Estonia's chief justice to lead European supreme courts network
Chief Justice Priit Pikamäe will become the president of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union starting Jan. 1, 2017. His term will last two years.
Pikamäe was elected president of the network on Friday in a meeting of its board in Madrid. Two years ago, he was the first chief justice of a Baltic state to join the board.
Pikamäe has been a member of the Supreme Court of Estonia since 2006 and was elected for a nine-year term as its chief justice in 2013. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Estonia. It reviews court judgments by way of cassation proceedings and is also the constitutional court.
The Estonian presidency of the network means a bigger role for Estonia's Supreme Court in the shaping of the network's activity and the organizing of board meetings and the colloquium, which takes place every other year.
Pikamäe stated the goal was to increase the collaboration and information exchange between Supreme Courts and to strengthen the relationship with the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
"Because of the increasing power of European Union law and the European Convention on Human Rights, these contacts are important both to get the opinions of supranational courts and to clarify the domestic positions of the Supreme Courts," said Pikamäe.
The Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union was formed in 2004, and the Supreme Court of Estonia has been a member since its creation. The organization provides a forum through which European institutions can request the opinions of the Supreme Courts, and to encourage discussion on matters of common interest. All Supreme Courts of the 28 EU member states are members of the association, with Liechtenstein, Montenegro, and Norway having observer status.