Events

Mar
13
Wed
2024
Freedom of Expression and Association of Judges
Mar 13 @ 9:00 am – Mar 14 @ 5:30 pm

HYBRID CROSS-BORDER TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR JUDGES, PROSECUTORS, ATTORNEYS AND OTHER LEGAL PROFESSIONALS

DATES

13–14 March 2024

9.00–17.00 and 14.00–17.30, CET

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS

13 February 2024

PROGRAMME
Programme

Host: Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana

Place: Faculty of Law, Senate room and online

Overview

This workshop is offered within the European Commission’s funded project TRIIAL 2 – TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of Legal professionals under the EU Charter – part 2 (project no. 101089737, JUST-2022-JTRA). The TRIIAL 2 project provides training activities and tools for judges, attorneys, and prosecutors on the European rule of law, mutual trust, judicial independence, impartiality and accountability (see the dedicated website here).

What is the Cross-Border Workshop about?

This Cross-border training workshop will address two interconnected topics: the freedom of expression and association of judges. It builds on workshops, organized already under TRIIAL project, to offer further insights into the topics and to address the most recent developments in this field.

The Workshop is relevant for not only for judges, but also for:

Attorneys: special emphasis will be given to situations, in which judicial expression or association is invoked to establish doubt in the impartiality of the court; judges increasingly rely on the help of attorneys in defend their freedom of expression, association and independence.

Prosecutors: Freedom of expression and association of public prosecutors and judges is often governed by similar and sometimes even by identical standards. The workshop will address the differences and commonalities in standards in this field.

Judicial advisors (clerks): Judicial advisors – future judges – often face similar, sometimes even more complex dilemmas concerning freedom of expression and association. The workshop will discuss their special position and assess to what extent the differences are reflected in different standards of freedom of expression and association of judicial advisors.

Other legal professionals and policy makers: Freedom of expression and association of judges is becoming an increasingly important topic, which requires in-depth understanding of the role of judges in the democratic society, different channels of communication (including social media) and the reasons for a differentiated approach in the context of rule of law backsliding.

Why is Freedom of Expression and Association of Judges relevant?

Judges enjoy freedom of expression and association as any other citizen.1 However, when exercising these fundamental rights, they have to be mindful of the limitations the legal system has traditionally imposed to safeguard important competing interests: judicial independence, impartiality and public trust in the judiciary. Striking a proper balance is an extremely demanding task. In the last decade, two major societal developments – the rise of social networks and the rule of law crisis – have even further increased the complexity of the topic of this workshop.

Social networks have fundamentally changed our daily lives. Judges are no exception. Their use of social media can be regarded as a welcomed novelty for the democratic society, yet it poses a series of challenges: the appropriate content of communication, especially from the perspective of the requirement of impartiality, the blurred lines between private and public communication, the consequences of liking, retweeting and other means of limited communication, etc. As a result, guidelines and standards on the use of social media by judges are growing and evolving at an accelerated pace.2

The second development is that several Member States are witnessing an unprecedented decline in the rule of law. Polish and Hungarian judicial “reforms” led to a structural breakdown, which no longer makes it possible to talk about independence and impartiality of their judiciaries (e.g. C-791/19, § 64). While other Member States endure for the moment, they are not immune to the constitutional backsliding. Judges’ expression and association have proved to be an important antidote against attempts to undermine the rule of law.

These developments have triggered a response from the CJEU and the ECtHR. Firstly, both courts have extensively dealt with questions regarding the compatibility of domestic accountability systems with EU law and ECHR (e.g. Juszczyszyn v Poland, Grzęda v Poland, C-487/19, C-791/19, C-585/18, C-624/18, and C-625/18, C‐83/19, C‐127/19 and C‐195/19, C‐355/19; C-791/19; C-817/21). Secondly, they have developed the standards concerning freedom of expression and association of judges (and prosecutors) to shield judges who raised their voices and protested against deleterious judicial reforms. Judges now have a (moral) duty to speak out in the face of affronts to the rule of law (see ECtHR, Żurek v Poland, No. 39650/19, para. 222). Nevertheless, fulfilment of such a duty could expose them to disciplinary and other sanctions, as it happened in numerous recently decided cases (e.g. Miroslava Todorova v Bulgaria; Kozan v Turkey; Tuleya v Poland). As a result, thirdly, some judges have sought to channel their opposition to judicial reforms through Article 267 of the TFEU and in fact did find refuge from the national pressures before the CJEU (C-558/18 and C‐563/18, Miasto Łowicz; C-564/19, IS; C-357/19, C-379/19, C-547/19, C-811/19 and C- 840/19, Euro Box Promotion and Others).

