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  • Justizforschung


    © Museu do Fresco Monsaraz/Fresco do Bom e Mau Juiz, Fresko vom Guten und Bösen Richter. Dieses Fresko stammt aus dem 15. Jahrhundert und kann im Museu do Fresco in Monsaraz, Region Alentejo, Portugal besichtigt werden.

Comparative judicial studies



In the field of judicial studies, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders focuses on the organization and role of judges and courts at both national and international levels. The foundations and standards of the rule of law and judicial independence in Europe, as they are currently being discussed in connection with Turkey and Poland, play a major role. She has also dealt with this subject as an expert of the Council of Europe. In the project on judicial assistants at courts, as a member of an international, interdisciplinary group of researchers, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders discusses the role and legitimacy of judicial assistants at different courts. In this area, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders has served as expert for the Council of Europe's Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) since 2019 and makes proposals for the development of European standards. In projects on the quality of judges' work, evaluation and promotion of judges, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders worked as an expert on Cyprus and Albania in particular.


  • Editor of the International Journal of Court Administration
  • Co-Chair of the Permanent EGPA-Study Group on Justice and Court Administration

  • Member Rule of Law Study Group University of Bergen, Professor II at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway

  • Vice-President of the Swiss Institute for the Judiciary

Current projects and lectures

  • 21.02-24.02.2023: Study visit to the Netherlands with a Norwegian/Croatian project on "court performance and evaluation of judges".
  • 25.01-26.01.2023: Study visit in Austria with a Norwegian/Croatian project on "court performance and evaluation of judges".
  • 14.-16.12.2022: Contributors’ Conference for the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Judicial Behaviour (in Jerusalem)
  • 21.09.2022: Lecture DJT, the program can be found here.
  • 07.09.2022: Lecture at the EGPA Conference 2022 in Lisbon: Judicial councils in Europe, with a focus on the Nordic countries with Ragna Aarli, University of Bergen, NOR
  • 20 - 22.06.2022: Workshop on judicial independence together with Prof. Dr. Fabian Wittreck (University of Münster)

Media and interviews

Please note:The articles and intervies may be written in german language.


Using law to make society better

New Lawyers Podcast with Alisha Andert: Using law to make society better

The podcast recording can be found here.


How politically independent is the judiciary? Impressions from the Deutschen Juristentag

Die Justizreporter*innen - SWR Podcast - Interview with Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders and Marie Luise Graf-Schlicker

You can find the recording of the podcast from 09/26/2022 here.


How to find the best judges?

Article in the FAZ by Stephan Klenner

Click here to go to the article.


When power and networks make decisions

Article in the SZ by Wolfgang Janisch

In the article by Wolfgang Janisch, Prof. Dr. Sanders comments, among other things, on the selection procedure for judges.

Find the article here.


Not enough judges and long judicial proceedings

Report in Deutschlandfunk by Peggy Fiebig

The reporting and the remarks of Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders on this can be found here

Rule of law and judicial independence

These projects are part of the research on the rule of law and the judicial independence of Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders:

In preparation

Contribution to the conference proceedings for Tricon with the focus: "The Rule of law in Europe - Perspective of the Council of Europe".
In preparation Contribution to the quality of judges in Germany

Article on the Constitution Blog

Judges, Political Mandates and Judicial Independence in Germany: How to Deal with Radicalised Judges?

You can find the article here.


Contribution to judicial independence

"Keeping things the way they are." You can find the article here.



Comparative law presentation for the DJT 2022 (Bonn)

on judicial independence in the context of decisions concerning the appointment and promotion of judges


Equity: 150 years after the judicial reforms

St John's college Oxford

For more information click here.


Lecture at Trinational Talk on Rule of Law 2022 Judicial Independence from a "Council of Europe" Perspective

The video of the entire conference can be found here.

The lecture by Prof. Dr. Sanders can be found here.


Post on the Verfassungsblog together with Elisabeth Faltinat.

"Independent Selection of Judges via Competence Evaluation and Lot."

You can access the post here.


