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CJC Newsletter January 2015
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On 17-18 December 2014, the Centre for Judicial Cooperation took part to the conference “The Charter of Fundamental Rights: assessing and responding to the training needs of legal practitioners and public officials”, organised by the DG Justice in Brussels. Within Panel II of the first day, which was devoted to “Fundamental rights training for legal practitioners and judges”, Professor Renato Guzzetta (Member of the Board and past Vice-President of the Italian School for the Judiciary and Professor of Public Law at the University Tor Vergata-Rome) made a presentation on the JUDCOOP Project, which was completed in June 2014. Moreover, the new CharterClick! Project was mentioned by the speakers from the European Commission and the Fundamental Rights Agency.

Looking forward to start the new projects presented below, here are the experiences after the JUDCOOP Project:


Beatrice Andreșan-Grigoriu
EU law trainer, Head of the EU Law Department, National Institute for the Magistracy, Romania


"For the National Institute of the Magistracy, the Project represented an opportunity to collaborate closely with other training and academic institutions with the aim of improving judicial knowledge and know-how in the context of fundamental rights adjudication. Trainers and judges shared problems and concerns regarding the application of overlapping provisions of their own constitutional order, the ECHR and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. One of the most appreciated and novel features of the project was the combination between the valuable theoretical input of the EUI academics and the pragmatic approach of the judges. Equally so, the practitioners valued the comparative component of the seminars and final conference that took place in Italy, as well as the opportunity to test the valuable Handbooks in national context."

Nina Półtorak, Prof. UJ dr hab.
Judge, Head of the European Law Department in the Judicial Bureau of the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland


"The Supreme Administrative Court of Poland took part in the Project as one of the main partners.  Taking part in the Project gave an unique opportunity for the Polish judges not only to develop their knowledge and awareness of the judicial dialogue in the fundamental rights, but also to discuss crucial  issues and share their views and problems with the judges from other European countries. Additionally, the events that took place in the Supreme Administrative Court within the framework of the Project – lectures, seminars, conferences – proved to be of great importance for the judicial practice of Polish judges. As the comments from the judges confirm, the Handbook prepared within the Project is an useful tool and guide especially through the hard cases."

Dr. Edith Zeller
President of the Association of European Administrative Judges and administrative judge in Vienna


"Although the titel of the project “Judicial Cooperation in the Fundamental Rights Practice of the National Courts” itself does neither unfold all the different aspects contained therein nor shows the principle and utmost importance for both, academics and judges, in order to develop further European Union law, this was perfectly analyzed, structured and presented by the final handbook. Furthermore, appropriate steps were taken to show relevant national jurisprudence to all users. These are the best tools, available in this area. Finally, the project introduced also a culture of continued improvements and professional relationships, AEAJ had best experiences on this project."

Nella Popović
Head of International Cooperation and Projects Department, Judicial Academy of Croatia 


"When the Croatian Judicial Academy (JA) was offered the opportunity to participate in this project, the JA staff involved in the preparation and implementation of projects was both, honoured and a bit anxious. This was the first project offered to the JA from the Fundamental Rights Programme in which the JA participated and we were honoured to be part of it. However, having no experience with such projects, we were also a bit anxious how it would function in practice. The whole experience with this project proved to be extremely valuable to Croatian practitioners and the JA staff. It offered to Croatian judges the opportunity to approach the matter of fundamental rights protection from a new perspective and to put it in the context of, I would call it, a multilateral judicial dialogue. It also offered them the possibility to tackle the contentious issues of fundamental rights protection applying the combination of an academic and a practical approach in an international environment and in cooperation with collea
gues from other EU member states. Last but not least, it offered us, the JA staff members, the opportunity to gain an experience of the functioning of such projects in practice and to broaden our knowledge about EU law and the interaction between European and national courts."

Raffaele Sabato
Justice in the Italian Court of Cassation, Rome and Member of the Board of Directors, Italian School for the Judiciary, Rome

" I cannot emphasize enough the role that cooperation with the CJC has played for the Italian School for the Judiciary. Legal theorists and practitioners in the CJC have been reliable partners in projects involving Italian judges and prosecutors, as well as trainees, allowing them to deepen their knowledge of European and international law, and consequently to improve court procedures and their in-service education. Our sincerest thanks for all you do."


