Call for participants and agenda – Accountability and Freedom of Expression of Magistrates and Attorneys in Europe

When:
17th June 2021 @ 1:45 pm – 18th June 2021 @ 5:30 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
2021-06-17T13:45:00+02:00
2021-06-18T17:30:00+02:00
Where:
ONLINE

What is the transnational training about?

This Transnational Training Workshop will discuss why accountability is important for ensuring the rule of law and how it can be ensured while preserving the freedom of expression of magistrates, as well as their independence and impartiality. Justice reforms in several Member States have also impacted on the system of disciplinary, civil and criminal liability of magistrates, raising issues of disguised external political pressures on the magistrates. While disciplinary actions should serve to strengthen the rule of law, they can also be used
to break it. The Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights have increasingly dealt with questions regarding the compatibility of domestic accountability systems with provisions in the EU Treaties, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights (e.g. C-564/19, C-585/18, C-624/18, and C-625/18, C‐83/19, C‐127/19 and C‐195/19, C‐355/19; Baka v Hungary, L.P and Carvalho v Portugal), and several other cases are pending before these Courts on the compatibility of magistrates’ accountability mechanisms with European principles of judicial independence. This workshop looks at the most recent European standards on de iure and de facto accountability of legal professions (in particular, judges, prosecutors and attorneys), and freedom of expression as resulting from: the case law of the European Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights; European primary and secondary law; and Council of Europe instruments.

The following issues will be addressed during the training, in light of the most recent practice from the EU Member States: evaluation, promotion, and removal of magistrates; disciplinary, civil and criminal actions against judges and prosecutors; freedom of expression of magistrates, including the freedom of judges of interacting with the Court of Justice of the EU under Article 267 TFEU, and freely expressing their views on the CJEU preliminary rulings; challenges faced by domestic courts, prosecutors and attorneys in ensuring the respect of CJEU standards on disciplinary, civil and criminal sanctions against magistrates; standards necessary to ensure that accountability mechanisms fulfill both responsibility and public trust, without endangering independence and impartiality.

TRIIAL project is co-funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers, Grant Agreement No. 853832.

The Transnational Training Workshop aims to support judges, attorneys and prosecutors to foster cooperation by providing knowledge on the substantive and procedural tools on accountability, independence and impartiality as offered by the overlapping EU and Council of Europe based standards.

The training is offered within the European Commission’s funded project TRIIAL – TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of judges and arbitrators safeguarding the rule of Law under the EU Charter (Horizon 2020, project no. 853832, JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2018). The TRIIAL Project provides training activities and tools for judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and arbitrators on the European rule of law, mutual trust, judicial independence, impartiality and accountability (see the dedicated website here).

Download the programme

Who should apply:

Judges; attorneys; and prosecutors; preference will be given to those who also fulfill the role of trainer at national training institutions for prosecutors, judges or attorneys.

There will be 30 participants. Participation is free of charge. Participants will receive certificates of participation.

Selection process:

Applicants are invited to submit their applications in accordance with the requirements as specified below by 29th of April 2021 to cjc@eui.eu

Judges from Belgium and Italy and lawyers from Romania are kindly asked to send their applications, by the same deadline, to their reference institutions.

For Belgium, judges are invited to submit their applications: Umit.Oral@igo-ifj.be. The title of your email should be ‘Application to the EUI transnational training workshop’.

For Italy, judges are invited to submit their applications to: internazionale@scuolamagistratura.it. For questions, the contact person is: Gianluca Grasso at: gianluca.grasso@giustizia.it.

For Romania, attorneys are invited to submit their applications to : veronica.morecut@unbr.ro. For questions, please contact Prof. Raluca Bercea at: raluca.bercea@e-uvt.ro.

Application requirements:

  1. A full CV in English;
  2. A brief motivation letter in English explaining the candidate’s reasons for applying, howthey would benefit from and contribute to the project. This letter should not merely restate the candidate’s CV.

Applicants will be notified about the result of the selection process by 10th of May 2021.

Selection Criteria:

The selection process aims to identify participants who will effectively and substantially contribute to dissemination of project results.

Thus, candidates are expected to have:

1. An excellent knowledge of the English language.
2. A general knowledge of and experience in the topic of the workshop.

The selection will take into consideration the following criteria:

  1. Single participation principle: no participant can take part in more than one Workshop. Exceptions can be made in duly justified cases.
  2. Inter-disciplinary representativity: the selection will ensure, as much as possible, equal representation of legal practitioners working on civil, criminal and administrative cases.
  3. Previous experience with legal training or teaching.
  4. Gender balance.
  5. Age balance.
  6. Geographical representation: Geographical distribution shall be taken into account, with the aim of selecting participants who work in different areas and regions within the participating countries.

Participants are asked to devote the necessary time to this project. If selected, participants must commit to all sessions of the workshop for which they have been selected. They are also asked to prepare for the Workshops by reading the relevant materials in advance.

Applicants are not required to have participated in similar training programmes before, nor will recent participation in similar training programmes necessarily prevent them from being accepted.

The selected candidates are expected to acquire awareness from the distributed materials, as well as to be ready to commit to the active participation in the workshop.

Methodology:

During the online training you will learn through: short lectures, discussion sessions (including brainstorming, guided debates and small working groups) and problem-solving sessions (case studies and hypotheticals). In advance of the training you will receive preparatory training materials. Notably, you will be provided access to the TRIIAL online training platform, which includes a background module on the European rule of law and the mechanisms for its enforcement, a dedicated module on accountability and freedom of expression of the magistrates in Europe, and a database gathering a selection of the most relevant European and national case law, summarised in English (see CJC database).

What you can expect after the completion of the training:
At the end of the training you will be issued a certificate of participation that attests your familiarity with the topics discussed during the training, such as:

  1. Disciplinary, civil and criminal liability of judges;
  2. Removability of judges and prosecutors from office;
  3. Evaluation of performance of judges and prosecutors;
  4. Conflict of interest and individual magistrates’ responsibility;
  5. Councils of the Judiciary/Courts’ Presidents and Chief Prosecutors’ Role/Spokespersons/Communication with the public;
  6. Institutional communication with other branches of power, academics and legal professionals;
  7. The use of media by magistrates;
  8. Collection and processing of personal data by the Judiciary;
  9. Judicial interaction techniques.

Furthermore, you will be able to:

  1. develop and use a common training methodology, by sharing perceptions of challenges related to independence, impartiality and accountability as well existing best practices across Member States;
  2. acquire: (i) the commonly accepted substantive components of independence, impartiality and accountability of legal professionals in general and the judicial profession in particular; (ii) the substantive and procedural safeguards available within the EU law both to judges of affected Member States as well as to judges from other Member States;
  3. use the innovative strands of the CJEU’s case law;
  4. foster and enhance informal networks of professionals sharing a common understanding of EU law and fundamental rights protection standards;
  5. gain knowledge of objective criteria aimed at assessing judicial independence, impartiality and accountability.

Contact person for general information

For additional information on the transnational training, or questions concerning the call for applications, you can contact: madalina.moraru@eui.eu