Expert for CCJE Opinion 24 (2021) on Judicial Councils

Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders was involved as an expert in CCJE Opinion 24/2021 on the development of judicial councils and their role for an independent and impartial judicial system.

The Opinion can be found here.


Judicial Independence and Separation of Powers in Europe and Switzerland - Where Do We Stand?

1st Basel Conference Judiciary, University of Basel

Organized by the Law Faculty of the University of Basel in cooperation with the Swiss Institute for the Judiciary, the 1st Basel Judiciary Conference will take place on March 12, 2021 with Prof. Dr. Sanders as speaker. For more information, please see the flyer.

You can access the program and the recording here.


Co-editor (together with Prof.'in Dr. Ragna Aarli) of the volume on "Courts in Evolving Societies". In addition to the joint introduction to the volume with Prof.'in Dr. Ragna Aarli, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders co-authored the chapter on the court system in Germany with Prof. Dr. Reinhard Gaier.

The challenges facing courts around the world today can only be solved through close cooperation between judges and academics across national borders. This anthology brings together judges and academics for a dialogue on judicial reform. The book presents contributions from judges about their judicial systems (China, Germany, Slovenia, England and Wales, and Norway). The scholars' contributions address various themes that emerged in the country reports: The topics include comparative, normative, and organizational perspectives on national court systems as well as international perspectives on courts as guarantors of individual rights in an increasingly globalized rule of law framework.


Keynote speech „Law and Europe: the functioning of the rule of law“

Protestant Academy Frankfurt

A cooperation with the Hessian State Center for Political Education and the Hessian Judges Association, together with Jens Gnisa, the chairman of the German Judges Association, Jens Veser, journalist and Eastern Europe expert of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Prof. Dr. Stefan Kadelbach, Chair of Public Law, European Law and Constitutional Law at Goethe University Frankfurt and Dr. Ing. Rudolf Kriszeleit, former State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Justice, for Integration and Europe


Lecture followed by panel discussion: „European constitutional state in danger“

Organized by the Working Group of Social Democratic Lawyers, Erfurt with the participation of Harald Baumann Hasske, Member of the State Parliament and Jakob von Weizsäcker Member of the EP

25. - 26.05.2018

Conference: "The Role of Courts in Evolving Societies

The conference "The Role of Courts in Evolving Societies" was held in Beijing, China. The conference was organized by the Norwegian China Law Centre of the University of Bergen, Renmin Law School and Bielefeld University. Judges and scholars from Norway, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland participated in the conference.

The program of the conference can be found here.


Lecture on Judicial Evaluations in Europe at the Royal Commission for the Reform of the Norwegian Courts

Oslo, Norway


Lecture at the Federal Social Court, Kassel on the day of the honorary judge „The judges of Europe - how independently can they work?“


Opening lecture Richterakademie: „On the independence of the judiciary - a European comparison“

Richterakademie 15.-20. October 2017, Wustrau


Judicial press conference „Conditions of an independent judiciary in Europe“

In the rooms of the Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe


Lecture „The image of the judge in a European comparison“

Large judges conference of the social jurisdiction NRW 6.-7. July 2017, Recklinghausen


Brief presentation on European standards for judicial councils

Juridical Conference in Katowice, Poland, held by the judicial associations of Poland and the Polish Bar Association to protest against the government's judicial reforms.


Lecture „The independence of the judiciary in Europe - current dangers for the foundations of the rule of law“

Legal Study Society Hannover


Lecture „The quality of justice in Europe“

Opening lecture of the annual meeting of the Slovenian Judges Day from 3.-4. June 2016 in Portorož, Slovenian Republic

2016 Expert of the Council of Europe in the Project: "Eastern Partnership Programme for Judicial Reform" for the appointment, evaluation and promotion of judges for the countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Oktober 2015

Lecture „The independence of judges and prosecutors in the member states of the Council of Europe“

University of Bochum


Expert for the Council of Europe, Consultive Council of European Judges (CCJE) and Consultive Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) for the preparation of the report „The main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in the member states“ für den Generalsekretär des Europarats.

