ACA-Europe

e-News 2021/2

Editorial

Filippo

Dear reader,

The General Assembly of ACA-Europe in Leipzig on 31 May entrusted the Italian Council of State with the presidency of the Association for the next two years (2021-2023).

Before outlining the main features of our presidency, I would like in this brief editorial to express my sincere gratitude to the German presidency which, during their almost three-year tenure, succeeded in identifying and developing a number of very interesting themes that Italy will certainly carry on during its mandate, along with the judge exchange programme and the improvement of the legal databases JuriFast.

The organization and finances of ACA-Europe are in excellent shape and Germany has launched a much–needed reform of the 2000 Association statutes which have, in the meantime, become obsolete. President Klaus Rennert and his collaborators, supported by the Board and the General Secretariat, did a remarkable job!

Allow me also to express the hope that the Italian Presidency will represent a real turning point by restarting our meeting face-to-face. Physical distancing, distance learning, smart working have been and are our new daily life. They offer advantages, but over the months, we have realized that social relationships are an essential ingredient of our life, which cannot be replaced by digital media. The recent Seminar in Fiesole (3-5 October) demonstrated the different quality of face-to-face meetings, while the evocative view of the Uffizi at night demonstrated the importance of sharing deep emotions among human beings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Fiesole Seminar participants for their contribution during the two days meeting and for the lively discussions that followed the four panels.

Back to the Italian presidency, during our two-year mandate, after the Seminar in Fiesole, I would like to invite you to five seminars, two of which will be held again in Italy and one each in France, Spain and Latvia. We will focus, as mentioned in Fiesole, on the so-called horizontal dialogue among Supreme Administrative Courts, in order to verify the possibility to achieve a common standard of legal protection of individuals and enterprises by European administrative Courts, along with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (and of the European Court of Human Rights).

As far as the seminars in Italy are concerned, I intend to take advantage of these events to foster the so-called “dissemination activity”, an activity to which the Commission attaches great importance. In order to increase awareness of our Association outside the specialist field in which it normally operates, on the side-lines of the events scheduled in Italy, we will organize meetings between the President (accompanied by another member of ACA-Europe) and university students to explain ACA-Europe’s activity, and the goals of the Italian Presidency. The locations will be prestigious Faculties of Law (Rome, Naples). The first experiment in Florence, where I was accompanied by the colleague from the German Federal Administrative Court, Carsten Gunther, was a success. The students were really interested in knowing better about ACA-Europe and about our activity inside the Association.

Another element of our Presidency would be to keep our focus on the importance of the rule of law, which requires –as underlined by the European Commission 2021 Rule of law Report– vigilance and constant improvement, due to the constant risk of backsliding. The continuous dialogue between ACA-Europe and the European Commission and other European associations which monitor respect for the rule of law in Europe from other perspectives, (the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union (NPSJCEU), the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) and European Association of Judges (EAJ)) allows us to broaden the perspective of compliance with the rule of law. The aim of the ENCJ-EAJ-ACA-Europe joint session on the Fundamental Rights Forum (Vienna, last 12 October) was in fact to engage with Civil Society organisations (NGO´s) and see how the judiciary and civil society organisations might work together to strengthen the rule of law in Europe. As the Association of Councils of State and Supreme administrative courts of the European Union we do not, of course, play a direct role in this debate, but we can be an example to governments and policy makers if we keep our focus on the importance of the rule of law.

To conclude, dear colleagues, let me assure you that I, as well as the judges and staff members of the French Council of State, am very much looking forward to meeting you in person in Paris (next 5 and 6 December) again.

Filippo Patroni Griffi
President of ACA-Europe
President of the Council of State of Italy

Seminars, Colloquium, Board and General Assembly

Due to the exceptional circumstances related to the COVID-19-pandemic, the Colloquium, the General Assembly and the Board were organised as a video conference on 31 May 2021.

The colloquium focused on the genesis of a very recent and ongoing legal development. In the ReNEUAL project, legal scholars and practitioners elaborated model rules for an EU Administrative Law de lege ferenda using the methods of comparative law with a view to finding not the average solution, but the supposedly best or most appropriate solution. This way ACA-Europe hopes to contribute to the further steps to be taken by the legislators in the European Union. The report of the colloquium can be consulted online: ‘ReNEUAL II – Administrative Law in the European Union Administrative. Information Management in the Digital Age’, as well as the national reports of the 26 members who completed the preparatory questionnaire. A web summary of the colloquium will be added soon.

The General Assembly marked the end of the German Presidency and the beginning of the Italian Presidency. In his inaugural address, President Filippo Patroni Griffi expressed his sincere gratitude to President Klaus Rennert and his staff for the remarkable outcome of the past 3 years.

