e-News 2019/1



Photograph: Michael Moser

Dear readers,

The Brexit drama continuously reaches new heights. At the same time, the events are accelerating to such an extent that, while writing these lines, it remains completely unclear what state will be reached upon their publication. No one in Europe can be indifferent to whether the United Kingdom will leave the European Union and how their mutual relationship will be determined in this case. But one thing is certain and always was: People from Great Britain and Northern Ireland will always be part of European culture. The same applies to the constitutional and legal domain: Whether the EU bodies, in particular the CJEU, will continue to be responsible for the United Kingdom is especially significant. But in all cases, the Anglo-Saxon law is and remains an important and indispensable element of the European judicial culture. In ACA-Europe, it is represented by the Supreme Courts of Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and the United Kingdom and, in principle, it should remain that way even in the event of Brexit. Irrespective of the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, we hope to find ways to continue the cooperation within ACA-Europe.

It is in this sense that members of the UK Supreme Court contributed and contribute to the two “sister seminars” of ACA-Europe, the first of which was held in Dublin at the end of March 2019 and the second of which will be organised in Berlin in mid-May 2019. The subject matter of both seminars comprises the role and the functioning of the supreme administrative courts of the Member States. In Dublin, the seminar focused on the internal functioning of the courts: from receiving a case to sending the decision with its reasons. The seminar in Berlin, however, deals with the specific tasks and functions of the supreme courts – between deliverance of single case justice and the further development of the law.

Discussions will also address the framework of each court’s work, i.e. from procedural law to financial and human resources. The seminar planned for September in Brno (Czech Republic) will explore the subject in greater detail and examine the circumstances that make access to court easier and more difficult, with regard to the entire administrative jurisdiction. In this way, it is possible to extend and deepen the mutual knowledge of the conditions governing the work of the national supreme courts and the decision-making by judges in Europe. This is essential for a better understanding of the content of the jurisprudence established by the European partners. At the same time, it opens up new perspectives on one’s own judicial system which may provide suggestions for reforms of one sort or another.

Regarding recent developments, we note with deep concern the further course of events in Turkey. In January 2019, the last President of the Turkish Council of Judges and Prosecutors, our colleague Murat Arslan, has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for alleged terrorist activities by a Turkish criminal court. Immediately after the coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish Council of Judges had been prohibited and dissolved. As a result, numerous judges have been dismissed or transferred to remote courts and have often been prosecuted. Since then, calls for the rule of law from inside the country have largely fallen silent. But they are issued all the more emphatically from abroad. ACA-Europe also cannot be indifferent to the independence of the Turkish judiciary and therefore of its observer the Turkish Council of State – the Danistay.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert
President of ACA-Europe,
President of the Federal Administrative Court of Germany


From 25 to 26 March 2019, the ACA seminar on the decision-making processes of Supreme Administrative Courts was held in Dublin, Ireland. ACA-Europe has received 21 national reports. All national reports, as well as the questionnaire, have been published on the ACA-Europe website. Read more....


These decisions have been selected for you:


In this case, there is a question of an appointment of a Latvian official to the European Court of Auditors. It has been recognized in this case that the order of the Cabinet of Ministers to promote a candidate for such a position is a political decision, which cannot be verified by the administrative procedure. However, although the administrative court can not verify the legality of the final decision (which was adopted in the Republic of Latvia), the verification of the selection process of candidates is subject to judicial review. If, as a result of the competition verification, it is declared that the process was not legal, the person will be entitled to compensation.


At the time of the recent entry into force of the GDPR, here is a case related to the protection of personal data of employees of the State.

It is a question of data protection for employees of a specific department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some of the data was provided to the requester but the rest of the sensitive data was denied.

The plaintiff has lodged an appeal concluding that requested information on data of official representatives or agents of the State, related to the public nature of the position occupied by these persons, may be subject to less protection than data and information on the privacy of third parties which an institution possesses.


The Supreme Court ruled that an Uzbek national convicted of belonging to an Islamic extremist movement is not eligible to be recognized as a refugee. However, given the conditions of detention, the candidate may, according to the Supreme Court, benefit from subsidiary protection.


The subject of this judgment is the determination of the responsible State in an asylum procedure and the application of the Dublin III Regulation.

In this case, the asylum seeker travelled by organized means, by "migrant train", and entered the Republic of Croatia from the Republic of Serbia, while he was escorted by the Serbian authorities and handed over to the Croatian authorities. The authorities did not reject his entry into the Republic of Croatia and did not initiate any proceedings concerning his departure from Croatian territory nor did they verify whether the applicant fulfilled the conditions of entry into the Republic of Croatia. The Croatian authorities organized the transport to the Slovenian national border. The asylum seeker is of the opinion that the decision of the Republic of Slovenia not to consider his application because of the fact that the applicant will be sent to the Republic of Croatia is incorrect, as it clearly indicates that the applicant has entered legally in the Republic of Croatia.

