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26 July 2011

Presentation of AEAJ

1) History

The Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ) is an organisation founded in the year 2000. Its membership comprises [a] national associations, representing administrative judges from Member States of the European Union and the Council of Europe and [b] individual members, being administrative judges from those countries in which such associations do not exist.

2) Members

At this stage, the national associations of administrative judges from the following countries are members of the AEAJ:

Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Sweden.

In addition, the AEAJ has individual members from Croatia, Czech Republic, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

The AEAJ also has contacts with judges from certain other countries.

3) Aims and Main Activities

In accordance with its Statutes, the AEAJ pursues the following objectives:

1. To secure legal redress for citizens from public authorities throughout European States and to encourage and promote the legality of administrative acts, thereby helping Europe to grow together in freedom and justice.

In furtherance of this objective, the AEAJ actively studies, debates and promotes the right of all individuals to access to justice, which is recognized as a fundamental right of the European Union. The AEAJ also compares national systems of administrative jurisdiction and national practice concerning the application of European Union law in order to achieve common standards.

2. To respect the differing legal cultures prevalent in the various Member States of the European Union and the Council of Europe, consistent with obtaining this objective;

3. To help broaden the knowledge of administrative judges of matters relating to legal redress and procedures in administrative proceedings in Europe and, to this end, to have an intensive exchange of information on pertinent legislation and case law.

In pursuance of these objectives, the AEAJ currently has active working groups in the following four subjects :

1. Asylum and immigration.

2. Independence and efficiency of administrative judges.

3. Taxation law.

4. Environmental law.

Each year we try to organize at least one seminar involving each working group. The deliberations and proceedings at these seminars are usually based on delegates’ answers to a questionnaire, prepared in advance by the chairperson. These activities serve to enhance the uniform implementation of European law in the different national systems and the quality of judicial decision making and, simultaneously, constitute judicial training and continuing education.

4. To strengthen the position of administrative judges in Europe, which is growing together, and to promote the professional interests of administrative judges at national and European level.

In appropriate cases, where the need arises, the AEAJ supports our members in their efforts to defend the individual and structural independence of the administrative courts and judiciary in their country. In many European countries, there are discernible trends in government policies and legislative reforms relating to the assessment and measurement of the performance of judges, the control of court lists and the remuneration of judges according to their performance. All of these measures undermine the supreme principle of judicial independence.

Finally, close contact and interaction between the judges of various European countries is an essential tool in the understanding and implementation of EU law, the enhancement of judicial decision making at national levels and the promotion of judicial collegiality and solidarity.