During the Fiesole seminar of 4 and 5 October 2021, the participants investigated how the Supreme Administrative Courts face disputes involving public authorities and private citizens and whether or not a homogeneous method of scrutinizing public administrations can be found or can be developed among national Courts. The report of the colloquium can be consulted online: ‘Law, Courts and guidelines for the public administration’, as well as the presentation of the report by President Filippo Patroni Griffi and the national reports of the 26 members who completed the preparatory questionnaire. A web summary of the seminar will be added soon.

Fiesole seminar

The seminar was followed by a conference at the Law Faculty of the University of Florence, where the Association’s activities and the theme of the seminar were introduced to an audience of faculty professors and students.

Finally, the Fiesole seminar also marked the end of an era in the recent history of the Association, as we had to bid farewell to Mr Frank Clarke, whose term as Chief Justice of Ireland and therefore his membership of the Network, came to an end, as he has reached the mandatory retirement age. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours: Sláinte agus go n-éirí an bóthar leat!

The invitation to the seminar organized by the Council of State of France in cooperation with ACA-Europe in Paris, on 6 December 2021, which will address ‘The Judicial review of Regulatory Authorities’, was sent to the members on 17 October. Deadline for registration is 2 November.

The questionnaire for the preparation of the seminar organized by the Council of State of Italy in cooperation with ACA-Europe in Rome, on 23 May 2022, which will address the ‘Techniques for the protection of private subjects in contrast with public authorities: actions and remedies - liability and compliance’, was sent to the members on 22 October. Deadline for participation is 29 November. Invitation, agenda and registration forms will be sent at a later stage.

Jurifast

These decisions have been selected for you:

Netherlands

Judgment of 14 July 2021

This judgment concerns the issue of Palestinian refugees who have received protection from UNRWA. This is a topical issue in view of the renewed tensions between Israel and Hamas.

A Palestinian national has applied for asylum in the Netherlands because he claims to be in a desperate and unsafe situation in the Gaza Strip, despite UNRWA assistance.

The Secretary of State refused to grant him a residence permit. The Administrative Court found that this decision was not sufficiently reasoned and that the temporary residence permit should be granted to the applicant.

The Council of State found that the Secretary of State did not give any indication of how she assessed whether UNRWA is able to protect Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. According to the High Court, the Secretary of State also did not sufficiently explain how she assessed the information provided by the claimant.

The Secretary of State therefore has 16 weeks to make a new decision. She will have to consider current developments in the Gaza Strip, including the recent resumption of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and reports that the United States is resuming some of its funding of UNRWA.

http://www.aca-europe.eu/index.php/en/jurifast-en?ID=4102

Germany

Judgment of 15 May 2019

Ruling to be related to the one previously presented. This is a judgment concerning a Palestinian national who applied for refugee status in Germany.

The Federal Office for Migration refused to grant the applicant refugee status but granted him subsidiary protection. However, the administrative court obliged the Federal Office for Migration to grant him refugee status. The Federal Office for Migration appealed to the Federal Administrative Court. The latter rejected the appeal.

Consequently, it is not necessary to clarify whether the applicant was entitled to refugee status under § 3(1) of the AsylG based on his individual appeal. After all, he is, as an ethnic stateless Palestinian, a refugee within the meaning of § 3 (3), second sentence of the Asylum Act.

For more details see the summary of the judgment:

http://www.aca-europe.eu/index.php/en/jurifast-en?ID=3604

Germany

Judgment of 27 October 2020

This judgment is a follow-up decision to a preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The dispute concerned the regularization of the right to deduct for an annex that was used for both VAT exempt and taxable transactions after the taxable use had ceased. The case concerned the operator of a nursing home who used an annex as a cafeteria. Initially, the proportion of transactions exempt from VAT was estimated at 10%. From 2009 onwards, the taxable person no longer carried out taxable transactions.

Following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Federal Court of Finance established the principle that in the case of goods where the trader initially made mixed use of taxable and exempt transactions if the use for taxable transactions disappears and the trader continues the use for exempt transactions, an adjustment of the input tax paid can be made based on section 15a of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (Turnover Tax Act, UStG). Conversely, if the property simply remains empty, without the trader intending to use it, the tax parameters are unchanged.

http://www.aca-europe.eu/index.php/en/jurifast-en?ID=3613

Italy

Judgment of 22 February 2021

This judgment, expressing its opinion as an urgent precautionary measure, concerns the validity of a national measure ordering the closure of gaming halls due to the COVID epidemic.

The Italian Council of State decided that, given the risk of spreading the infection, the complete prevention of public health risks prevails, prima facie, over the legitimate private interest of an economic nature, even if the health risk is not scientifically established by the competent authorities but merely considered as “potential”.

