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The Conference of European Constitutional Courts

Content updated: 29-06-2016 15:27

The Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC) is an organisation established in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 1972, which unites constitutional and equivalent courts conducting a constitutional review in European states. It was established on the initiative of the presidents of constitutional courts of European states and, at present, unites more than 40 European institutions of constitutional justice and maintains close links with the institutions conducting a constitutional review worldwide.

The Constitutional Court has taken part in the activities of the CECC since the very establishment of the Constitutional Court, and it became a full member of this organisation in 1997. The Constitutional Court participates in the annual meetings of the Circle of Presidents (an organ of the CECC) and in the Congresses held every three years; it prepares its national report for each Congress. The participants of the Congresses share diverse constitutional experiences of different European countries, exchange the information accumulated in the case-law of constitutional courts, and are encouraged to use it effectively in protecting the supremacy of the Constitution and ensuring human rights and other fundamental constitutional values. One of the purposes of the CECC is to strengthen the independence of constitutional courts as it is one of the essential principles of a democratic state under the rule of law.

The chairmanship of the CECC is held by one of the courts, the members of this organisation, for the period of three years by rotation. The Constitutional Court presided over this organisation in 2005–2008 and hosted the XIVth Congress of the CECC in Vilnius in June 2008.

In 2008, the participants attended the XIVth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts in Vilnius.

The following topics were discussed at the congresses organised by the CECC: “The power of Constitutional Courts and the legal implications of their decisions” (1972); “Interpretation and the initiative of constitutional review” (1974); “The Constitutional Court and the legislature” (1976); “The State and the scope of fundamental rights” (1978); “The State and the scope of fundamental rights in the area of education” (1981); “The relationship between central and territorial powers in constitutional jurisprudence” (1984); “Constitutional jurisdiction in the context of state powers as regards the nature, contents and effects of decisions on the constitutionality of norms” (1987); “The hierarchy of constitutional norms and its function in the protection of fundamental rights” (1990); “The constitutional protection and international protection of human rights: competing or complementary?” (1993); “Freedom of expression; Separation of powers in the jurisprudence of Constitutional Courts” (1996); “The constitutional jurisprudence on freedom of conscience and religion” (1999); “The relations between Constitutional Courts and other national courts, including the interference in this area of the action of European Courts” (2002); “The criteria of the limitation of human rights in the practice of constitutional justice” (2005); “Problems of legislative omission in constitutional jurisprudence” (2008); “Constitutional justice: functions and relationship with the other public authorities” (2011); “Cooperation of Constitutional Courts in Europe – Current Situation and Perspectives” (2014).