With the exception of just a few countries, citizens everywhere in Europe participate in jurisdiction. In their capacity as representatives of the people lay judges contribute their good human judgement or – as expert lay judges – actual special knowledge to the jurisdiction. Lay judges increase the acceptance of court decisions and increase the transparency of the processes.
In order to consolidate the necessity of citizens’ participation in jurisdiction, the European Day of Lay Judges was first initiated on May 11, 2012. It is the result of an eight-year process which over the course of time brought together honorary judges from 17 countries.
From 2010 to 2012, activities on elaborating the Charter and inaugurating the European Day of Lay Judges were financially supported by the European Commission and organised by the European Academy Berlin.
The participating organisations expressed their conviction in a “European Charter of Lay Judges”. The project documentary “European Day of Lay Judges” provides more information on the project and on citizens’ participation in jurisdiction.