 
What has been done within the JUDCOOP Project:
  • Completion of the JUDCOOP Project
    • Finalization of the separate Handbooks on:
      • Non-Discrimination
      • Fair Trial
      • Freedom of Expression
    • Finalization of the Final Handbook on Judicial Cooperation which can be found here
    • Finalization of the Relevant Guidelines (EN, HR, IT, RO, ES, PO)
    • Finalization of the Database: this is freely accessible. It can easily be accessed from the webpage of the Centre for Judicial Cooperation: from the red menu on the right side of the main page, choose European Judicial Cooperation in FR practice → Database 
    • Finalization of the Collaborative Blog: upon invitation only and can be accessed here
 
Other Conferences:
  • Law & Neuroscience: Revising the Legal Standard of Insanity (6-7 June 2014)
    • This international conference brought together prominent legal scholars, philosophers, neuroscientists and judges from various European countries and the US, to discuss the role that neuroscientific evidence plays in judicial decisions regarding insanity in an interdisciplinary, neuroscientific, legal, policy and conceptual and philosophical perspective.The conference, which was co-financed by Prof. Dennis Patterson and by the Centre for Judicial Cooperation (EUI), was the second international and interdisciplinary event in the framework of the Guilty Mind project on the use of neuroscience in criminal trials.
  • Parity on the Bench - Women in the Judiciary and Renewed Conceptions of the Legitimacy of Courts (25-26 September 2014)
    • The conference explored whether gender can be used as a useful analytical tool in a research agenda that wishes to question the concept of representativeness that underlies courts' legitimacy. How "representative" do we expect courts to be? What do we mean by "representative"? And, how does the concept relate to other standards such as impartiality, independence, etc...? To do this, the conference aimed at gathering a unique collection of testimonies from judges themselves: after a template questionnairewas drafted by the scientific coordinators of the present project, a group of 12-15 prominent judges was invited to a seminar at the EUI for delivering testimonies relating to their experience.
  • Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights (6-7 November 2014)
    • The emphasis of the event was on diversity - both geographical and institutional - in approaches to safeguarding human rights and constitutionalism through judiciary. The countries examined at the colloquium ranged from mature democracies to countries in transition. The speakers represented domestic constitutional courts, regional human rights courts and bodies, international courts, and universities. The aim was to facilitate the exchange of ideas across borders and institutions.
What is to come:
  • Charterclick Project
    • Starting from February 2015, the Centre for Judicial Cooperation will be involved in another project funded by the DG Justice of the European Commission: "Don't knock on the wrong door: CharterClick! A user-friendly tool to detect violations falling within the scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights."
      The project, which will be coordinated by Prof. Adelina Adinolfi from the University of Florence, will contribute to contrast the sense of frustration that victims of fundamental rights violations experience when, owing to the lack of knowledge on the Charter, they rely on it in cases outside its scope of application and a national court (or the European Court of Justice) says that the Charter cannot be of help to them.
      To this end, the project will set up a freely accessible on-line platform (CharterClick!) where victims of fundamental rights violations, their representatives and national judges will find a set of tools to establish easily whether a claim falls within the scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In particular, the Project team will develop: an Admissibility Checklist, modelled on the checklist related to the ECHR, aimed at detecting cases falling inside or outside the scope of the Charter; a Database containing a selection of cases drawn from the case law of the Union and national courts, and from the practice of national human rights bodies (in particular, equality bodies and ombudspersons), which will complement the Admissibility Checklist by exemplifying situations where the Charter can or cannot apply; a document containing Practical Guidelines on the application of the Charter; a Document on the Best Practices of those representing victims of fundamental rights as regards the identification of claims falling within the scope of the Charter. 
      The project will be run by the University of Florence in collaboration with 7 co-beneficiaries (from 5 different Member States), notably 6 academic institutions (the Centre for Judicial Cooperation, and the Universities of Bordeaux, Cagliari, Konstanz, Leicester and Uppsala) and an institute specialised in legal informatics (ITTIG). The Consortium is then enriched by 17 associate partners from 11 different Member States, which include 8 ombudspersons, 3 national Equality bodies, 5 organizations providing legal assistance and training in the field and a center for the exchange of knowledge and information between ombudspersons. The Consortium covers 12 different Member States. After the kick-off meeting of February 2015, a web-page devoted to the CharterClick! Project will be created, and more information on it will be provided through the newsletters of the CJC.
  • Redial Project
    • On 11th of December the Migration Policy Centre together with the Centre for Judicial Cooperation and the Odysseus Academic Network launched the REDIAL (REturn DIALogue) Project, which aims at expanding the scope of the CONTENTION project (contention.eu) by looking beyond detention to the entire EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC). REDIAL will include all EU Member States that apply the Return Directive and will build a wide network of judges, who deal with return cases, and legal academics of the Odysseus Network, with a view to fostering horizontal judicial dialogue. REDIAL is co-funded by the European Return Fund. A considerable number of European and national case law from 11 Member States (AT, BG, BE, CZ, DE, FR, IT, NL, SK, SI and UK) can already be accessed via the CONTENTION Database (http://contention.eu/national-caselaw/ ). The national case law database of CONTENTION, which collates over 450 cases, catalogues the interpretation of Article 15 of the Return Directive and the specific criteria examined therein. Judgments are searchable by the criteria that are applicable to each case. Decisions are included in their original language for each case but over 250 of the cases are summarised in English.
       
  • Centre for Judicial Cooperation – European University Institute
  • Villa Schifanoia – Via Boccaccio 121, IT-50133 Florence, Italy
  • For further information contact: Madalina Moraru and Federica Casarosa: Telephone: (+39) 055 4685494 (Int. 2494) - Fax: (+39) 055 4685200 (Int. 2200)
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