Brijuni Statement on Judicial Independence

The CEELI Institute has been honored to support the work of the Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe since its inception in 2011, which was preceded by two Judicial Integrity Roundtables held at the Institute in 2007 and 2010. The Conference itself was formally launched in Prague, at the CEELI Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of State, and with the commitment of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who attended the first Conference, and Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Conference is now a self-sustaining body that meets annually in one of the countries represented, and provides the opportunity for Chief Justices to discuss common challenges, share ideas and work towards solutions. The CEELI Institute continues to provide guidance and expertise to the Conference through the efforts of CEELI Institute Board member, Judge John M. Walker, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Walker also enlisted the support of Judge J. Clifford Wallace, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, whose extensive experience includes establishing a similar conference for the countries of Asia and the Pacific. Both judges, who are active in rule-of-law development, have an on-going role in supporting and advising the Conference on behalf of the Institute.

The CEELI Institute is gratified to be able to support the publication and distribution of the Brijuni Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary – a landmark contribution by the Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe to the promotion of judicial independence and integrity under the rule of law. The Brijuni Statement will now join the Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary, a similar effort undertaken by the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific, in 1995.

The Brijuni Principles set forth clear objectives and goals for every judiciary to achieve, and will serve to inspire individual judges of the importance of his or her work. The Principles also set benchmarks for the relations between the Judiciary and the Legislative and Executive branches, as well as between the Judiciary and the media. More broadly the Principles serve to educate national governing bodies and the society as a whole on the role of the Judiciary and on the critical nature of judicial independence in fulfilling that role. The Principles will, in these ways, contribute to building public respect for the Judiciary and its judges and provide foundational support for continued rule of law development.

Christopher Lehmann
Executive Director
The CEELI Institute

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