Conference of European Constitutional Courts

Conference of European Constitutional Courts


The Conference of European Constitutional Courts (“CECC” or “the Conference”) was established in Dubrovnik/Croatia in 1972 in order to bring together European constitutional or equivalent courts conducting constitutional review. Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) is among the first members of the Conference. TCC’s membership dates back to 1987.

The aims pursued by the Conference of European Constitutional Courts are set out in Article 3 of the Statute as follows: “[it] shall hold at regular intervals a Congress. It shall promote the exchange of information on the working methods and constitutional case-law of member courts together with the exchange of opinions on institutional, structural and operational issues as regards public-law and constitutional jurisdiction. In addition, it shall take steps to enhance the independence of constitutional courts as an essential factor in guaranteeing and implementing democracy and the rule of law, in particular with a view to securing protection of human rights. It shall support efforts to maintain regular contacts between the European Constitutional Courts and similar institutions.

The XVIIth Congress of the Conference and “Circle of Presidents” was held on 28 June - 1 July 2017 in Batumi, Georgia. The President of the Constitutional Court of Türkiye Mr. Zühtü ARSLAN and the accompanying delegation participated in the Congress and the meeting of Circle of Presidents.

President ARSLAN delivered a speech during the Congress on the role of constitutional courts in times of emergency. President ARSLAN also deliberated on the case-law principles of the Turkish Constitutional Court within the scope of detentions on remand, which took place under the state of emergency in Türkiye.

The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic assumed the presidency of the Conference for the term of 2017-2020. The XVIIIth Congress was held via video conference on 24-25 February 2021 due to the precautions related to Covid-19 pandemic, with the participation of representatives from the Constitutional/Supreme Courts of 35 member countries.  The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic holding the term presidency has undertaken the coordination of the Congress. It was decided previously during the XVIIth Congress in Batum, Georgia that the XIXth Congress be held in Chisinau, Moldova, and in accordance with the decision of the Circle of Presidents taken by way of circular resolution, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova will preside over the Conference from 2021 to 2024.

The Bodies of the Conference

  1. The “Circle of Presidents”, the central decision-making body composed of the Presidents of the Courts and the institutions with full member status;
  2. The Congress, which is held every three years, attended by full members, associate members, but also observers, such as supranational European courts, commissions and institutions of the Council of Europe and the European Union dealing with issues of constitutional jurisdiction, (non-) European constitutional courts, and guests.

The chairmanship of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, rotating every three years, can only be held by a court that is a full member of the Conference. The chair of the Conference (and of the “Circle of Presidents”) is held by the President of the Court which is to host the next Congress; the same court will also provide the Secretariat of the Conference.

VIIIth Congress, 1990 (Ankara)

During the meeting of the VIIth European Constitutional Courts Conference held in Lisbon between 26-30 April 1987 the Turkish Constitutional Court was admitted to membership and a resolution was made to hold the next Congress in Türkiye in 1990.

The preparatory meeting for the VIIIth Congress was held in İstanbul between 14-17 November 1988. The theme of the Congress was determined as “Hierarchy of Constitutional Norms and its Function in the Protection of Fundamental Rights.” The Congress was held between 7-10 May 1990 in Ankara with the participation of 102 representatives/delegates from the following countries and institutions:

Attendants: Federal Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Former Yugoslavia, Vatican City State.

Observers: Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, the European Court of Human Rights, the former Court of Justice of the European Communities.

For more information please visit the website of the CECC.