Project “Judicial response to terrorism in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Right of the EU”: good practice in the field of judicial training

In this issue, we’d like to present you the project “Judicial response to terrorism in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Right of the EU”. Co-funded by the Justice programme, this project ran from July 2016 to June 2018.

Coordinated by the French National School for the Judiciary, the project was implemented in partnership with:

  • The Institut de formation judiciaire/Instituut voor gerechtelijke opleiding (IGO), (Belgium)
  • The National Institute of Justice (Bulgaria)
  • Justice Cooperation International (France)
  • The Academy of European Law (Germany)
  • The Judicial Training Academy (Sweden)
  • the Council of Europe.

Aims

The project’s main goal was to strengthen practitioners' knowledge of fundamental rights in order to address terrorism cases in accordance with the requirements of the EU Charter of Fundamental Right and the European Convention on Human Rights.


 Methodology & results

The underlying theme was finding the right balance between efficiency and protecting the rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The following 4 seminars were organised with experienced practitioners, to share best practice on the following topics:

Seminar 1 – ‘The Fight Against Violent Radicalisation and the Protection of Human Rights’ (Strasbourg, December 2016)

Seminar 2 – ‘Terrorism and Fundamental Rights – the Investigation and Intelligence Gathering Phase’ (Brussels, February 2017)

Seminar 3 – ‘Media Treatment of Terrorism Cases’ (Paris, June 2017)

Seminar 4 – ‘Terrorism and Fundamental Rights: the Trial and Sentencing’ (Sofia, October 2017).

Each seminar started with an overview of case law from the European Court of Human Rights, focusing on the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The final conference was attended by 200 participants from 16 countries. They exchanged views on respect for the right of defence, the right to a fair trial and issues related to human dignity in the judgments of terrorist cases and after conviction.

The speakers included 4 European prosecutors specialised in counter-terrorism, who shared their views and experiences on national criminal policies on terrorism and on how to handle dangerous individuals, while upholding their rights.

Through these events, the project trained 496 participants (357 judges/prosecutors and 139 practitioners) from 17 EU countries and 3 non-EU countries (USA, Australia and Japan).


The project achieved 3 main outcomes:

1. Judicial professionals gained a broad overview of what fundamental rights in the EU cover and how they are applied.

2. Legal practitioners are now more aware of how, in practice, to reconcile fundamental rights and public security in terrorist cases.

3. The seminars laid the basis for a European community of anti-terrorist judges and prosecutors who may be called on to work together on cross-border files.

 We congratulate the project consortium for their valuable work!


More about the project

  • Click here to learn more about the project (in French);
  • Click below to download the scientific report, available in French and English: