Opening of the judicial year

Solemn hearing and judicial seminar


The solemn hearing for the opening of the judicial year takes place on the evening of the last Friday of January in front of a distinguished gathering of representatives from the Superior Courts of the 46 Council of Europe member States as well as former judges of the Court, ambassadors, dignitaries of the Host State (France) and other high-level invitees. During the ceremony, the President of the Court and his or her Guest of Honor address the audience in turn. 

The solemn hearing is preceded by a judicial seminar which provides a forum for discussion between judges of the Court and judges of national superior courts. The proceedings of the seminar are later published in the “Dialogue between judges” series.

Photo of President O'Leary giving a speech


A solemn hearing took place at the Court on 26 January 2024. During the solemn hearing Síofra O’Leary, President of the Court, and Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, addressed representatives from the highest courts of the 46 member States of the Council of Europe and from local, national and international authorities.

 Speech by President Síofra O’Leary

 Speech by Didier Reynders

Video of the solemn hearing: Original language - English - French

Photo of the audience listening to the panel of speakers


A judicial seminar on "Revisiting subsidiarity in the age of shared responsibility" took place on 26 January 2024, at which many eminent figures from European judicial circles were present.

 Seminar background paper

 Programme

Video of the seminar: Original language - English - French

Previous Years