Mathieu Bonduelle advocating for a decrease of repression. (in french)
For a decrease of repression
Freedom of speech for greek judges and prosecutors
The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights reminds us that the freedom of expression is a basic pillar of a democratic society, a prerequisite for progress and development of each and everyone. This applies not just to information and ideas that we are keen to receive, or that we consider inoffensive or unimportant, but also to those that may harm, shock or raise concern of states or of any segment of the population. These are the requirements of pluralism, tolerance and open spirit, without which democratic society is inconceivable.
Consequently, the obligation of magistrates to be reserved should not reduce them to silence and conformism: As other citizens, magistrates are entitled to freedom of expression and should be able to voice their opinion on all subjects. They should take part in the democratic debates. Their opinions, enlightened by daily confrontation with the effects of laws passed by legislators, are useful to these debates.
The legitimacy of the judiciary institution cannot be based on the obliteration of magistrates. On the contrary: it should be based on their engagement in the defense of values and principles on which the rule of law relies.
By questioning the conformity of European memorandums with the Greek Constitution - the cession of assets that constitute a common heritage of a nation - prosecutor Pentayotis raises very important issues related to the general interest, which deserve to be the subject of a free debate in a democratic society.
By criticizing the corruption of political officials and the inability of the justice system to respond to it, M. Pentayotis confirms the concerns which the Group of States Against Corruption of the European Council voiced in a recent report, and demonstrates a legitimate concern.
To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men, President Abraham Lincoln once said.
For these reasons, MEDEL will closely follow the disciplinary procedures against M. Pentayotis to make sure this does not serve as pretext for undermining the liberty of expression of all Greek magistrates.
Dec. 12th 2012
Freedom of assembly and association
Ankara (Juillet 2008) : An international symposium on "The Separation of Powers and Freedom of Association of Members of the Judiciary" was convened jointly by YARSAV, IAJ and MEDEL in Ankara, Turkey on the 5th and 6th of July 2008. In an effort to work together in order to eliminate obstacles to the forming of voluntary associations by the judiciary and to promote judicial independence.
Conference on New Technical Means of Surveillance and the Protection of Fundamental Rights
The Association of Austrian Judges and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) organized a Conference in Vienna on June 19th, 2009.
The invitation was distributed by the two European wide Associations (European Association of Judges EAJ and Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés MEDEL)
Justice and media
The relation between the media and the justice is very complex, going from the mutual support to different forms of pressure. The situation is even more ambiguous in the so called new democracies from the Central and South Eastern Europe, where the media is often controlled, and the justice system – subject of politician's disputes. .
Fighting against discrimination
March 13 – 15, 2008
Discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin (Laura Curcio)
Female migrant workers in Greece(Evangelia Palaiogou)
Freedom of speech and association for judges and prosecutors
The President of the General Council of the Spanish Judicial Authority(CGPJ) requested that a disciplinary investigation be opened against the signatories of the Manifesto for a Rational Debate about Criminal Policy.
Medel took the initiative of a statement and sent a letter to the president of the CGPJ, to defend the principles of freedom of speech for judges and prosecutors.
See Medel's statement.
Criminal law and Constitutional Freedoms
Bordeaux, October 2nd, 2004
Against a Security Culture, colloquium organized at the National School of Magistracy by MEDEL in cooperation with “Avocats Européens pour la Démocratie” (European Lawyers for Democracy - AED)