ZiF Workshop

The Role and Legitimacy of Judicial Assistants in European Legal Systems

Date: 27 - 28 August 2019
Convenors: Anne Sanders (Bielefeld, GER), Nina Holvast (Rotterdam, NED)

Workshop participants came from the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Germany and had a background in law, sociology and political science. They discussed the role and legitimacy of judicial assistants in different judicial systems. While the role and influence of law clerks has been discussed in the U.S., research in this issue is still at its beginning in Europe.

The workshop began with a presentation of Nina Betetto, judge at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia and vice president of the CCJE (Consultative Council of European Judges, an advisory body within the Council of Europe, consisting of judges from all member states). She discussed the work of the CCJE on its Opinion No. 22 (2019), the first international soft law on the role of judicial assistants.

Nina Holvast and Peter Mascini (both University of Rotterdam) discussed their first 'Findings of their study on the influence of judicial assistants and judges at Dutch administrative courts'. This study, for the first time, empirically investigates the influence judicial assistants have in the decision-making process of judges, when judicial assistants prepare the work on the case in the form of a memorandum.

In their presentation Gunnar Grendstad und Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde (both Bergen University) discussed how the hiring of judicial assistants affected the institutionalization of the Norwegian Supreme Court. Anne Sanders (Bielefeld University) presented first results of her interview studies at different European and international courts. Ole Jensen (Berlin) concluded the line of presentations with some 'Brief remarks about Judicial Assistants in Arbitration'.

The workshop was concluded with a discussion on future meetings and joint projects.

Anne Sanders, Nina Holvast


Nina Betetto (Ljubljana, SLO), Gunnar Grendstad (Bergen, NOR), Ole Jensen (Berlin, GER), Peter Mascini (Rotterdam, NED), Marc Mölders (Bielefeld, GER), Oliver Nißing (Bielefeld, GER), Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde (Bergen, NOR)

Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Marina Hoffmann at the Conference Office. Questions regarding scientific content and contributions should be directed to the organizers.

Tel: +49 521 106-2768
Fax: +49 521 106-152768
E-Mail: marina.hoffmann@uni-bielefeld.de