We need to talk about the Rule of Law
#2 We need to talk about Judicial Nominations

#2 We need to talk about Judicial Nominations

September 30, 2020

It's easy to agree that judicial independence is important – but who gets to be a part of the judiciary, who gets promoted to which court and who enters the highest ranks is a decision that has to be taken by someone, and a lot depends on who that someone is.

Controlling judicial nominations is one of the key elements in all authoritarian takeover strategies which have been implemented in recent years in Poland, in Hungary and elsewhere. This is what we will discuss with our three distinguished guests today:


FILIPPO DONATI is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Florence, a lay member of the Concilio Superiore della Magistratura of Italy and since June of this year the president of the European Network of Councils of the Judiciary.

JOANNA HETNAROWICZ-SIKORA is a judge at the district court of Slupsk in northern Poland and a member of the board of the independent judges’ association IUSTITIA.

Christiane Schmaltz

CHRISTIANE SCHMALTZ is a judge at the highest German civil and criminal court, the Bundesgerichtshof.


#1 We need to talk about Constitutional Courts

#1 We need to talk about Constitutional Courts

September 23, 2020

Constitutional courts are under attack in many countries in Europe and beyond. Why? And why now? What can be done to protect them, and what are the most important conditions for constitutional courts to function?

These are the questions we discuss in the first episode of our new podcast with three guests, two of them former constitutional judges with first-hand experience on these matters, and one a scholar who has written an outstanding book on the German Bundesverfassungsgericht.

Stanislaw Biernat

STANISLAW BIERNAT was the Vice President of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal while the government launched its takeover campaign against the court.

PEDRO CRUZ VILLALON, former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice, was a Judge at and President of the Spanish Constitutional Court, which has suffered greatly in recent years in the Catalan secession drama.

MICHAELA HAILBRONNER is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Gießen and an expert on the probably most influential constitutional court in Europe, the German Bundesverfassungsgericht.

#0 Trailer

#0 Trailer

September 16, 2020

What is our new podcast going to be about? What is the concept behind "We need to talk about the rule of law"? What do we want to achieve with this podcast? Why is this urgent? Listen to the Trailer to find out!

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