For the identity and well-functioning of Europe, independent national judiciaries are key, and the selection processes of judges and Court Presidents essential. During the last decade, however, several European Governments have been undermining this by trying to establish political control over national judges, especially through political dominance over the selection and appointment processes for judges and Court Presidents.
In his inaugural speech, Sterk addresses the topic of selection processes, both on substance as well as on procedure. He analyses the case law of the European Court of Justice as well as the European Court of Human Rights, and the enforcement policies of the European Commission.
Sterk identifies problems and recommends five steps to protect independent justice in Europe including the systemic enforcement gap, an effective enforcement duty, the standards for selection bodies, a duty to reason selection decisions, and on limiting the power of the executive to refuse candidates selected by selection bodies.