The President

ECHR Building

President Dean Spielmann

President Dean Spielmann

Dean Spielmann studied at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (United Kingdom). He became a member of the Luxembourg Bar in 1989. As a lawyer he worked in various fields, including administrative law, civil and criminal law and human rights law. He acted as Counsel in a number of cases before the Commission and Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He was also a member of the Bar Council and the Disciplinary and Administrative Council of the Legal Profession, as well as sitting on various committees of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).

Dean Spielmann has also been a member of the European Union Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights and the Advisory Commission on Human Rights of Luxembourg.

He has taught at the universities of Louvain Luxembourg and Nancy (France) and is a certified member of the Grand-Ducal Institute.

Dean Spielmann is an Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, an Honorary Professor of University College London and an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn, London. He is doctor honoris causa of the State University of Yerevan.

Since 2004 Dean Spielmann has been a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, where he was elected Section President in 2010 and Vice-President of the Court in 2012, before being elected President of the Court in September 2012.

Dean Spielmann is the author of numerous publications on criminal law and human rights, amongst other subjects.

Full CV

Main publications

Photo gallery of President Dean Spielmann

Presidency of the Court

The plenary Court elects its President, for a period of three years, provided that such period does not exceed the duration of the President's term of office. The President continues to hold office until the election of his or her successors.

The President of the Court directs the work and administration of the Court. The President represents the Court and, in particular, is responsible for its relations with the authorities of the Council of Europe. The President presides at plenary meetings of the Court, meetings of the Grand Chamber and meetings of the panel of five judges. The President does not take part in the consideration of cases being heard by Chambers except where he or she is the judge elected in respect of a Contracting Party concerned.

Interviews

Interview given by President Spielmann on the BBC television programme HARDtalk - 14/01/2014

Video of the interview

Visit by the President of Austria

Official visits

  • Voluntary contribution by Norway to the Court’s special account

    02/09/2014 
    Voluntary contribution by Norway to the Court’s special account

    President Spielmann, Erik Fribergh, Registrar, and Ambassador Astrid Emilie Helle, Permanent Representative of Norway to the Council of Europe, met on 2 September 2014 on the occasion of a contribution of NOK 2 million (approximately 240,000 euros) to the Court's special account. This generous contribution makes it possible for the Court to recruit additional lawyers to help further reduce the backlog of priority cases.


    In announcing the contribution, the Norwegian Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Astrid Emilie Helle, made the following statement: “Norway attaches the highest importance to multilateral organisations whose defence of international law is particularly crucial at times of crisis like the present. In this context the European Convention on Human Rights is by far the most effective system of international human rights protection that the world has ever known. The Court’s work in enforcing the Convention is of very great value to the member States of the Council of Europe and indeed to the international community as a whole. We believe that the Court deserves our full-hearted support”.

    Press release

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  • Visit to Montenegro

    15/07/2014 
    Visit to Montenegro

    On 10 and 11 July 2014 President Spielmann paid an official visit to Montenegro. On that occasion, he was received by the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović. During his visit he also met the President of Government of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, the President of Parliament, Ranko Krivokapić, the President of the Constitutional Court, Desanka Lopičić, the Vice-president of Government and Minister of Justice, Duško Marković. During his stay, he had meetings with Vesna Medenica, President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro and judges of this Supreme Court. President Spielmann was accompanied by Johan Callewaert, Grand Chamber Registrar.

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  • Visit to Luxembourg

    07/07/2014 
    Visit to Luxembourg

    On 4 July 2014 President Spielmann paid an official visit to Luxembourg. On that occasion, he was granted an audience with His Royal Highness the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. During his visit he also met Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Félix Braz, Minister of Justice. President Spielmann was also received by Robert Biever, Attorney-General, Georges Ravarani, President of the Administrative Court, Georges Santer, President of the Supreme Court of Justice and Mars Di Bartolomeo, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg. He then met members of the Committee on the Institutions, members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from Luxembourg. President Spielmann was accompanied by Patrick Titiun, Head of the Office of the President.

    Photo gallery

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  • Visit by a high-level delegation of Judges from the United Kingdom

    04/07/2014 
    Visit by a high-level delegation of Judges from the United Kingdom

    On 3 July 2014, President Spielmann received a high-level delegation of Judges from the United Kingdom, led by the Lord Chief Justice, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. The delegation took part in a day-long programme of discussions with Judges of the Court and members of the Registry.

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  • Visit by the French Minister of State for European Affairs

    03/07/2014 
    Visit by the French Minister of State for European Affairs

    On 1 July 2014, Harlem Désir, French Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. André Potocki, judge elected in respect of France, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar, also attended the meeting.

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  • Visit by the President of Azerbaijan

    24/06/2014 
    Visit by the President of Azerbaijan

    On 24 June 2014, Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. Khanlar Hajiyev, the judge elected in respect of Azerbaijan, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar, also attended the meeting.

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View all official visits

President's news

  • ECRI’s 64th plenary meeting, Strasbourg

    18/06/2014 
    ECRI’s 64th plenary meeting, Strasbourg

    On 17 June 2014, President Spielmann took part in an exchange of views with the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). He was welcomed by Christian Ahlund, ECRI’s Chair. President Spielmann was accompanied by Erik Fribergh, Registrar.

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  • Comparative-Law Seminar

    19/05/2014 
    Comparative-Law Seminar

    On 16 May 2014 President Spielmann opened a comparative-law seminar on the concepts of acceptability and legitimacy, organised on the initiative of judges from the European Supreme Courts.

    Speech by President Spielmann (in French only)

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  • 124th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Vienna

    06/05/2014 
    124th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Vienna

    President Spielmann gave a speech on the occasion of the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Council of Europe’s 47 member States in Vienna on 6 May 2014. In his speech he urged the Committee of Ministers to play its part in the execution of the Court’s judgments. Sebastian Kurz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, chaired the meeting.

    Speech by President Spielmann (in French only)

    Photo gallery

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  • Visit to Brussels

    30/04/2014 
    Visit to Brussels

    On 28 April 2014 President Spielmann went to Brussels to participate to the Conference on “EU Courts-Looking forward", organized by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe. During this visit, he was received by Annemie Turtelboom, the Belgian Minister of Justice and by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders.

    Speech by President Spielmann (in French only)

    Photo gallery

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Speeches by the President

View all speeches