The opening of the new judicial year at the European Court of Human Rights – guest of honour professor Koen Lenaerts

On January 26th, 2018 the European Court of Human Rights organized in Strasbourg the opening of the new judicial year. Around 300 eminent figures from the European judicial scene have been invited to participate at a seminar on “The Authority of the Judiciary” organised for this special occasion. In the evening, at the solemn hearing which followed the seminar, Mr Guido Raimondi, President of the European Court of Human Rights, addressed a powerful speech to the audience composed by the judges of the Strasbourg Court, the General Secretary of the Council of Europe, the Presidents of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts of the Council of Europe member States.
The guest of honour was Mr Koen Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, member of the Scientific Board of LESIJ – Lex ET Scientia International Journal. The speeches of both presidents were very empowering. In his speech, President Guido Raimondi mentioned among the most relevant cases dealt by the Court in 2017, the case of Barbulescu v. Romania, which is considered to be a milestone, a “vade mecum” for use by domestic courts in cases dealing work surveillance. The speech of President Lenaerts was also inspiring, addressing the problem of both European legal orders – the European Union legal order and the Council of Europe legal order. President Lenaerts underlined that even if sometimes the two Courts adopted divergent approaches on a particular question, he is convinced that, as a matter of principle, both courts strive to achieve convergence. We truly believe, as professor Lenaerts concluded, “there is no better way to improve the protection of fundamental rights at European level than to enhance citizens’ trust and confidence in their two European Courts, by showing that they share the same values and work together, to the benefit of all Europeans”. In some other words, a new year has begun: fiat justitia in Strasbourg, in Luxembourg, and in the member States. Further information is available on