Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)12 on the independence, efficiency and responsi¬bilities of judges updates a recommendation that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted in 1994. These new rules aim to promote the role of judges, improve both their efficiency and independence and clarify their duties and responsibilities. They take account of the new ideas and practices that have emerged in member states' judicial systems since 1994.This recommendation places emphasis on the independence of every individual judge and of the judiciary as a whole. The notion of "internal independence", which aims at protecting judicial decisions from undue internal influences, is one of the important new elements of the recommendation. Judicial "efficiency" is defined in a clear and simple manner. Additional measures on the selection and training of judges, their responsibility, and judicial ethics seek to strengthen the role of individual judges and the judiciary in general.Overall, the recommendation represents a significant step forward in strengthening the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as the manner in which judges exercise their judicial functions is crucial to the protection of these rights and freedoms.