The report served as the basis for the „Council of Action on Strengthening Judicial Independence and Impartiality“ of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe


Expert for CCJE Opinion 18 (2015)

Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders was involved as an expert to CCJE Opinion 18/2015 on the position of the judiciary and its relationship to the other powers of the state in a modern democracy.

The Opinion can be found here.


Expert for CCJE Opinion 17 (2014)

Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders was involved as an expert in CCJE Opinion 17/2014 on the evaluation of the work of judges, the quality of justice and respect for judicial independence.

The Opinion can be found here.

Judicial Assistants at Courts

At many courts, in many legal systems, judges do not work on their cases alone but are supported by assistants. Such persons may be called judicial assistant (UK), law clerk (USA), griffier (Netherlands) utreder (Norway), wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Germany),  or référendaire (European Court of Justice). Tribunal secretaries support arbitrators in international arbitration.

As different as the duties of such judicial assistants and their organisation may be, they support the decision making process of judges without being judges themselves. This poses a number of questions. Do judicial assistants have influence in the decision making process? Have judicial assistants an impact on courts as institutions? And what - if any - are the limits of the division of labour in the adjudicative process?

The role and influence of Judicial Assistants (or law clerks, legal advisors, greffier, référendaire) in Courts is examined by Prof.'in. Anne Sanders in the following projects:

In preparation Paper on judicial assistants in Oxford Handbook of Comparative Judicial Behaviour
In preparation Application to the ZiF to establish a research group

Annual meeting of the scientific staff at the BVerfG, the supreme federal courts of the Federation and the Federal Prosecutor's Office

BVerwG Leipzig


Workshop "Efficiency, quality and legitimacy of employingjudicial assistants in courts globally"

ZiF Bielefeld


International Journal for Court Administration - Special Issue „Empirical Studies on the Role and Influence of Judicial Assistants and Tribunal Secretaries“

The special issue is available here.


Workshop „The Role and Legitimacy of Judicial Assistants in European Legal Systems“

at and supported by the ZiF in Bielefeld with Dr. Nina Holvast (University of Rotterdam), Prof. Dr. Peter Mascini (University of Rotterdam), Prof. Dr. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde (University of Bergen), Prof. Dr. Gunnar Grendstad Grenstadt (University of Bergen) and Nina Betetto (Supreme Court Slovenia, Vice-President of the CCJE, University of Rotterdam).

You can find more about the workshop here.

2019 With Prof. Nina Holvast (Erasmus University Rotterdam), founding and organization of an interdisciplinary, international research group with legal scholars, sociologists and economists from Germany, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey, USA/Hong Kong. This group held ZiF workshops in 2019 and 2020.

Paper „The Role of Judicial Assistants in Europe“

EGPA 2019 Belfast, Permanent Study Group XVIII Justice and Court Administration


Vortrag „The Role of Judicial Assistants in Europe“

«Courts and Constitutions» 

Workshop at the Norwegian University Centre in Paris - Fondation Maison de Sciences de l'Homme, together with French and Norwegian judges (e.g. Judge Arnfinn Bårdsen, Norwegian judge at the ECtHR) and scientists


Expert for the CCJE Opinion No. 22 (2019) „on the role of court clerks and legal assistants within the courts and their relationships with judges“

You can find the opinion here.

The Opinions of the CCJE are soft law, but are regularly consulted by national and international bodies, such as the ECtHR, as guidelines for questions regarding  judicial independence.  Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders supported the drafting process of the opinion as expert. It was the third time she has served as the CCJE's expert.

since 2018

Interview Study with academic staff / judges at international and national courts 

To date, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders has conducted half structured interviews  in the following countries and institutions: ECJ, International Criminal Court, United Kingdom (Supreme Court and Court of Appeal), Germany (Federal Court of Justice), Slovenia (Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Commercial Court, Execution Court), Switzerland (Federal Court, High Court of Bern) , Civil Court Bern, Administrative Court Bern)




