils of the Judiciary showed that, in some countries, there are significant groups of judges that perceive their Judicial Council as disrespectful of their autonomy. While in countries such as Denmark or Belgium judicial distrust of the Council seems to be anecdotal, in other countries such as Spain a striking 36 per cent of respondent judges had such negative views of the institution.

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Cultivation of trust
T.M.C. Asser Instituut carries out research on developments in international and European law and its potential for serving the cultivation of trust and respect in the global, regional, national and local societies in which the law operates.

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