Standards stemming from the jurisprudence of both European supranational courts are currently under accelerated development. Only this year, the ECtHR has issued three new decisions concerning the topic (Tuleya v Poland, Manole v Moldova, Sarısu Pehlivan v Turkey). Numerous pending cases (e.g. Morawiec v Poland Gąciarek v Poland; Wrobel v Poland, Chinita Rodriges v Portugal, Ferek v Poland etc.) guarantee that the topic will be relevant for the years to come. Moreover, various soft law instruments are currently sprouting at the national and supranational level (e.g. the CCJE Opinion 25 on freedom of expression of judges from December 2022). The workshop will therefore address a topic, which is currently extremely important and will remain highly relevant in the future. It will strive to equip the participants with legal knowledge on the scope and content freedom of expression and association of judges as well as on procedural guarantees and avenues for its protection, ultimately empowering them to address adequately the manifold challenges of their daily work and their professional vocation.


1 Bangalore principles of judicial conduct, UN Judicial Group on Strengthening Judicial Integrity, November 2002, p. 5, para. 4.6.

2 E.g. UNODOC Non-binding guidelines on the use of social media by judges <https://www.unodc.org/res/ji/import/international_standards/social_media_guidelines/social_media _guidelines_final.pdf>; CEELI Institute, Practical guidelines on use of social media by judges: Central and Eastern European context, November 2019<https://ceeliinstitute.org/wp- content/uploads/2022/01/CEELI_SoMe_Guidelines_ENG_Upd2021.pdf>

Methodology

You will learn through:

  • a 2-day hybrid workshop, including:
    • lectures and discussion sessions,
    • two hypothetical case sessions, where participants will discuss real legal issues through a case, replicating real life scenarios, in small groups,
    • interactive discussion roundtable.
  • preparatory materials distributed to participants in advance of the training:
    • thematic booklet on freedom of expression and association of judges,
    • recorded lectures,
    • casenotes analysing the relevant national jurisprudence.

Target group

Judges, public prosecutors, attorneys and other legal practitioners (including candidate judges, candidate prosecutors, candidate attorneys, judicial advisers (sl. pravosodni svetovalec, strokovni sodelavec) from European Union (EU) countries. The Workshop will host 40 participants. The participation is free of charge. In-person participants have to cover their expenses (accommodation, transport). All participants will be provided with certificates of participation.

What you can expect after the completion of the training?

This Cross Border Workshop will strive towards enabling you:

  • to understand and explain the main legal issues relating to the European rule of law;
  • to acquire the knowledge and the ability to assess the European legal pathways for defending freedom of expression and association of judges;
  • to understand the threats to the rule of law from outside and from within the judiciary, and your role in upholding this fundamental EU value;
  • to become familiar with the ECtHR standards concerning freedom of expression and association of judges and with the recent CJEU case-law, providing a new avenue for protection of this right;
  • to understand the different underlying premises that govern the freedom of expression and association of different groups of professionals within the judicial system;
  • to become familiar with the national case law concerning freedom of expression and association of judges
  • to determine, whether the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU is applicable in a certain case or not;
  • to be able to establish whether the solution of the pending case requires the involvement of the Court of Justice through the reference for preliminary ruling;
  • to become part of a network of legal practitioners and scholars dealing with similar issues that could provide support for future questions.

Selection Process

The workshop is open to 40 legal practitioners (judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, arbitrators, policy makers, public officials, representatives of ministries) from any EU country. Applicants are invited to submit their application, in accordance with the requirements as specified below, by 31 January 2024extended to 13 February 23.59 CET to mohor.fajdiga@pf.uni-lj.si.

By applying for the event, the applicants authorise the processing of their personal data for the purpose of the selection procedure and the event. Consent may be withdrawn, in whole or in part, at any time by written declaration to mohor.fajdiga@pf.uni-lj.si, without affecting the lawfulness of the data processing carried out on the basis of the consent until its withdrawal. However, in this case it may not be possible to provide the service or activity to such an applicant. For more information on the protection of personal data, please refer to the privacy policy.

Application requirements

1. A full CV in English or Slovenian;
2. A very brief motivation letter in English or Slovenian explaining the candidate’s reasons of applying, how he or she 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 24 February 2024.

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 a general knowledge of and experience in the topic of the workshop. However, applicants are neither required to have participated in similar training programmes before, nor will recent participation in similar training programmes necessarily prevent them from being accepted.

