The International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions marks its 40th anniversary on December 9, 2023. The creation of this new association, promoted by the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, was the first attempt to form an international network of supreme courts, competent to give final rulings on disputes arising from administrative activity. Its missions are more relevant than ever.
First and foremost, the Association fosters cooperation between supreme administrative jurisdictions, enabling them to share experiences, best practices and case law. For the past 40 years, AIHJA has provided these jurisdictions with a forum for dialogue and collective work, complementing the bilateral relations that may exist between states. Over the years, numerous meetings have been organized.
As originally foreseen in 1983, the congresses have become the Association's key events. Organized every three years to bring together the General Assembly and the Board, they lead to the organization of a thematic seminar. The 14 congresses held since the Association was founded have addressed such fundamental and ambitious themes as "jurisdictional control of the legality of unilateral administrative acts", "access to administrative justice for the public", "the protection of rights and freedoms by the administrative judge" and "the administrative judge and environmental law". Hosted by the Belgian Council of State, the 14th congress focused on "the role of the supreme administrative jurisdictions during the covid-19 crisis" and was attended by some one hundred participants. The Association's next congress will be held in Santiago de Chile in the spring of 2025.
The Association then focused on diversifying its activities in order to renew cooperation between the supreme administrative courts.
Since 2013, the Board meeting has been enhanced by the simultaneous holding of an additional thematic seminar, in addition to the work carried out at the congresses. The Ankara seminar, organized by the Council of State of Türkiye last October, enabled magistrates from some twenty jurisdictions to exchange views on the subject of "jurisdictional control of the acts of independent administrative authorities".
Every year, the Association also organizes a magistrate exchange program. Since 2014, nearly a hundred judges have completed a two-week internship in one of the member supreme administrative jurisdictions.
Over the past 40 years, it has appeared that the lessons learned from the Association's meetings and work could be useful to a wider audience. In its own way, the Association contributes to reflection on administrative law and litigation, and to the comparative study of jurisdictional systems across the world. The Association's meetings provide valuable insights into the supreme administrative jurisdictions, the challenges they face and the solutions they apply or envisage.
The International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions is open to the outside. From the outset, it was envisaged that the Association would encourage or carry out thematic studies, or publish the scientific contributions of its meetings. While it did at one time compile some of the significant case law of its member jurisdictions in collections, the nature of the Association's publications has evolved. The Association now focuses on publicizing the proceedings of its work. Conference proceedings and summaries of thematic seminars are systematically posted online. Similarly, internship reports written by magistrates as part of the exchange program are made public. The launch of the Association's new website confirms our ambition to open up the Association to the outside and improve the tools available to members to present their jurisdictions and relay their news and publications.
For the past 40 years, the International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions has been rethinking its action and governance to best pursue its mission: to reinforce progress in the rule of law through exchanges of ideas and experience between administrative magistrates and to improve knowledge of administrative courts. The growth in the Association's membership confirms that sharing experience and ideas is a common ambition. Whereas the Association had 25 members when it was founded in 1983, it now brings together 65 supreme administrative jurisdictions.
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