Central and Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network
The CEELI Institute is now in its seventh year of support for the Central and Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network, comprised of some of the best
and brightest young judges from eighteen countries in the region who have come together to share best practices on issues of judicial independence, transparency, accountability, efficiency, and ethics. The judges are increasingly concerned about coping with the external pressures— political, societal, media—that work to undermine judicial independence in the region. To date, the Network has brought together over 100 young, reform-mind- ed judges from across the region on an ongoing basis to pursue projects designed to promote judicial independence and institutional reform.
Among the specific topics addressed within the Network are judicial ethics;
management of conflicts of interests and outside activities; comparative proce- dures for discipline and dismissal of individual judges accused of corruption or malfeasance; appropriate communica- tion with the press and the public; the im- pact of social media on the judiciary; the degree to which judges as public officials must sacrifice some degree of privacy in the interest of transparency; the impli- cations for judges of asset disclosure requirements; the manner and degree to which judges should be required to dis- close their personal information; and the standards and conditions for lustration procedures.
The work of CEELI’s Judicial Network has increasingly attracted attention across Europe and the world. In April, the CEELI Institute was invited to participate in the United Nation’s launch, in Vienna, of its Global Judicial Integrity Network; CEELI was one of only a handful of non-governmental organizations selected to join judges fromaroundthe globe atthe event. CEELI’s contributions to the launch event included organizing and moderating a panel on the new professional and ethical challenges for judges raised as a result of the increasing use of social media by members of the profession. This topic is one that CEELI has explored in depth within the context of its ongoing Central and Eastern European Judicial Network. CEELI was joined on this panel by Network Judges from the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Romania. In particular, we drew special attention to the efforts by the Czech Union of Judges to draft and promulgate concrete guidelines on the subject.