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

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All official visits

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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On 7 February 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in the International Conference on Justice, Future Generations and Environment organised in Paris by the French Constitutional Council and the Institute for Studies and Research on Law and Justice (IERDJ). She delivered a speech on that occasion. Mattias Guyomar, Judge elected in respect of France, also participated in the conference.

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On 1 February 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in an exchange of views with Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General, and the Presidents of the Intergovernmental Committees of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. The President delivered an address on that occasion.

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The official opening of the judicial year of the ECHR took place on 26 January 2024. The event included a seminar on the topic Revisiting subsidiarity in the age of shared responsibility, at which many eminent figures from European judicial circles were present. President Síofra O’Leary delivered an introductory speech at the Judicial seminar. 

This was followed by the ceremony to mark the official opening of the judicial year 2024. Síofra O’Leary, President of the Court, and this year’s guest 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.

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On 25 January 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in a panel discussion on Women’s Leadership in the Council of Europe organised by the Liechtenstein Presidency of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the Council of Europe to mark the International Day of Women in Multilateralism.

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President Síofra O'Leary held a press conference that was streamed live on Internet.

The President of the Court gave an overview of the Court's activities in 2023 and presented the statistics for the past year. Accompanied by Marialena Tsirli, Registrar, she then took questions from journalists.

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On 10 December 2023, President Síofra O’Leary attended a conference Defending the rights of everyone, everywhere held in Paris on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. She was accompanied by Mattias Guyomar, Judge elected in respect of France. President O’Leary also delivered an address during an official event hosted by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.

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“EUnited for Diversity II” Conference