CEELI Launches New Judicial Tool

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The CEELI Institute is delighted to announce its newest judicial reference tool, The Addendum to the Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of the Judiciary: A Thematic Compilation of International and National Jurisprudence. This document will now join the original Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of the Judiciary: The Thematic Compilation of International Standards, Policies and Best Practices as an important reference tool for judges, legislators, government officials and legal scholars. Both documents are hosted on the CEELI Institute web site, where they are available for download.

The Addendum follows the same approach as the original Manual. Whereas the original Manual focused on international instruments relevant to issues of judicial independence, integrity, accountability and function, the Addendum references similarly relevant international jurisprudence. The working group judges continued their methodological approach of cataloging the jurisprudence according to well defined thematic areas. Like the Manual, the Addendum will provides an easy to use tool for judges, legislators, policy makers and legal professionals needing quick reference guidance on how particular relevant issues have been addressed by relevant international tribunals. Both reference documents are of particular use in researching substantive legal support for issues related to the status, work, rights, and responsibilities of judges. This first version of the Addendum has focused specifically on the CODICES of the Venice Commission, but future revisions will incorporate jurisprudence from other relevant international, European and national judicial institutions.

Both the Addendum and the original Manual provide effective solutions for national systems. The Manual, to date, has proved highly useful in societies still undergoing transitions, where the judiciaries are still struggling to assert and establish their full independence, where the laws relevant to the conduct of the judiciaries are still undergoing flux, and where the standards for conduct of the judiciary are not firmly established or clarified. We expect the Addendum to serve the same purpose.

The Addendum, like the Manual was produced by a working group of judges participating in the CEELI Institute’s Central and East European Judicial Exchange Network, a project now in its sixth year of operation. That Network is comprised of some of the best and brightest rising judges from eighteen countries in the region who have come together to share best practices on issues of judicial independence, integrity, accountability, and court management. The Addendum represents an extraordinary commitment of time and effort by the working group judges. They undertook extensive independent research and editing, coming together periodically at the Institute to coordinate and collaborate on their work. We are deeply indebted to them for their commitment, skill, and insight both in the conceptualization and actualization of this project.

This project has been made possible through the generous support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) at the U.S. Department of State.

CEELI Develops Tools for Judges

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manualThe CEELI Institute continues its work with its core working group of judges from across Central and Eastern Europe to revise, expand and edit the Institute’s Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of Justice. The Manual is a unique tool, representing a systematic survey of virtually all relevant international standards applicable to the function, performance and operation of the judiciary. It cross-references over 130 international conventions and other sources of public international law, organizing relevant sources according to thematic categories of interest and use to judges in their work. The tool is, in short, a map to the judicial profession and the international standards that underpin it. The Manual represents an extraordinary commitment of time and effort by the Working Group judges, who undertook extensive independent research and editing, and who continue to come together periodically at the Institute to coordinate and collaborate on their work. It is already being widely used and referenced in the region. It is particularly useful in societies still undergoing transitions, and where the judiciaries are still struggling to assert and establish their full independence. We are currently planning an appendix to the Manual, which will index additional relevant materials, including jurisprudence and judicial opinions from international fora such as the European Court of Human Rights.