 

http://www.aca-europe.eu/index.php/en/jurifast-en?ID=4014

ACA-Europe reminds its members that it is very important that follow-up decisions (national decisions following a judgment of the Court of Justice in a preliminary ruling) are systematically introduced in JuriFast when the national decision asking the question is included in the database.

At the same time, the ECJ asks ACA-Europe to inform its members so that they systematically send all follow-up decisions directly to the Court at the address of the functional mailbox Follow-up-DDP@curia.europa.eu.

Remember, the Jurifast RSS feed can be obtained at the following address: http://www.aca-europe.eu/index.php/en/jurifast-en (possibility to subscribe to an RSS feed).

Forum

The forum of ACA-Europe currently has 209 members from 34 institutions.

Since the last e-news, 10 new collective questions have been asked and 11 countries have actively participated with 55 answers: Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

The following topics were discussed:

  • Obligation of the persons running their private businesses to check the covid-19 certificates of their customers (5 answers)
  • Articles 11(1) and 11(2) of Directive 2003/86/EC (Family Reunification) and Eritrea (5 answers)
  • Protection of personal data of witnesses in administrative court proceeding (4 answers)
  • Article 1D of the Refugee Convention and article 12(1)(a) of the Qualification Directive (8 answers)
  • Judicial mediation in administrative liability matters (4 answers)
  • Financial consequences of judgments for public budget (5 answers)
  • Applications for international protection / asylum - Applicants with refugee status or subsidiary protection in Greece (7 answers)
  • Dublin III Regulation - costs necessary to transfer an applicant (6 answers)
  • Judges’ security clearance: classified information of foreign states (NATO) (4 answers)
  • Compulsory preventive testing for covid-19 in schools (7 answers)

Access to the forum is reserved for the members of ACA-Europe, who can register for it at the following address: http://www.aca-europe.eu/forum/

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, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro.

Recently, the information for Turkey was updated. This contribution can be found on the association’s website, both in French and English.

Members are warmly invited to update the information for their country by contacting the ACA-Europe team at the following email address: : tessel.adriaensens@aca-europe.eu

Judge Exchange

The Judges’ Exchange Programme 2021 is currently ongoing.

Members' News

Greece

Dimitrios Skaltsounis

Dimitrios SKALTSOUNIS was appointed President of the Council of State.

Born in Athens in 1955, Dimitrios Skaltsounis obtained a law degree from the University of Athens (1977). A master (D.E.A.) ‘d’administration publique et droit public interne’ from the University Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne (1979), he starts as a lawyer at the Athens Bar (1981-1983). He is subsequently nominated as Assistant Judge (1983), Associate Judge (1989), Councillor (2003), Vice-President (2018) and, since the 1st July 2021, President of the Council of State.

Amongst his other administrative duties, he is President of the Special Highest Court (2021) and Presiding Judge and member of the Special Court for Actions against Judges. Previously, he was also member of the Supreme Judicial Council for Administrative Justice (SJC AJ, multiple mandates between 2003 and 2020), President and member of numerous Legislative Drafting Committees; member of the Central Committee for Codification (2003-2006), lecturer at the National School for the Judiciary (2000-2003), President of the Apellate Arbitration Committee of the Organization for Mediation and Arbitration (2018) and representative of SJC AJ to the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ, 2016-2021). Dimitrios Skaltsounis has published in Greek and French.

Ireland

Donal O’DONELL

Mr. Justice Donal O’DONELL was appointed Chief Justice of Ireland on the 11th October, 2021. He was educated at St Mary’s CBS Belfast and University College Dublin (B.C.L.), The Honorable Society of King's Inns (B.L.) and the University of Virginia (LL.M). Mr. Justice O'Donnell, was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1982, commenced practice in 1983 and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1989. In 1995, he was appointed a Senior Counsel and practised in all of the Courts of Ireland, in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). He has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland since 2010.

Luxemburg

Christophe SCHILTZ

In April of this year, Christophe SCHILTZ took up office as President of the Council of State of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, having served as a member of the Council of State since November 2013

Christophe Schiltz is also a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, The Netherlands. Since February 2020, Christophe Schiltz is serving as General Coordinator for Development cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg. At the same time, he is a member of the Appeals Board of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy. Christophe Schiltz is also a member of the editorial board of the Revue luxembourgeoise de droit public and of the board of the Fondation Robert Krieps.

He holds an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), an MA in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe, Bruges (Belgium), a maîtrise en droit privé from the University of Strasbourg (France) as well as an undergraduate college diploma in legal studies from King’s College London (United Kingdom).

Prior to being appointed General Coordinator, he was the Head of the Legal Service of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg (MFEA) as well as the representative (agent) of the Luxembourg government to the Court of Justice of the EU where he has argued various cases on behalf of the government. At the same time, he was a member of the COJUR (Council of the EU) and CAHDI (Council of Europe) high-level working groups on public international law.

