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 to Spain

Official Visits

  • Visit to Spain

    Visit to Spain

    On 21 and 22 May 2015, President Spielmann paid an official visit to Madrid. On that occasion, he was granted an audience with His Majesty the King of Spain, Felipe VI. He also met Francisco Pérez de los Cobos Orihuel, President of the Constitutional Tribunal, and Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. During his visit, he took part in a seminar at the Constitutional Tribunal. President Spielmann was accompanied by Luis López Guerra, judge elected in respect of Spain, and Patrick Titiun, Head of the Office of the President.

    Speech by the President (in French)

    Speech by Francisco Pérez de los Cobos Orihuel (in Spanish)

  • Visit by the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Serbia

    Visit by the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Serbia

    On 20 May 2015, Dragomir Milojević, President of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Serbia, visited the Court and was received by President Spielmann. Branko Lubarda, the judge elected in respect of Serbia, and Erik Fribergh, Registrar, also attended the meeting.

  • Visit to Italy

    Visit to Italy

    On 15 May 2015, the Court’s Vice-President, Guido Raimondi, paid an official visit to Italy. During his visit, he met Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy.


View all official visits

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


View all President's news

Recent Speeches by the President

  • 125th session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

    125th session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

    On 19 May 2015, President Spielmann took part in the 125th session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in Brussels

    Speech by the president (in French)

  • Réunion informelle du groupe de travail du Conseil de l'Union européenne sur l'OSCE et le Conseil de l'Europe


View all speeches