For 18 years Aleš Zalar served as a Judge and President of the District Court in Ljubljana. During that period, he was also President of the Slovenian Association of Judges (SAJ) for four years and was a member of the Consultative Council of the European Judges (CCJE). Zalar is the ‘founding father’ and member of the International Association for Court Administration (IACA). He served on the Venice Commission as an expert for constitutional law. From 2008–2012, Zalar was Slovenian Minister of Justice and Minister for Home Affairs (2011–2012) and he is currently President of the European Centre for Dispute Resolution (ECDR), and an independent consultant, working in various EU and international rule of law projects.

Zalar contributed to the ELI’s project on the Relationship between Formal and Informal Justice: The Courts and ADR, as a Project Team member and set up the ELI Slovenian Hub.

Zalar received awards of honour from the SJA (2001), the Kentucky Bar Association (2004) and the Netherlands Mediation Institute (2005); an award and medal for his contribution to rule of law development from the Slovenian Supreme Court (2008) and was, in addition, awarded the International Leadership Gold Star by the US Department of State (2013).