Association Internationale des Hautes Juridictions Administratives
International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions

A word from the President

Mrs Angela Vivanco Martinez, President of the Association from 2022 to 2025

First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Roger Stevens, First Honorary President of the Council of State of Belgium, for his good wishes in this challenge I'm taking on as President of the Association. I would like to congratulate him on his work as President of the Association over the years 2019 to 2022 and share with you the honor I have of leading the organization of the next congress, which will take place in Santiago de Chile in 2025.

Since 2008, by agreement of the Plenary Assembly of our highest Court, the Supreme Court of Chile has been a member of the Association and, since 2013, a member of its Board. During the XIIIrd IASAJ Congress, the Supreme Court was chosen to host the XVth Congress in 2025.

As a Supreme Court, it's an honor to have been chosen as the venue, and we're already working to welcome the different courts and be able to bring this meeting to a successful conclusion.
To this end, we are planning to hold a three-day event in the city of Santiago de Chile, and have proposed as the main theme: "The relationship between state bodies and the administration of justice".

For our country, it is extremely important to share and gather the experiences of participating members, as we face the challenge of having a contentious administrative jurisdiction.

Likewise, it is an honor to welcome you to Chile and to show you the riches of our land. Chile, longest and thinnest country in the world, stretches between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, approximately 4,300 kilometers from north to south. Its customs are as diverse as its landscapes, ranging from the world's most arid desert to thousand-year-old glaciers still waiting to be discovered. These cultural and climatic contrasts have shaped the identity of the country and its people. 17,574,003 people live in Chile: 8,972,014 women, 51.1% of the population, and 8,601,989 men, 48.9%.

Moreover, and continuing the methodology used at previous Association Congresses, we will be working on the basis of information provided by each country to gather their national experiences and realities on the subject that will bring us together.

Thus, the preliminary agenda for the first day will include an opening session, a presentation of the information given by the countries, followed by a series of thematic workshops. On the second day, we will continue with the workshops, followed by a meeting of the Board of the Association. On the third day, the conclusions of the workshops will be presented, and the General Assembly and closing ceremony will take place.

In addition, we will have tourist and recreational activities for the participants to show them a part of the national culture.

It will be an honor for the Supreme Court of Chile to host the next congress, and we look forward to welcoming each and every representative of the Association's member courts.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Vivanco Martínez

President of the Association from 2022 to 2025

Minister of the Supreme Court of Chile

Roger Stevens, Honorary First President of the Council of State of Belgium,
President of the Association from 2019 to 2022

It is with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to start this new section and to share with you, "in a few words", my experiences as a former president of IASAJ.

It all began at the triennial congress held in Mexico City from 24 to 26 June 2019, during which the General Assembly honoured the Council of State of Belgium by entrusting it with the organization of the next congress in Brussels, thus implying that the Council of State would assume the presidency of the Association.

However, I had no idea what was in store for us...

Indeed, in the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic broke out.

The organization of the Congress is a long-term task that requires a lot of preparation: booking of congress rooms and hotel facilities, as well as the organization of cultural activities and many other things that need to be planned, prepared and settled well in advance…

The successive and erratic waves of the coronavirus pandemic have repeatedly been a source of despair both for the working group I had set up within the Belgian Council of State and for myself.

Many times the question was raised whether the congress could take place and whether it would not be wise to postpone the event or even cancel everything. Sometimes we really doubted whether we should take this risk.

The members of the team, who were preparing the event with great enthusiasm, also had to carry out their full-time duties at the Council of State in “corona mode".

However, the moral support and encouragement of the Secretariat General in Paris helped us to hold on.

The task was particularly difficult from an organizational point of view.

The choice of venue, catering and hotel facilities, cultural activities, etc., had to be made without knowing much about the number of participants; guarantee clauses covering the eventuality that the pandemic would prevent travel in 2022 had to be drawn up and negotiated.

Between the triennial congresses and the general assemblies, the statutes of the Association also require the organization of a board meeting, combined with a thematic seminar.

The Board and the thematic seminar were held on 28 and 29 September 2021 and were organized by the Council of State of Greece and the Secretariat General. The theme of the seminar was the ethics of the magistrates.

Fortunately, between two major waves of the pandemic, the event took place. Some participants attended “in person” and others attended by video conference.

I proposed the theme of the Congress during the Board meeting. Unfortunately, the obvious choice was: “the role of the supreme administrative jurisdictions during the coronavirus crisis”. Our association was the most appropriate place to share the rules, experiences and best practices of the world’s highest administrative courts during the pandemic. Therefore theme, as well as the venue and date of the Congress, were unanimously approved.

The participants of the thematic seminar and the Board also had the great honour of being received by our former colleague, Mrs Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of the Hellenic Republic, in the beautiful gardens of the presidential palace.

All our attention was then devoted to the further organization of the congress, which was scheduled to take place in Brussels from 20 to 22 June 2022.

This involved, among other things, drafting questionnaires and processing the responses. The Auditor General and the Deputy Auditor General of the Council of State of Belgium provided invaluable support in this process. This enormous task was also carried out with the support and assistance of the team of the Secretary General, Mrs. Martine de Boisdeffre.

The choice of venue for the congress was the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, thus allowing a unique combination of our scientific activities with the pleasure of art and culture, both secular and modern.

The choice and, finally, the booking of catering for lunches and coffee breaks during the congress as well as for dinners was not an easy task either.

For the accommodation of the many guests, we chose The Hotel, which offers superb views of the capital of Europe.

A high-quality cultural program was also planned for the participants and their spouses. One of the highlights was undoubtedly the private visit to the Royal Greenhouse in Laeken, which was prepared by several contacts with the King's office.

The European Commissioner, Mr. Didier Reynders, and the Minister of the Interior of Belgium, Mrs. Annelies Verlinden, accepted my invitation to give the opening and closing speeches of the scientific congress. Both underlined the important role that our institutions played, under extremely difficult circumstances, during the pandemic.

I think I can say that the congress was a success from a scientific point of view. In addition, the bonds of friendship between the institutions and their members were strengthened and new contacts were made.

Although it was not easy for a modest institution such as the Belgian Council of State to prepare and organize such a global event in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I am pleased that I was able to carry out this task with the help of my team and the Secretariat of the Association. It was an intense and rewarding experience.

Once again, I would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of the Congress and the Presidency of the Council of State of Belgium.

At the end of the congress, the Supreme Court of Justice of Chile took over the presidency of the Association. The Supreme Court will organize the next congress in Santiago de Chile in 2025.

I would like to wish my Chilean colleagues every success in their presidency and in the organization of the next congress, and to wish AIHJA a long and fruitful future!

Roger Stevens

Honorary First President of the Council of State of Belgium

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