The Supreme Court is therefore faced with the question of the correct interpretation and understanding of the criteria for illegal entry and / or residence in a Member State, as set out in Article 13 of the Regulation from Dublin. Preliminary questions are therefore put to the European Court of Justice.

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 213 members from 34 institutions.

Since the last e-news, 5 new collective questions have been asked and 12 countries actively participated by providing 35 responses: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The following subjects have been discussed:

  • Profits from holding shares – obligations of judges (10 responses)
  • Protection of Cultural Heritage (6 responses)
  • School menus for students with special dietary needs (5 responses)
  • Classification of Medals in the Combined Nomenclature (5 responses)
  • Suspensive effect in asylum cases (9 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 organised in the different Member States of the European Union and Turkey.

In 2018, updates have been provided for Belgium, Latvia, Cyprus and Italy. Also, the recent updates (2017) from Greece, Romania and the Netherlands have been translated last year. All these texts can now be found on the association’s website, both in French and English.

In order to obtain the objectives, defined in the specific agreement between ACA-Europe and the European Commission, within the scope of the subvention granted by the European Union, members which have not updated the available information since 2009 are warmly invited to do so by contacting the ACA-Europe team at the following email address:

Subsequent changes to the updated versions are also welcome.

Judge Exchange

In 2019, ACA-Europe has, once again, the opportunity to allow 18 judges from its member institutions to participate for 12 days in the activities of another Supreme Administrative Court in an eligible country or in the CJEU. These internships are rounded off with a report written in English or French, that will be published, after depersonalisation, on the ACA-Europe website.

ACA-Europe has received a total of 30 applications for these 18 vacancies. Candidatures are currently under consideration. The Secretary-General rejoices about the success of the exchange programme!

On 12 May 2019, the General Assembly of Berlin will approve the list of successful candidates for the judge exchange programme. The successful candidates, as well as the host institutions, will be notified by the General Secretariat.

Contact address:

Members' News

Estonia – Supreme Court – February 2019

Villu Kõve

On 31 January 2019, the Estonian Parliament released Mr. Priit Pikamäe from office and, on the same day, appointed Mr. Villu Kõve as the new Chief Justice of the Estonian Supreme Court. Mr. Kõve assumed office on 4 February 2019.

He was born in 1971 and became a Doctor of Law at Tartu University in 2009. Besides Estonian, he also speaks English, German and Russian.

Mr. Kõve has been Justice of the Estonian Supreme Court since 2002. In 2014, he became Chairman of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court. He succeeds Mr. Priit Pikamäe, who became Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union as of 6 February 2019.

United Kingdom – Supreme Court – September 2017

Lady Hale of Richmond

Brenda Marjorie Hale, Lady Hale of Richmond took up appointment as President of The Supreme Court in September 2017, succeeding Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury. This following her appointment as Deputy President from June 2013.

In 1984, Lady Hale was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989, the Family Law Act 1996, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She also began sitting as an assistant recorder.

In 1994 she became a High Court judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.

In January 2004, Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.

In June 2013, she was appointed as Deputy President of the Supreme Court. As from 5 September 2017, she assumed the office of President of the British Supreme Court.

ACA News

Agreement 2018

The final report under the 2018 specific agreement between the European Commission and ACA-Europe was uploaded to the European Commission's electronic platform by the Secretariat-General in early April.

It is currently being analysed by the Commission’s services.

Audit EC

On 19 February 2019, the European Commission announced that she decided to carry out an audit of the use of the 2017 grant. The aim of the audit is to verify the eligibility of the declared costs and revenues, compliance with the provisions of the grant agreement and the correct use of Community funds in accordance with the rules under which the grant was awarded to the Association. The audit will take place from 20 to 23 May 2019.

Working group "Better regulation"

Following the mandate given by the General Assembly on 18 May 2018, the Working Group on Better Regulation identified several real problems with EU legislation in legal practice and selected a number of examples of unintentional, unforeseen or inconsistent situations. This led to a letter to be sent to the European Commission. The draft of this letter has been sent to all members of ACA-Europe, giving the opportunity to comment on it . Rob Visser, chairman of the working group, will present the results of the work to the general assembly in Berlin.

Welcome, Katty!

Project Manager Anne-Catherine Van Geersdaele left ACA-Europe. She is succeeded by Katty Lauvau. Katty will in first instance be responsible for the judge exchange programme and the Tour of Europe. Welcome in the ACA-Europe team, Katty!

In this issue





Tour of Europe

Judge Exchange


Members' News

ACA News


12-14 May 2019


General Assembly and seminar in Berlin, Germany

9 September 2019


Seminar in Brno, Czech Republic – Limits of judicial guarantee

23-24 April 2020


Seminar in Leipzig, Germany – Legal documentation

For a complete overview of the calendar, see our website.

Analysis 2018-2019

At the time of 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 2018, the Board opted to contribute to the ‘EU justice scoreboard’ (“administrative justice” component) on the topic of “Quality of judgments”.

The results will be presented during the session of the General Assembly in Berlin on the 14th of May 2019, and will be published on our website.

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