e-News 2017/2



Dear readers,

For most of us the summer holidays bring moments of relaxation in the company of family and friends. This relatively calm time of the year also enables us to look back at the first half of 2017 and more in particular for me personally on the first half of the Dutch presidency of ACA-Europe.

Our meeting in The Hague over two months ago was according to some of you indeed a momentous one. The speech of EU commissioner Timmermans on better regulation inspired many of us. The entire text will be published on the ACA-Europe website soon, so for now just two important quotes:

“… judicial authorities have a role to play in identifying systemic failure of legislation that can only be fixed by new legislation. (…) Although there is no mechanism in the EU equivalent to those existing in Member States, where judges from the supreme courts are in contact with the executive branch, I believe in using courts' expertise, both on feedback on how EU law is implemented, and as pre-drafting advice.(…)”

“As you know, the particularity of European law is that we can in fact benefit from the feedback of all judges who apply it, which has to include national ones (…).”

During our gathering I concluded that we should pursue the discussion on better regulation – and our possible contributions to it – and a number of ACA members were interested in continuing the discussions on this topic in the near future. In its meeting in Krakow in September the board will discuss further proposals.

I am also looking forward to attending the expert meeting in Krakow mid-September on public order, national security and the rights of the third-country nationals in immigration and citizenship cases. We only have to open the newspaper to see how relevant this topic is to all of us in Europe today.

In view of the current discussion in Poland on the independence of the judiciary I think the venue of our next meeting in Krakow is particularly opportune. It stresses that the Polish judiciary is an integral part of the wider European judicial culture. It is also an expression of support for the Polish courts in their struggle to preserve the constitutionally enshrined independence of the Polish judiciary.

Having said that I hope you all had a truly inspiring summer!

Piet Hein Donner
President of ACA-Europe,
Vice President of the Council of State of the Netherlands


On 15 May 2017 an ACA seminar was held in The Hague on the topic of Better Regulation. The seminar was organized by the Council of State of the Netherlands and was held in the Knight’s Hall (Ridderzaal) situated in the historical Inner Court (Binnenhof). The Knight’s Hall plays an important role in the Dutch political landscape. Every third Tuesday in September, the King addresses the plenary meeting of the Lower House of Parliament and the Senate and delivers the King’s Speech (troonrede) on behalf of the Dutch government reflecting on the past year’s developments and the government’s policy and legislative plans for the coming year. As the historic Inner Court also provides accommodation for the office of the prime minister and the General Affairs ministry, the ACA members were invited to a reception by Prime Minister Mark Rutte himself at the end of the day.



These decisions have been selected for you:


Judgment of Raad van State (Netherlands) of May 10th, 2017 on the civic integration exam requirement for residence permit based on family reunification.


Judgment of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Germany) of June 1st, 2017 on the EU-law conformity of an obligation incumbent upon a transport company to perform identity checks on passengers traveling within the Schengen area.

The Netherlands

Judgment of Raad van State (Netherlands) of April 19th, 2017 on the loss of Dutch nationality by operation of law (as this implies the loss of EU-citizenship).


Judgment of the Lietuvos vyriausiasis administracinis teismas (Lithuania) of May 8, 2017 regarding the compensation of pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses incurred by a tourist through the insolvency of a tour operator.

Remember, the Jurifast RSS feed can be obtained at the following address: (possibility to subscribe to an RSS feed).


The forum of ACA-Europe presently has 212 members from 37 institutions.

Since the last e-news, 4 new collective questions have been asked and 11 countries actively participated by providing 25 responses: Germany, Austria, Estonia, France, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Czech Republic.

The following subjects have been recently discussed by the Council of State of France and the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland:

  • Appeal against a refusal to access special permit (8 responses)
  • Requirements for the candidate for the judge (7 responses)
  • Question regarding Article 46(3) of Directive 2013/32/EU (6 responses)
  • Concept 'safe third country' art. 38(1)(e) Dir. 2013/32/EU (4 responses)

Access to the forum is reserved for the members of ACA-Europe, who can register for it at the following address:

Tour of Europe

The Tour of Europe provides an analysis, in 76 points, on how the administrative justice system is organized in the different Member States of the European Union and Turkey.

The updates on the Council of State of the Netherlands and the German Federal administrative Court are now available on our website.

Subsequent changes to the update are also welcome and should be reported to the General Secretariat at the address below.

Members who have not updated their situation since 2009 are invited to do so by contacting ACA-Europe at the following contact address:

Judge Exchange

As every year, ACA-Europe has the opportunity to allow 12 judges from its member institutions to complete a 12-day work placement at any other institution among them. These traineeships are concluded with a report written in French or English and translated within the limits of the available budget.

The 2017 procedure follows its course, the first exchanges have already taken place.