He has previously held the positions of advisor on legal and institutional affairs at the MFEA (2014-2016) and of legal advisor as well as counselor on foreign relations at the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU (RELEX) (2012-2014). Prior to his work at the Permanent Representation to the UE, he held the positions of Head of Cabinet of the Minister for Labour, Employment and Immigration (2009-2012) as well as advisor to the Delegate Minister for European Affairs (2006-2009) while in parallel serving as legal advisor to the MFEA on European legal affairs. He began his career as a diplomat at the MFEA in 2006. Before joining the MFEA he worked as référendaire to Judge Romain Schintgen at the European Court of Justice (2005-2006) and chargé de mission during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU (2004-2005).

He is fluent in Luxembourgish, English, French and German and has some intermediate-level knowledge of Spanish.

Slovac Republic

Dr. Pavol NAD

Dr. Pavol NAD’ was appointed as President of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Slovak Republic on 18 May 2021. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, where he obtained a “JUDr - Iuris Utriusque Doctor” degree in 1984.

From 1984 to 1987 he worked as a Public Prosecutor Trainee, and later, he served five years as a Public Prosecutor. From 1993 to 2006, he worked as a lawyer admitted to the Slovak Bar Association and the Czech Bar Association.

He was appointed as a judge in 2006. Since 2011 he served as the Chairman of the Senate of the Regional Court and since 2014 as the Chairman of the Administrative Division of the Regional Court. From 2013 to 2016, he was a member of the Disciplinary Senate of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic, to which he returned in 2021 for an internship at the Administrative Division.

Pavol Naď has published in Slovak professional journals and is a member of the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Slovak Chamber of Tax Advisers. He lectures for the Judicial Academy of the Slovak Republic, the Slovak Chamber of Tax Advisers, and for renowned European publishers specializing in legal and economic literature.

Do you have an announcement that you would like to share with your colleagues from ACA Europe - e.g. a new chairman has been appointed or elected, an important change has taken place in the functioning of your institution or your institution is organizing an (international) seminar - do not hesitate to contact us: tessel.adriaensens@aca-europe.eu

ACA News

Framework partnership agreement 2022-2025

On 5 August 2021, Framework partnership agreement No 101046269 — ACA_EU_NETW_2022_25 was signed by Mr Geert Debersaques, Secretary-General of the Association, and the European Commission.

Thus, both the programmatory framework and the budgetary estimate for the forthcoming four-year period, which were prepared in the course of the preceding months by the Secretariat-General, the Presidency and the Vice-Presidencies, have been approved by the Commission.

In the context of this framework partnership agreement, the European Commission, both in an effort to simplify administration as to achieve the objectives of the so-called European Green Deal, has, among other things, revised its rules on the reimbursement of travel expenses, which will affect the participants in the Association’s activities to varying extents: whereas in the past the actual cost was reimbursed up to a maximum of €275, from 1 January 2022 a system of unit prices will be applied, i.e. fixed amounts based on the distance travelled between the seats of the member institutions and the locations of the activities. More detailed information will be provided in the run-up to the seminar in Rome on 16 May 2022.

Specific agreement 2022

On 23 July 2021, the General Secretariat received an invitation from the European Commission to submit a proposal for an annual operating grant covering the financial year 2022. The proposal, that was prepared by the Secretariat-General, the Presidency and the Vice-Presidencies, was submitted on time and is currently being examined by the Commission.

In this issue

Editorial

Seminar, colloquium, board and general assembly

Jurifast

Forum

Tour of Europe

Judge Exchange

Analysis

Members' News

ACA News

Agenda

6 December 2021

 

Seminar – The Judicial review of Regulatory Authorities – Paris, France

23 May 2022

 

Seminar – Techniques for the protection of private subjects in contrast with public authorities: actions and remedies - liability and compliance – Rome, Italy

24 May 2022

 

General Assembly– Rome, Italy

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

Analysis

2020

The report of the 2020 cross-sectional analysis, ‘The Supreme Administrative Courts in times of COVID-19 crisis - a lesson learned’, was presented on May 31, 2021, during the Seminar of ‘Chief Justices’, which took place during the General Assembly of the Association. Both the analytical report and the metadata (i.e. national reports of the participating members and statistics), as well as the contribution of the Association to the 2020 EU Justice Scoreboard, are available online.

2021

For 2021, the cross-sectional analysis will continue to focus on the 2020 theme ‘Supreme Administrative Courts in times of COVID-19 crisis’ as this continues to shape the daily life and functioning of the Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions. An updated version of last year’s questionnaire, this time covering the period 1 December 2020 - 1 December 2021, will be sent to members on 1 December 2021.

 

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