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

Conference Brussels 2015

Official Visits

  • Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Belgium

    Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Belgium

    On 21 April 2015 Their Majesties the King and Queen of Belgium visited the Court, where they were received by President Spielmann. They were accompanied by H.E. Didier Reynders, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Paul Lemmens, judge elected in respect of Belgium, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar, were also present at the meeting. Their Majesties then inaugurated the exhibition ‘Human Rights according to the Cat’ in a ceremony attended by its author, the cartoonist Philippe Geluck.

  • Visit by the Minister of Internal Affairs of San Marino

    Visit by the Minister of Internal Affairs of San Marino

    On 7 April 2015, Gian Carlo Venturini, Minister of Internal Affairs of San Marino, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. Kristina Pardalos, judge elected in respect of San Marino, and Françoise Elens-Passos, Section Registrar, also attended the meeting.


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President's News

  • Brussels Conference 2015

    Brussels Conference 2015

    At the Brussels Conference, which was held on 26 and 27 March 2015, the 47 member states of the Council of Europe reaffirmed their support to the European Convention of Human Rights and approved a series of measures to improve the implementation of the judgments of the Court.

    Speech by Dean Spielmann

    Website of the conference

    Brussels Declaration


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Recent Speeches by the President

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