Membership of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic in the International Associations
The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic is a member of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union, of the European Association of Labour Court Judges (EALCJ) and also a member of the European Law Institute (ELI).I. The Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union decided at their meeting in March 2004 on establishing the Network of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union (hereinafter only as “Network”).
The Network is a forum through which the European Institutions may ask to obtain opinion of the Supreme Courts on various topics according to their activities. The main goal of the Network is to ensure closer mutual cooperation among the Supreme Courts, the exchange of opinions and experiences from the decision making practice. The Presidents of the Supreme Courts of Albania, Liechtenstein, Norway and Montenegro have the status of observers. In order to promote training in the sector of justice, the Network takes part in the Exchange Programme of European judicial authorities with the support of the European Judicial Training Network. Six judges of the Supreme Court participated in this programme during the years 2005 – 2009. In 2018 and 2019, two judges, JUDr. Ing. Pavel Horák, Ph.D.and JUDr. Petr Angyalossy, Ph.D., participated in the Exchange Programme at the Supreme Court of Sweden and at the Curia in Hungary, respectively.
The Network also deals with legislative proposals submitted by European institutions in the field of justice, especially in civil and criminal matters. In the past, for example, the Network was involved in the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters, in a draft Green Paper on presumption of innocence, in preparation of the Common Frame of Reference for European Contact Law and so on. Among other topics being discussed within the Network were the following: training of judges, relationship between the supreme courts and the executive power, including the issue of financing the supreme courts, the process of appointing Supreme Court judges in different Member States of the European Union, reform of the proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union and evaluation of policies in the field of justice. The topics further encompass relationship between supreme and constitutional courts or use of comparative law in the decision-making of supreme courts.
The Network also initiated an analysis on assistance to the judges of the supreme courts in the decision making process in order to set up some international legal standards in this regard. The Network constantly focuses on creating solid and effective cooperation between the staff of the supreme courts in order to promote better understanding and exchange of information on the decisions where the European Union law is involved.
The greatest contribution of the Network is the establishment of the Common Portal of the Case Law (https://www.reseau-presidents.eu/cpcl) system, which will in the future allow simultaneous searching in the databases of national case law, which are available on the websites of the supreme courts.
The Network has also served as a basis for establishment of the Comparative Law Liaisons Group which associates lawyers from the supreme courts of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The objective of this working group is to facilitate an informal exchange of information regarding legal regulation and case-law, which concern issues that are subject-matter of the decision-making of one of the supreme courts belonging to this group.
II. European Association of Labour Court Judges (“EALCJ”) is an independent association of judges who decide labour law cases. The Association organizes annual conferences in order to exchange information and experiences, with a tradition since 1996. The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic is a member of the Association from January 1, 2009.
In June 2019, JUDr. Lubomír Ptáček, Ph.D., presiding judge of the Civil Division, was for the first time elected as the President of European Association of Labour Court Judges for the period of one year during the regular meeting of EALCJ members in Dublin. During the meeting in June 2020, European labour court judges re-elected Lubomír Ptáček for another term of office. One of his main tasks will be preparation of topics and organisation of an international conference of European Association of Labour Court Judges, which will take place in 2021 in London.
III. European Law Institute is an independent non-profit organization established to conduct a research, make recommendations and other activities in the field of European law. ELI seeks to contribute to better law-making in Europe and to the enhancement of European legal integration in order to create vigorous European legal community. Building on the value of comparative knowledge and the achievements of the comparative international law, its mission is to integrate the various legal cultures.
ELI is active in all branches of law. Suggestions of research initiatives take into account the practical dimension of the research for the needs of courts and legislators. Providing advice to the European Commission, European Parliament and other bodies involved in the development of law on European and national level represents another part of its activity. While the primary focus of the ELI is on the development of law within the European Union, it also pays attention to legal developments in other parts of the world. For this purpose, ELI liaises with American Law Institute in Philadelphia and International Institute for the Unification of Private Law in Rome (UNIDROIT).
The Council identifies relevant projects within the ELI's field of activities. The projects are effectuated through collaboration between jurists from academia and from legal practice and they aim at results that would have practical impact, condensing to draft rules, comments or guiding tools. In any case, project outcomes should serve to the European citizens by improving the law or facilitating its application.
The first inaugural congress of the ELI took place in Paris on 1st June 2011, with the attendance of the former President of the Czech Supreme Court, JUDr. Iva Brožová. The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic got the status of an institutional observer in February 2012.
With its participation, the Supreme Court gains access to the exchange of information on legislation and case law, useful for the purposes of comparative analysis and advanced options in the field of legislation and legal literature.