From Antoine Buyse, ECHR Blog – 10 September 2012
The judge elected on behalf of Luxembourg, Dean Spielmann, has today been elected by his peers as the successor to the Court’s current President, Nicolas Bratza. The latter’s term of office as judge at the European Court of Human Rights is due to expire on 31 October. Spielmann will succeed him on 1 November. The change comes after a momentous year in the Court’s history, with more external criticism than before (although the storm seems to have subsided a little) and with the Brighton reforms on the agenda for the years to come. Judge Spielmann will thus face not only the daunting task of more streamlining of the Court’s own procedures in order to tackle the now finally slightly decreasing caseload – in addition, his role will also be one of public diplomacy in continuing to explain – like his predecessors – the Court’s important role in the European system of human rights protection.
Dean Spielmann has been a judge at the Court since 2004, Section President since 2011 and Vice-President since this summer. The latter election was to attentive observers a sign that judge Spielmann was in the running for the Court’s presidency, just as another recent event might have provided a clue: on a visit to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights two weeks ago, the Court’s current President, Bratza, was accompanied by a Spanish-speaking colleague (Casadevall), section registrar Quesada and … Judge Spielmann. A short CV can be found on the Court’s website.