Procedural law and Access to Justice

In the context of judicial research on procedural law, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders has already dealt with a wide variety of topics: Starting with questions on the use of expert witnesses in civil law proceedings up to the introduction of video hearings. Here, too, a comparative law perspective is always important in Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders' projects. She deals(s) mainly with the following projects


Webinar: Experiences with video hearings in court

The Research Group for the Rule of Law, Law faculty, University of Bergen will host a webinar on video-based court hearings in various European countries on 14/06/2021. The aim of the webinar is to contribute to the best possible use of video software in court proceedings. For this purpose, it is important to exchange information about the different legal frameworks in force as well as about the experiences already made. You can find the program here.

December 2019

Decrease of Civil Justice Entrance Numbers in Germany

Provisionally completed sub-project: The subject of the investigation was the decline in the number of incoming cases at German civil courts. A paper prepared with JProf. Dr. Roberto Ippoliti from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and presented at a conference for Law and Economics in Milan in December 2019 is still undergoing peer review. The result is that at least one reason for the decline in the number of incoming cases in the German civil justice system may be the good economic development of the last decades. Accordingly, the number of incoming cases during and after the pandemic should rise a

The paper can be found here.


Keynote speech in Panel IV at the specialist event on the evaluation of the FamFG evaluation in the BMJV


German member of the EU-funded EGLE Jury of the EEEI (European Experts and Experts Institute) for the development of European standards for experts in civil proceedings

Judicial Councils

In several European nations, judicial councils are responsible for the administration of justice. Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders deals with this context in the following projects:

06. - 09.09.2022

Lecture at the EGPA Conference 2022 in Lisbon: Judicial councils in Europe, with a focus on the Nordic countries

together with Prof. Dr. Ragna Aarli University of Bergen, NOR


Roundtable: Presentation at an event organized by the Venice Commission, the University of La Sapienza and the University of Barcelona

The presentation can be found here.


Expert for the CCJE Opinion No. 24 (2021) on Judicial Councils.

The opinion can be found here.


The COVID-19 pandemic affects all parts of social life. The judicial system is also affected. In this context, it is certainly interesting to note that courts not only have to decide on the legality of corona measures, but also have had to adapt their work processes to pandemic conditions. According to the reports from various court systems, the pandemic could act as a catalyst for change and modernization of the judiciary on the one hand, but on the other hand it could also bring deficits to light, especially with regard to technical equipment.

Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders is dealing with this topic in the following projects:



Webinar: Experiences with video hearings in court

The Research Group for the Rule of Law, Law faculty, University of Bergen is organizing a webinar on video-based court proceedings in various European countries. The aim of the webinar is to contribute to the best possible use of video software in court proceedings. For this purpose, it is important to exchange information about the different applicable legal frameworks as well as about the experiences already made.

You can find the program here.


Special Issue im International Journal of Court Administration: The COVID-19 crisis – Lessons for the Courts - Volume 12 - Issue 2 – 2021

On May 6, a Special Issue was published in the International Journal for Court Administration, co-edited by Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders. It contains contributions from scholars from Italy, India, Australia, Germany, Israel, England, Portugal, Brazil, Switzerland and about the ECJ. It is about how courts around the world are dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and what lessons can be learned for the future. You can access the Special Issue here.

The article by Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders covers video hearings in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France , Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The article is based on a survey conducted among active and former members of the CCJE (Consultative Council of European Judges at the Council of Europe).

You can access the article here.



"Video-Hearings in Europe Before, During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic’"(2020)12(2) International Journal for Court Administration 3.

You can find the article here.

Co-Organization of the Online Conference "The COVID-19 crisis - Lessons for the Courts".

As Co-Chair of the EGPA-Study Group Justice and Court Administration, Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders prepared an online conference on the courts' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic with judges and scholars from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, ECJ, England and Wales, India, Israel, US State of Michigan, Norway, Portugal.

More on the EGPA Justice and Court Administration Study Group can be found here.


Links, literature, event notes

SIFJ also lists a comprehensive bibliography on the judiciary. You can access the complete overview here.

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