Julia Laffranque is since 2011 a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, 2015-2018 Vice-President of II Section, 2013-2016 Chair of the Annual Seminar Committee of the same Court. Since 2018 she is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
She was professor of European law at the University of Tartu (2011-2016) and is currently visiting professor. Julia Laffranque was previously a Justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia (member of administrative law and constitutional law chambers) from 2004–2010. Prior to that, she was a European Union law expert, Head of EU law and foreign relations division and later Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice of Estonia (1996-2004).
She holds a Doctor Iuris (PhD) of Law degree from her alma mater the University of Tartu and LL.M from University of Münster, Germany. She has also studied in Litchfield High School, USA, at the University of Hamburg, researched at the European University-Institute in Florence and at the University of Kiel and held traineeships at the European Commission Legal Service, Justice Ministries of France and Sweden, Conseil d’Etat and Bundesverwaltungsgericht.
Julia Laffranque is the author of a number of textbooks and articles on EU, human rights law and constitutional law, and is one of the authors of amendments to the Estonian Constitution as well as co-author of the commentary of Estonian Constitution. She has published over 100 articles in Estonian, English, German and French in different European and US-American legal journals and was editor of Proceedings of XXV FIDE Congress, 2012. Her main works include law books ”Euroopa Liit ja Euroopa Ühendus: institutsioonid ja õigus (EU and European Communities: institutions and law)”, 1999; co-author of French-Estonian-French Legal Dictionary, 2002; “Õppematerjal kohtunikele: Eelotsuse küsimine Euroopa Kohtult (Textbook for judges: How to Request Preliminary Rulings from the European Court of Justice)”, 2005; “Euroopa Liidu õigussüsteem ja Eesti õiguse koht selles (Legal System of European Union and Estonian law)”, 2006; European Court of Human Rights and Estonian Law, 2017.
Julia Laffranque has been president of the Consultative Council of European Judges of Council of Europe (CCJE) from 2008-2010 and president of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) 2010-2012. She has also been member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague). She has been member of the Board of the Estonian Academic Law Society, of the board of the Estonian Lawyers Union and of the policy think-tank PRAXIS. She is member (as alumna), of student organization Filiae Patriae and member of the board of Estonian School in Strasbourg.
Julia Laffranque was awarded the Estonian White Cross, and she is Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite of France. With the CCJE she received “Justice of the World” award. In 2013 she was elected European of the Year by European Movement Estonia. In 2016 she was elected as the best trainer of Estonian judges.
Julia Laffranque speaks Estonian, German, English, French, Finnish and Russian.
Her hobby is amateur acting and theatre; she has been member of Vilde Teater in Estonia and Tagora Theatre in Strasbourg. In 2015 she created Theatre Club of European Court of Human Rights. She also sings in the European Choir of Estonians and has participated at the Estonian Song Festival.
She is married to Rodolphe Laffranque and has three sons.