Presidency of the Court

Síofra O’Leary


Born on 20 September 1968 in Dublin, Ireland

  • Bachelor of Civil Law, University College Dublin, Ireland, 1986-1989
  • PhD, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 1989-1993
  • Visiting Fellow and Research Associate, Department of Public International Law, University of Cádiz, Spain, and Institute for Public Policy Research, London, United Kingdom, 1994-1996
  • Assistant Director of the Centre for European Legal Studies, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1995-1996
  • Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1995-1996
  • Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland, 1999-2004
  • Référendaire, Chef de Cabinet and Head of Unit, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg, 1996-2015
  • Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium, since 2003
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Common Market Law Review, 2012-2015
  • Member of the Advisory Boards of the Common Market Law Review and the Irish Centre for European Law
  • Honorary Bencher of the Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Ireland
  • Judge of the European Court of Human Rights since 2 July 2015
  • President of Section from 1 January 2020 to 31 October 2022
  • Vice-President of the Court from 2 January to 31 October 2022
  • President of the Court since 1 November 2022.

 Full CV

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Election of the President


The plenary Court elects its President for a period of 3 years.

The President directs the work and administration of the Court. He/she 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 5 judges.

Official visits


Visit by a high-level delegation of judges from the United Kingdom Superior Courts


On 12 April 2024 President Síofra O’Leary received an official visit by a high-level delegation of judges from the United Kingdom Superior Courts, composed of: The Right Honourable Lord Philip Sales, Justice of the UK Supreme Court; The Right Honourable the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales; The Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan, Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland; The Right Honourable Lord Andrew Burrows, Justice of the UK Supreme Court; The Right Honourable Lord Justice James Dingemans, Court of Appeal Judge, England and Wales; and The Right Honourable Lord Raymond Doherty, Court of Session Judge, Scotland. During the visit the delegation took part in roundtable discussions with judges of the Court and members of the Registry.

Meeting with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights


On 3 April 2024, President Síofra O’Leary has met Michael O’Flaherty, the Council of Europe’s new Commissioner for Human Rights. Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova


On 26 March 2024, Veronica Mihailov-Moraru, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Diana Sârcu, Judge elected in respect of the Republic of Moldova, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit to the French Conseil d’État


On 22 March 2024 President Síofra O’Leary led a Court delegation to Paris for a meeting with the French Conseil d’État. The delegation, composed of Georges Ravarani and Marko Bošnjak, Vice-Presidents of the Court, Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, Pere Pastor Vilanova and Arnfinn Bårdsen, Section Presidents, and Mattias Guyomar, Judge elected in respect of France, was received by Didier-Roland Tabuteau, Vice-President of the Conseil d’État, and took part in roundtable discussions with members of the Conseil d’État.

Visit by a delegation of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands


On 21 March 2024 a delegation from the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, headed by its President, Dineke de Groot, paid a working visit to the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. During the visit the delegation took part in roundtable discussions with judges of the Court and members of the Registry.

Visit by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta


On 5 March 2024, Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Lorraine Schembri Orland, Judge elected in respect of Malta, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

Visit to the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic


On 4 March 2024, President Síofra O’Leary paid an official visit to the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava. She was accompanied by Alena Poláčková, Judge elected in respect of the Slovak Republic, and Ilse Freiwirth, Section Registrar. The delegation was welcomed by Ján Šikuta, President of the Supreme Court, and Andrea Moravčíková, Vice-President of the Supreme Court, and took part in a roundtable discussion with Supreme Court judges.

Visit by the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council


On 8 February 2024, Ambassador Omar Zniber, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Abel Campos, Deputy Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

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All official visits

Official visit by the President of Montenegro - 23 January 2024


Official visit by the President of Cyprus - 23 January 2024


Events President


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10/04/24

President Síofra O’Leary delivered a speech on the occasion of her exchange of views with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 April 2024. She was accompanied by Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, and Abel Campos, Deputy Registrar of the Court.

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19/03/24

On 19 March 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in an exchange of views with the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) meeting in session in Strasbourg. She was accompanied by Branko Lubarda, Judge elected in respect of Serbia, and Saadet Yüksel, Judge elected in respect of Türkiye. 
 

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15/03/24

On 15 March 2024 President Síofra O’Leary delivered a keynote address to the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), in Dublin, on the current challenges the European Court of Human Rights is facing.

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07/03/24

On 7 March 2024 President Síofra O’Leary took part in the high-level conference on Activating the Protection of Fundamental and Human Rights at European Level, organised by the Law Department of the College of Europe and the Institute for European Law of KU Leuven /RESHUFFLE project, in Bruges (Belgium). She delivered the opening speech of the conference. Frédéric Krenc, judge elected in respect of Belgium, also took part in the conference.

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12/02/24

On 9 February 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in a bilateral meeting with Alma Zadić, Minister of Justice of Austria, in Vienna. Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, Section President and Judge elected in respect of Austria, and Anne-Louise Bormann, Judge elected in respect of Denmark, also attended the meeting.

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07/02/24

On 7 February 2024, President Síofra O’Leary took part in the International Conference on Justice, Future Generations and Environment organised in Paris by the French Constitutional Council and the Institute for Studies and Research on Law and Justice (IERDJ). She delivered a speech on that occasion. Mattias Guyomar, Judge elected in respect of France, also participated in the conference.

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“EUnited for Diversity II” Conference