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The International Association of Judges was founded in Salzburg (Austria) in 1953. It is a professional, non-political, international organization, bringing together national associations of judges, not individual judges, approved by the Central Council for admission to the Association.

The main aim of the Association is to safeguard the independence of the judiciary, which is an essential requirement of the judicial function, guaranteeing human rights and freedom.

The organization currently encompasses 84 such national associations or representative groups, from five continents.

The Central Council of the IAJ is its executive body.

Each member association has two representatives in the Council. The Central Council meets annually, preferably in a different country every year.

At the Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) meeting, which took place during the month of November 2014, Ms. Cristina Crespo, judge from Uruguay, was elected President of the IAJ for the following two years.

Mr. Giacomo Oberto, judge of the civil court in Turin, was confirmed Secretary-General for a second mandate.

The Association has consultative status with the United Nations (with specific reference to the International Labour Office and the U.N. Economic and Social Council) and with the Council of Europe.

The Association has four Study Commissions, dealing respectively with judicial administration and status of the judiciary, civil law and procedure, criminal law and procedure, public and social law. These commissions are composed of delegates from national associations.

They meet annually in the same location as the Central Council. Based on the national reports received, the members of the commissions study and discuss problems of common interest, pertaining to the justice process, on a comparative and transnational basis. The Association has four Regional Groups: i) the European Association of Judges (44 Countries); ii) the Iberoamerican Group (17 Countries); iii) the African Group (16 Countries); iv) the Asian, North American and Oceanian Group (11 Countries).

Periodically, the Association organizes an international congress The most recent meetings of the Central Council and of the study commissions were held in Barcelona (Spain, 2015), Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil, 2014), Yalta (Ukraine, 2013), Washington D.C. (USA, 2012), Istanbul (Turkey, 2011), Dakar (Senegal, 2010),Marrakech (Morocco, 2009), Yerevan (Armenia, 2008), Trondheim (Norway, 2007), Siofok (Hungary, 2006), Montevideo (Uruguay, 2005), Valle de Bravo (Mexico, 2004), Vienna (Austria, 2003), Alicante (Spain, 2003), Madrid (Spain, 2001), Recife (Brazil, 2000), Taipei (Taiwan, 1999), Porto (Portugal, 1998), San Juan (Puerto Rico, 1997), Amsterdam (The Netherlands, 1996), Tunis (Tunisia, 1995), Athens (Greece, 1994), Sao Paulo (Brazil, 1993), Sevilla (Spain, 1992), Crans-Montana (Switzerland, 1991), Helsinki (Finland, 1990), Macao (1989), Berlin (Germany, 1988), Dublin (Ireland, 1987), Rome (Italy, 1986), Oslo (Norway, 1985), Vaduz (Liechtenstein, 1984), Dakar (Senegal, 1983), Madeira (Portugal, 1982), Vienna (Austria 1981), Tunis (Tunisia, 1980), Stockholm (Sweden, 1979).

At the meeting in Barcelona (Spain), in October 2015, the study commissions discussed the following subjects: “The relationship between effective management of the courts and the delivery of justice by independent judges” (1st Study Commission); “Expert evidence” (2nd Study Commission); “Juvenile Justice” (3rd Study Commission); “Reasons for dismissal of workers” (4th Study Commission). The following subjects will be discussed by the study commissions in 2016: 1 SC: “Best practices within the judicial system for ensuring transparency and integrity and preventing corruption”; 2 SC: “Class actions”; 3 SC: “The Sentencing of Criminal Offenders”; 4 SC: “Social networks and labour relations”.

The next meeting of the Central Council, of the four Regional Groups and of the study commissions will be hosted in Mexico City (Mexico) by the Mexican Judges Association  (Comisión Nacional de Tribunales Superiores de Justicia de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) on 23rd – 28th October 2016.

Documents referring to the foundation of the iaj in 1953

The first 25 years

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