The assessment of applications will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Gender and age balanced;
  2. Geographically balanced;
  3. Diversity of legal competences: the call is open to civil, administrative, and criminaljudges; in addition, attorneys, public prosecutors, state attorneys, candidate judges, candidate prosecutors, candidate attorneys, judicial advisers can also apply.
  4. Balance in the judicial hierarchy: both higher and lower instance courts shall be represented among selected participants;
  5. Trainers will have priority in selection (please refer to relevant training responsibilities in your CV);
  6. Knowledge of and experience with fundamental rights and rule of law issues;
  7. Good knowledge of English;
  8. Single participation within the same Training Project (TRIIAL 2): in principle, noparticipant can take part in more than one Workshop among those offered within the TRIIAL 2 Project. In exceptional cases, deviations are subject to express and prior permission of the organiser.

Participants are asked to devote the necessary time to this training and to prepare for the workshop by reading the relevant materials in advance. The selected candidates are expected to be ready to commit to the active participation in the workshop.

Contact person and general information

For any information on the workshop or doubts concerning the call for application, please contact Mohor Fajdiga: mohor.fajdiga@pf.uni-lj.si.

Mar
21
Thu
2024
Cross-border training workshop: Mutual Trust and Judicial Independence in the EAW framework
Mar 21 – Mar 22 all-day

organised by University of Pompeu Fabra – in Barcelona + online

 

DATES

21-22 March 2024

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS

15 January 2024

Overview

The European arrest warrant (EAW) is the most emblematic instrument of mutual recognition in the field of criminal law. The well-functioning of the EAW is based upon mutual trust, and mutual trust is founded on the presumption that the criminal courts of the EU Member States are independent. What are the consequences for the EAW when the independence of the issuing judicial authority is questioned? Under what circumstances may the execution of a European arrest warrant be refused on grounds of lack of judicial independence?

The goal of this workshop is to provide the tools to answer these questions and enhance the understanding and application of the criteria developed by the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. The analysis will focus on the challenges for judicial independence in the context of the rule of law backsliding, the independence of prosecutors when they have been designated as the issuing judicial authority, and more generally the consequences for mutual trust and mutual recognition when the requirement of judicial independence is at stake.

Programme

Thursday 21 March

9:15-9:30 Welcome

9:30-11:00 Panel 1. Mutual trust and rule of law backsliding

11:00-11:20 Coffee break

11:20-13:00 Working groups

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Panel 2. Perspectives from national judges

Friday 22 March

9:15-10:30 Panel 3. The independence of prosecutors as the issuing judicial authority

10:30-10:50 Coffee break

10:50-12:30 Working groups

12:30-13:30 Roundtable discussion on mutual trust and judicial independence: the case of Puig Gordi and Others

Cross-border training event for prosecutors and judges, 21–22 March 2024, organized by Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, residential + online mode

Framework: This workshop is offered within the European Commission’s funded project TRIIAL 2 – TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of Legal professionals under the EU Charter (project no. 101089737, JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2020). The TRIIAL 2 Project provides training activities and tools for judges, attorneys, and prosecutors on the European rule of law, mutual trust, judicial independence, impartiality and accountability (see the dedicated website here).

Target group

Public prosecutors, attorneys and judges from European Union (EU) countries. The training will be in English and opened to those with both basic and experienced knowledge of EU law and ECHR.
The Workshop will host 40 participants, of which 15 will be in person and 25 online.

Participation is free of charge.

For the 15 in-person participants, the travel, accommodation and meals at the venue are covered by the organizer.
Participants will be provided with certificates of participation.

Application

The deadline for the submission of applications is 15th of January 2024.

Submit your application, including the documents mentioned below, to David.mier@upf.edu. You should mention in the title of your email whether you want to participate in-person or online.
Italian judges are invited to submit their applications to: internazionale@scuolamagistratura.it. For questions, please contact Gianluca Grasso at: gianluca.grasso@giustizia.it
Romanian attorneys are invited to submit their applications to: veronica.morecut@unbr.ro.

The following documents shall be attached to the application:

  1. CV in English (including a section on proof of knowledge of English)
  2. A short motivation letter (max 2 pages) outlining the candidate’s specific reasons for applying to a Workshop on Mutual Trust and Judicial Independence in the EAW Framework (please describe how your professional activity correlates to the workshop’s field of interest and how you could both benefit from and contribute to the Workshop in this field)

For questions regarding the Workshop and the project, contact: david.mier@upf.edu

Selection Procedure

The assessment of applications will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Gender and age balanced;
  2. Geographically balanced;
  3. Balance in the judicial hierarchy: both higher and lower instance courts shall be represented among selected participants;
  4. Trainers will have priority in selection (please refer to relevant training responsibilities in your CV);
  5. Knowledge of and experience with fundamental rights and rule of law issues;
  6. Good knowledge of English;
  7. Single participation within the same Training Project (TRIIAL 2): in principle, no participant can take part in more than one Workshop among those offered within the TRIIAL 2 Project.

