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Julia Laffranque

Deputy Director / Director of Programmes


Foto: Julia Laffranque.

Julia Laffranque


phone: +49 (0)651 937 37 912
fax: +49 (0)651 937 37 919

Julia Laffranque was born in Estonia in 1974.

She graduated in law from the University of Tartu and earned her LLM at the University of Münster. She continued her postgraduate studies at the European University Institute in Florence and obtained her PhD in law at the University of Tartu in 2003 with a thesis on “The possibility and necessity of judicial dissent (dissenting opinion) in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Estonia and in the European Court of Justice”. From 1996 on she worked in various capacities, but always with a European law orientation, in the Estonian Ministry of Justice. From there she held secondments to the Legal Service of the European Commission, the German Federal Administrative Court and the French Council of State.

In 2004, Dr Laffranque became a justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia. From 2011 to 2020 she was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and in 2015-2018 vice-president of the Second Section of this Court. She has also been a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the first female president of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE). During her presidencies, CCJE received the “Justice in the World” award and FIDE expanded for the first time to Eastern Europe (2012). Dr Laffranque has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights since 2018. In 2021 she was appointed – on the proposal of the European Parliament - as a member of Article 255 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union Panel responsible for reviewing the proposals made by the Member States for appointment of members of the Court of Justice and the General Court prior to their formal appointment.

Besides her work as a high civil servant at the Ministry of Justice and later judge in Estonia Dr Laffranque pursued her academic career as a professor of European law at the University of Tartu. She authored several law books and has published across Europe. She was one of the authors of the amendments of the Estonian Constitution which were adopted by referendum prior to Estonia’s accession to the European Union. In 2013, the Estonian European Movement elected Julia Laffranque ‘European of the Year’ and in 2016 Estonian judges awarded her as best trainer of judges.

Besides her native Estonian, Dr Laffranque is fluent in English, Finnish, French and German, and also speaks Russian.

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