Contact address:

Members' News

Denmark - Supreme Court – February 2017

Thomas Rørdam


LLM, Aarhus University, Denmark, 1976
LLM, University of California at Berkeley, USA, 1977

Thomas Rørdam started his professional career as Principal at the Ministry of Justice, dealing with matters of personal, family and succession law as well as preparing legislation. In 1980 he was posted to the Ringsted Police Service as assistant prosecutor for 18 months. He also served as an assistant prosecutor to the Public Prosecutor for Zealand for two and a half years from 1982-1985.

Until he was appointed justice of the Supreme Court on 1 June 2002, he acted as partner in the law firm Advokatfirma Nyborg & Rørdam at Copenhagen. Admission to practise as a public defence counsel with the right to plead legal aid cases in 1990 and entitled to plead before the Supreme Court in 1991. He worked mainly as a trial lawyer, spending about two-thirds of his time defending criminal cases and the rest on cases dealing with employment, property and public law. In addition to trial work, he counselled musicians on copyright issues.

Mr Rørdam was a valued member of several professional bodies related to the field of law. Currently, he’s acting member of the board of several cultural institutions. On the international level, he has taken part in several missions all over the world, mostly teaching judges, attorneys, prosecutors and parliamentarians.

Lithuania – Supreme Administrative Court – 28 April 2017

Gintaras Kryževičius

Gintaras Kryževičius graduated from the Law faculty within the Vilnius University in 1985. He started his judicial career at the Vilnius City 3rd District Court. After several years of being judge at the Supreme Court and holding President’s office of the institution, he was appointed President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania on April 28th 2017.

Mr Kryževičius can rely on over 30 years of professional experience in constitutional, substantive civil, administrative and criminal law, procedural law and legal reforms area. He is also familiar with decision making and policy formation processes and has experience in the field of planning and managing law drafting processes, drafting amendments of laws. He has a deep understanding of EU integration policies and EU national, regional and thematic cooperation programmes as they relate to ENI East countries.

He is a valued member of several professional bodies related to the administration of Justice. Over the years, he authored numerous academic publications and reports in national and international conferences.

“Participation in the ACA-Europe platform for the purpose of sharing existing proficiency foremost represents the common care for the future of administrative justice in Europe.”

Ireland – Supreme Court – 28 July 2017

Frank Clarke

Mr Justice Frank Clarke was appointed the 12th Chief Justice of Ireland on the 28th July, 2017, by the President of Ireland, His Excellency Mr Michael D. Higgins.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke was born in Walkinstown, Dublin in October, 1951. He was educated at Drimnagh Castle CBS and University College Dublin where he was awarded a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics (1972).

Having completed his legal studies at King's Inns he was called to the Bar in 1973, and to the Inner Bar in 1985. He practiced mainly in the commercial and public law fields (including constitutional law). While at the Bar Mr Justice Clarke served for many years on the Bar Council including a term of two years (1993-1995) as its Chair. He also served as Chair of the Council of King's Inns from 1999 until 2004. Mr Justice Clarke has been a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the King's Inns since 1994. He is an (honorary) member of multiple Bar Associations. He was member of the Council of the International Bar Association, and served as Co-Chair of the Forum for Barristers and Advocates, the international representative body for the independent referral bars.

Mr Justice Clarke was appointed a judge of the High Court in November 2004. He was mainly assigned to the Commercial list of the High Court. While a judge of the High Court, he was chairman of the Referendum Commission on the 28th Amendment of the Constitution (Lisbon Treaty II) in 2009.

Mr Justice Clarke was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in March, 2012.

Since 2013, he has been a representative of the Supreme Court on the Association of Supreme Administrative Courts of the European Union.

In the academic field, he was a professor at King's Inns from 1978 to 1985 and has been Judge in Residence at Griffith College Dublin from 2010 to date. He was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Law School in Trinity College, Dublin in September 2012, and Adjunct Professor of University College Cork in 2013.

“Having been the contact person for ACA on behalf of the Supreme Court of Ireland for a number of years I am anxious, as Chief Justice, to enhance our participation in ACA. As the largest common law jurisdiction post-Brexit, I consider that our role will be particularly important, and very much welcome the decision to hold an ACA seminar in Dublin in March, 2019. I look forward very much to welcoming ACA to our Court on that occasion.”

On the eve of his retirement - Mr Yves Kreins’s interview

Mr Yves Kreins, who, in his capacity of Secretary-General, has been the driving force of ACA-Europe for 13 years, ends his term as First President of the Council of State of Belgium on 1st September 2017. Undoubtedly, a good opportunity to take a look back and see how far we have come.

Since when have you been associated with ACA-Europe?