Pompeu Fabra University will select 40 legal practitioners. After the exhaustion of the 15 in person places, the remaining ones will be allocated to online participation.

Outcome of the Workshop

  • You will receive a certificate of participation;
  • You will be able to understand and explain the main legal issues relating to the European rule of law (the training’s “core”);
  • You will be able to identify the standard of effective judicial protection under Article 47 EU CFR and the role of the ECHR and the case law of the Strasbourg Court to determine it;
  • You will become familiar with the procedural steps through which the existence of a duty to pursue or suspend horizontal judicial cooperation exists;
  • You will become familiar with the allocation of the burden of proof in cases concerning the implications of rule of law problems on mutual trust, as well as understand how that burden can be satisfied;
  • You will be able to establish whether the solution of the pending case requires the involvement of the Court of Justice through the reference for preliminary ruling;
  • You will be able to find cases decided by the Court of Justice or national courts which can help you solving the pending case or supporting your legal arguments;
  • You will understand how to implement the relevant case law of the Court of Justice in your case;
  • You will acquire the ability to relate the knowledge acquired to the cases you are dealing with in your legal practice;
  • You will be able to create and design new arguments to convincingly plead your case where issues concerning mutual trust and the rule of law arise;
  • You will become part of a network of legal practitioners and scholars dealing with similar issues that could provide support for future questions.
Jul
1
Mon
2024
FACILEX Transnational training – EU Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters and EU mutual recognition instruments
Jul 1 @ 2:30 am – Jul 2 @ 1:00 am

organised by Centre for Judicial Cooperation

 

DATES

1-2 July 2024

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS

30 March 2024

Overview

The ‘Transnational Training Workshop’, involving legal practitioners from EU Member States, will take place in the framework of the Facilex Project (Facilitating Mutual Recognition: Analytics and Capacity Building Information Legal Explainable Tool to Strengthen Cooperation in the Criminal Matter). For more details about the project, please visit the webpage: https://site.unibo.it/facilex/en/the-project
This workshop aims to improve knowledge on horizontal harmonization relating to three EU mutual recognition instruments: European Arrest Warrant, European Investigation Order, Reg. 1805/2018 on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders.
To achieve these objectives, a selection of the most relevant issues revolving around the lack of judicial harmonization will be analyzed during the Transnational Training Workshop. It will be devoted to the analysis of the most relevant-case law surrounding the three EU mutual recognition systems with special focus on effective judicial protection, procedural rights, and fundamental rights protection.
Each day will be split in two parts: in the first part, 3 renowned practitioners and lecturers will deliver distinguished lectures; in the second part, practical sessions involving case analysis and discussion on hypothetical will be facilitated by working groups activities.
In particular, legal analysis of case studies will be conveyed through the explanatory use of Facilex Platform (available from Spring 2024) that provides a database of EU and national legislation and case-law as well as an automated legal advice tool aimed at customizing legal assessment on available legal remedies. The platform will build upon an already existing advisory tool, focused on the procedural rights of defendants, which can be already freely accessed here.
Useful materials for the Working Groups’ activities included in a User Manual will be shared in advance with selected participants.

Target group

The event is particularly aimed at:

  • Lawyers/ representatives of bar associations
  • Judicial/prosecuting authorities
  • Legal Officers
  • NGO Operators
  • Researchers/academics in the field of Criminal Justice and Fundamental Rights

The first 15 applicants will be selected by EUI-Centre for Judicial Cooperation for participation on premise. The non-shortlisted participants can attend the Facilex Transnational Workshop remotely on zoom upon registration to the event.

 

Application

The deadline for the submission of applications is 30th March2024.

Submit your application, including the documents mentioned below, to mariavittoria.catanzariti@eui.eu You should mention in the title of your email the title of the workshop.

The following documents shall be attached to the application:

  1. CV in English (including a section on proof of knowledge of English)
  2. A brief motivation letter in English explaining the candidate’s reasons of applying, how he or she 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 15th of April 2024.

Selection Procedure

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

The selection will ensure the following criteria:

  1. Inter-disciplinary representativity: the selection will ensure, as much as possible, equal representation of legal practitioners working on civil, criminal and administrative cases. The mix of those three categories shall depend on the topic of a particular workshop.
  2. Gender balance.
  3. Age balance.
  4. 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.

 

Expectations

 

Participants are expected to commit to all sessions of the workshop and actively participate in the working groups. They are also asked to prepare for the workshop by reading relevant materials provided by the organizers 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 and its follow-up activities.