The President

ECHR Building

President Dean Spielmann

President Dean Spielmann

Dean Spielmann studied at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (United Kingdom). He became a member of the Luxembourg Bar in 1989. As a lawyer he worked in various fields, including administrative law, civil and criminal law and human rights law. He acted as Counsel in a number of cases before the Commission and Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He was also a member of the Bar Council and the Disciplinary and Administrative Council of the Legal Profession, as well as sitting on various committees of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).

Dean Spielmann has also been a member of the European Union Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights and the Advisory Commission on Human Rights of Luxembourg.

He has taught at the universities of Louvain Luxembourg and Nancy (France) and is a certified member of the Grand-Ducal Institute.

Dean Spielmann is an Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, an Honorary Professor of University College London and an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn, London. He is doctor honoris causa of the State University of Yerevan.

Since 2004 Dean Spielmann has been a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, where he was elected Section President in 2010 and Vice-President of the Court in 2012, before being elected President of the Court in September 2012.

Dean Spielmann is the author of numerous publications on criminal law and human rights, amongst other subjects.

Full CV

Main publications

Photo gallery of President Dean Spielmann

Presidency of the Court

The plenary Court elects its President, for a period of three years, provided that such period does not exceed the duration of the President's term of office. The President continues to hold office until the election of his or her successors.

The President of the Court directs the work and administration of the Court. The President 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 five judges. The President does not take part in the consideration of cases being heard by Chambers except where he or she is the judge elected in respect of a Contracting Party concerned.

Interview - Role of the ECHR

In connection with the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, a video about the Marckx v. Belgium case has been produced, featuring an interview with the President of the Court, Dean Spielmann, and the former Vice-President and judge elected in respect of Belgium, Françoise Tulkens.


Interview on BBC

Interview given by President Spielmann on the BBC television programme HARDtalk - 14/01/2014

Video of the interview

Visit by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium

Official Visits

  • Visit by the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria

    Visit by the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria

    On 17 March 2015, Hristo Ivanov, Minister of Justice of Bulgaria, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. Erik Fribergh, Registrar, also attended the meeting.

  • Visit to Canada

    Visit to Canada

    On 9 and 10 March 2015 President Spielmann paid a visit to Canada on the invitation of the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The Court’s delegation consisted of Guido Raimondi, Vice-President and Judge in respect of Italy, André Potocki, Judge in respect of France, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar. The delegation took part in a seminar at the Canadian Supreme Court, at which they met its other judges, and in a conference at the University of Ottawa.

    La Proportionnalité (in French)

    La non-discrimination (in French)

  • Visit to the Conseil constitutionnel

    Visit to the Conseil constitutionnel

    On 2 March, President Spielmann travelled to the Conseil constitutionnel in Paris, invited by its President Jean-Louis Debré, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the priority question of constitutionality procedure. He met the members of the Conseil constitutionnel and then delivered a speech to more than 300 representatives of the French judiciary. He was accompanied by André Potocki, judge elected in respect of France.

    Speech by Dean Spielmann (in French)

    Speech by Jean-Louis Debré (in French)

  • Visit by the Minister of Justice of Belgium

    Visit by the Minister of Justice of Belgium

    On 2 March 2015, Koen Geens, Minister of Justice of Belgium, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. Paul Lemmens, judge elected in respect of Belgium, and Roderick Liddell, Director of Common services, also attended the meeting.


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President's News

  • Lectures


    On 6 November President Dean Spielmann visited London to give a lecture at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law on The European Court of Human Rights: Master of the Law but not of the Facts?

    Speech by the President

    On 7 November President Dean Spielmann gave a lecture at Gray’s Inn, of which he is an Honorary Bencher. The lecture was entitled The European Court of Human Rights as Guarantor of a Peaceful Public Order in Europe.

    Speech by the President


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Recent Speeches by the President

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