The 26th Conference that the Council of State of Netherlands will organise in 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the collaboration between the Administrative supreme courts of the European Union. In fact, on the initiative of the Council of State of Italy, the first of the conferences took place, in Rome from 4 to 6 March 1968, bringing together the supreme administrative courts of the “Common market” of the time, i.e. the Councils of State of Italy, France and Benelux as well as the Federal Administrative Court of Germany. Thirty year later, in the wings of the 16th Conference that was held in Stockholm from 14 to 17 June 1998, the participants decided, on the proposal of the Council of State of Belgium, that, considering their increase in number, it would be useful to give these meetings a more formal structure, by creating an association that would not only allow to ensure its longevity, but also plan other activities, as well as avail of financial aid in the future from the European Commission. I have been working for the Association from this time, when I was part of a task force in charge of drafting the statutes of the Association. The “ACA-Europe” acronym didn’t exist then. It came about later during the Presidency of Luxembourg of the Association. It was created by Georges Ravarani, who was then the President of the Administrative court of Luxembourg and is now the Judge at the European Court of Human Rights.

Which is your oldest memory in the context of international relations?

My participation in the 11th Conference that was held in 1988 in Lisbon as a Belgian Rapporteur. I was a young auditor at the Council of State of Belgium and, it just so happened that it was then that I met a young French colleague called Martine de Boisdeffre who was the Associate Councillor then and is now the President of the Report Section at the Council of State of France.

What do you think is the most important role of ACA-Europe?

The European Union is essentially a common legal space. The treaties established the mechanism of the preliminary ruling, which is a vertical dialogue between the national judge and the international judge, to ensure the uniform application of the Community rules. However, it would lead to an irreversible overloading of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) if this was the only way for a national judge to know the exact interpretation of the Union’s texts. Thus, this institutional vertical dialogue needed to be complemented by more informal communication between the CJEU and the National courts, but more importantly by a horizontal dialogue, which is especially important, between the national judges, because it allows them to better understand the Community law through its application by foreign courts. This is where ACA-Europe comes in. Thanks to the involvement of its members, and especially the Courts who have managed its Presidency, our Association has successfully executed this mission, to the extent that the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights have decided to set up a Network that is, for the most part, inspired by the experience and instruments put in place by ACA- Europe.

What according to you is the greatest asset of ACA-Europe?

Jean Monet said: “We do not create coalitions between states, we unite men". Beyond the in-depth study of legal knowledge, our Association enables developing direct contacts between judges. Over the years, these contacts are often transformed into actual friendships. It is this friendship between our members that is the secret of ACA-Europe’s success since the very beginning. It is thanks to it that we have been able to draft the statutes: think about the goodwill shown by the British Lord of Justice representing the supreme court of the United Kingdom to understand what a Belgian non-profit international association is and accept that its jurisdiction is a part of it. It is thanks to it that we can always reach an agreement easily when it comes to the composition of our management bodies as well as the organised events and activities. The solidity of an association depends on the solidity of the relationships between its members. Mutual trust, which has become the underlying sentiment of many European declarations, inevitably calls for personal relationships based on understanding and respect between the judges of different European nationalities. This is the intangible, yet major, asset of ACA-Europe.

Now for the question that everybody is dying to ask: you don’t exactly seem the type of man to spend all his time gardening. What are your plans now?

I am leaving neither administrative justice nor the international scenario. I have just been appointed judge at the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This international court, which is associated with 59 International organisations (of approx. 55,000 government officials), has jurisdiction to hear cases between international government officials and their Organisation. It comprises 7 judges of different nationalities (including 3 from Europe). It is going to be an honour and a pleasure for me to meet two former active members of ACA-Europe there: Mr Giuseppe Barbagallo (Italy) and Mr Patrick Frydman (France) who are the President and Vice-President of the Tribunal respectively.

In this issue





Tour of Europe

Judge Exchange


Members' News

On the eve of his retirement - Mr Yves Kreins's interview


18 September 2017


Seminar in Cracow, Poland – Law on Migration and Refugees

26-27 April 2018


Seminar in Tallinn, Estonia – Due Process

2-4 December 2018


Seminar in Cologne, Germany – ReNEUAL I

12-14 May 2019


Seminar and General Assembly in Berlin, Germany


At the time of the ACA-Europe’s application for a three-year grant addressed to the European Commission, the Association was invited to propose to conduct an annual survey on the collection, analysis, exchange and dissemination of information, good practices and recommendations on various topics of EU law.

For 2017, , the Board has opted to contribute to the “EU Justice Scoreboard” (“administrative justice” component).

On Thursday, the 29th of June 2017, a first meeting of the working group on this topic was held at the Council of State in Brussels.

During this meeting, the “EU Justice Scoreboard” was presented by Mr. Emmanuel Crabit and Ms. Niovi Ringou, head of unit and deputy head of unit of the DG Justice of the European Commission, and possible topics were discussed. Preference was given to the “Supreme (administrative) courts’ case-law on safeguards for judicial independence”.

In the course of the following weeks, a draft of the European Commission for a possible questionnaire was discussed among the members of the working group and feedback was given.

A first draft of this questionnaire is expected by mid-September.

After a test phase among the members of the working group, the final questionnaire will be sent to the members of the Association, early October.

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