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.


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

Video of the interview

Visit by the Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Official Visits

  • Visit to Slovenia

    Visit to Slovenia

    On 18 December 2014, President Spielmann paid an official visit to Ljubljana. During his visit, he met Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia, Miroslav Goran Klemenčič, Minister for Justice, and Miroslav Mozetič, President of the Constitutional Court. President Spielmann also opened the solemn hearing of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia. He was accompanied by Boštjan Zupančič, judge elected in respect of Slovenia, and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar.

  • Visit by the Défenseur des droits, France

    Visit by the Défenseur des droits, France

    On 11 December 2014 President Spielmann received Jacques Toubon, French Défenseur des droits. André Potocki, Judge elected in respect of France, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar, also attended the meeting.

  • Visit to the Swiss Parliament

    Visit to the Swiss Parliament

    On 9 December 2014, President Dean Spielmann addressed the Federal Chambers on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention by Switzerland. President Spielmann was accompanied by Erik Fribergh, Registrar.

    Speech by the President (In French Only)

  • Visit by the Prime Minister of Luxembourg

    Visit by the Prime Minister of Luxembourg

    On 1 December 2014, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar.

    Photo Gallery


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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

  • ECRI’s 64th plenary meeting, Strasbourg

    ECRI’s 64th plenary meeting, Strasbourg

    On 17 June 2014, President Spielmann took part in an exchange of views with the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). He was welcomed by Christian Ahlund, ECRI’s Chair. President Spielmann was accompanied by Erik Fribergh, Registrar.


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Recent Speeches by the President

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