The World Coalition Against Death Penalty, of which MEDEL is a member, issued today the attached statement on COVID-19 and its impact on the use of the death penalty worldwide.

It was also decided to present it as a written statement for the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council's 44th session.

MEDEL fully subscribes and supports this statement and initiative.

E-book "Justice and Challenges in Times of Pandemic in Europe"MEDEL gathered the communications and notes of speakers presented in the webinar “Justice and Challenges in Times of Pandemic in Europe”, held on May 6th, 2020, and organised by our portuguese member association Sindicato dos Magistrados do Ministério Público (SMMP), with the collaboration of MEDEL.

The goal of the webinar and this publication is to give an overview of the situation in 10 different countries – what was done, how did the judiciaries react and what challenges and shortcomings can be identified.

MEDELMEDEL has sent a letter to EU Commissioners Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders, about the disciplinary proceedings against Polish Judge Igor Tuleya, demanding an immediate action from the European Commission:

To Her Excellency Ms. Vera Jourová, European Commissioner of Values and Transparency and His Excellency Mr. Didier Reynders, European Commissioner of Justice.

Your Excellencies, While the whole legal community in Europe welcomed the European Court of Justice’s decision of 8 April 2020 obliging Poland to suspend the activity of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court with regard to disciplinary cases concerning judges, Polish authorities openly ignore it.

Turkish LettersAs a way of reaffirming our solidarity, our Polish member association, Iustitia, has made a video with images of detentions in Turkish courts after the coup in Turkey and with judges and prosecutors from all over Europe, reading some of the letters.

MEDELMarking the date of Giovanni Falcone’s assassination by the Mafia in 1992, MEDEL pronounced the 23rd of May as the alert day for the independence of justice in Europe. On this date, we are invited to reflect on the need for an independent and effective justice all over Europe and its importance for the safeguard of European citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

Very dark signs have arisen all over Europe in recent years, inside and outside the European Union. However, in no place as in Turkey did we witness such an orchestrated and premeditated campaign to completely destroy the independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law. Since the attempted Coup d’État of July 15th, 2016, all Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers who had constantly struggled for an independent justice have been persecuted, arrested, dismissed and have seen their property seized without any previous due process and with absolutely no guarantees of defense. 

Filipe MarquesAlert Day for the Independence of Justice: an article by the president of MEDEL - lessons we must learn from History about the importance of protecting the independence of the Judiciary.

Ao longo da história, neutralizar e manipular tribunais e outras instituições independentes foi sempre um passo essencial da estratégia dos líderes autocráticos para consolidar o poder.

Este ano honramos mais uma vez a memória de Giovanni Falcone, o juiz italiano assassinado pela máfia em 23 de maio de 1992, assinalando esta data como o Dia de Alerta para a Independência da Justiça.

giovanni-falconeOnce again, MEDEL honours the memory of Giovanni Falcone, the Italian judge assassinated by the mafia on May 23rd, 1992, by marking this date as the Alert Day for the Independence of Justice.

All over Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic showed the fragile situation of judicial systems to cope with exceptional times, when they are most needed to ensure respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.


MEDEL has sent on may 18th two letters to the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament, about the situation in Turkey and the recent events regarding the suspension of the President of the Turkish Judicial Syndicate, Ms. Ayse Pehlivan.


While the representatives of the member States of the European Union are discussing the budget of the Union for the forthcoming years, they consider introducing a new rule, which would allow the European Commission to cut the access to European funds to a member State who violates the fundamental principles of the Rule of Law.

MEDEL has to underline that respect for the Rule of Law is not a budgetary matter or something that one may use as a political weapon, but one of the very foundations of the European Union, if not the most critical one. Whether or not a Member State receives regional funds, it cannot opt out.


The German Constitutional Court (GCC) issued on May 5th, 2020, its long-awaited decision on the European Central Bank’s Public Sector Purchase Program. Apart from the questions regarding the financial assistance program, this decision is being read as a potential threat to the EU legal order, because of the possible underlying interpretation of the principle of supremacy of EU law and of the relationship between constitutional courts of member States and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

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