Presidency of the Court

Síofra O’Leary


Born on 20 September 1968 in Dublin, Ireland

  • Bachelor of Civil Law, University College Dublin, Ireland, 1986-1989
  • PhD, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 1989-1993
  • Visiting Fellow and Research Associate, Department of Public International Law, University of Cádiz, Spain, and Institute for Public Policy Research, London, United Kingdom, 1994-1996
  • Assistant Director of the Centre for European Legal Studies, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1995-1996
  • Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1995-1996
  • Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland, 1999-2004
  • Référendaire, Chef de Cabinet and Head of Unit, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg, 1996-2015
  • Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium, since 2003
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Common Market Law Review, 2012-2015
  • Member of the Advisory Boards of the Common Market Law Review and the Irish Centre for European Law
  • Honorary Bencher of the Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Ireland
  • Judge of the European Court of Human Rights since 2 July 2015
  • President of Section from 1 January 2020 to 31 October 2022
  • Vice-President of the Court from 2 January to 31 October 2022
  • President of the Court since 1 November 2022.

 Full CV

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Election of the President


The plenary Court elects its President for a period of 3 years.

The President directs the work and administration of the Court. He/she represents the Court and, in particular, is responsible for its relations with the authorities of the Council of Europe. The President presides at plenary meetings of the Court, meetings of the Grand Chamber and meetings of the panel of 5 judges.

Official visits


Visit by State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic


On 21 June 2024, Marek Eštok, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Marko Bošnjak, President-elect of the Court, Alena Poláčková, Judge elected in respect of the Slovak Republic, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Official visit to Liechtenstein


On 17 June 2024, President Síofra O’Leary paid an official visit to Liechtenstein, accompanied by Carlo Ranzoni, Judge elected in respect of Liechtenstein, and Dorothee von Arnim, Deputy Section Registrar.

During the visit, the delegation took part in bilateral meetings with Daniel Risch, Prime Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein and Minister of General Government Affairs and Finance, Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport, and Graziella Marok-Wachter, Minister of Infrastructure and Justice.

On the same day, the delegation attended a conference at the University of Liechtenstein, in Vaduz, where President O’Leary delivered a keynote speech and took part in a panel discussion with, inter alia, Hilmar Hoch, President of the Constitutional Court of Liechtenstein, on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court.

Visit by the Minister of Justice of Italy


On 12 June 2024, Carlo Nordio, Minister of Justice of Italy, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Raffaele Sabato, Judge elected in respect of Italy, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting. On the side of the official visit, Minister Nordio attended the Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia.

Visit by the Minister of Justice of Poland


On 6 June 2024, Adam Bodnar, Minister of Justice of Poland, accompanied by Maria Ejchart, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, visited the Court and were received by President Síofra O’Leary. Krzysztof Wojtyczek, Judge elected in respect of Poland, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit to the European Central Bank


On 3 June 2024 President Síofra O’Leary visited the European Central Bank (ECB), in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), where she met Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, Frank Elderson and Philip R. Lane, members of the Executive Board of the ECB, and Chiara Zilioli, Director General of Legal Services. On that occasion President O’Leary made a presentation on the recent climate change rulings.

Official visit to the Republic of Moldova


On 21-23 May 2024, President Síofra O’Leary paid an official visit to the Republic of Moldova. During the visit, she participated in the XIXth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, in Chișinău, where she was greeted by Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova, and delivered an opening speech. She also took part in bilateral meetings with Igor Grosu, President of the Parliament, Domnica Manole, President of the Constitutional Court, and Veronica Mihailov-Moraru, Minister of Justice, and delivered a keynote speech at the National Institute of the Judiciary. President O’Leary was accompanied by Diana Sârcu, Judge elected in respect of the Republic of Moldova, and Abel Campos, Deputy Registrar of the Court.

Visit by H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein


On 18 April 2024, His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Carlo Ranzoni, Judge elected in respect of Liechtenstein, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit by a delegation of the Constitutional Court of Latvia


On 18 April 2024 a delegation from the Constitutional Court of Latvia, headed by its President, Aldis Laviņš, paid a working visit to the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. During the visit the delegation took part in roundtable discussions with judges of the Court and members of the Registry.

Visit by the Minister of Justice of Latvia


On 17 April 2024, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Minister of Justice of Latvia, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Mārtiņš Mits, Judge elected in respect of Latvia, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit by a high-level delegation of judges from the United Kingdom Superior Courts


On 12 April 2024 President Síofra O’Leary received an official visit by a high-level delegation of judges from the United Kingdom Superior Courts, composed of: The Right Honourable Lord Philip Sales, Justice of the UK Supreme Court; The Right Honourable the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales; The Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan, Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland; The Right Honourable Lord Andrew Burrows, Justice of the UK Supreme Court; The Right Honourable Lord Justice James Dingemans, Court of Appeal Judge, England and Wales; and The Right Honourable Lord Raymond Doherty, Court of Session Judge, Scotland. During the visit the delegation took part in roundtable discussions with judges of the Court and members of the Registry.

Meeting with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights


On 3 April 2024, President Síofra O’Leary has met Michael O’Flaherty, the Council of Europe’s new Commissioner for Human Rights. Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova


On 26 March 2024, Veronica Mihailov-Moraru, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Diana Sârcu, Judge elected in respect of the Republic of Moldova, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

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All official visits

Official visit to Liechenstein - 17 June 2024


Official visit to the Republic of Moldova - 21-23 May 2024


Official visit by the President of Montenegro - 23 January 2024


Official visit by the President of Cyprus - 23 January 2024


Events President


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20/06/24

On 20 June 2024, President Síofra O’Leary attended a high-level session held in Strasbourg on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). She delivered a keynote address on that occasion.

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17/06/24

President Síofra O’Leary delivered an introductory speech at the seminar on the theme The articulation between the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union Law: past, present and future which took place in the Human Rights Building on 14 June 2024.

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11/06/24

On 10 June 2024 President Síofra O’Leary took part in an exchange of views with the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meeting in plenary session in Paris.

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28/05/24

On 28 May 2024, at the invitation of the Chief Justice of Ireland, Donal O’Donnell, President Síofra O’Leary attended a ceremony held in Dublin to mark the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of an independent courts system in Ireland and, in particular, the centenary of the Supreme Court of Ireland. President O’Leary gave an address on that occasion.

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10/04/24

President Síofra O’Leary delivered a speech on the occasion of her exchange of views with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 April 2024. She was accompanied by Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, and Abel Campos, Deputy Registrar of the Court.

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19/03/24

On 19 March 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in an exchange of views with the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) meeting in session in Strasbourg. She was accompanied by Branko Lubarda, Judge elected in respect of Serbia, and Saadet Yüksel, Judge elected in respect of Türkiye. 
 

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“EUnited for Diversity II” Conference