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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurInstitutionsSéparateurEuropean CommissionSéparateur Participation of the UIHJ to the "Stimulating European Judicial Training" Conference on 10 April 2013 at the European Commission in Brussels
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Participation of the UIHJ to the "Stimulating European Judicial Training" Conference on 10 April 2013 at the European Commission in Brussels


A delegation of nine members of the UIHJ, led by its president, Leo Netten, attended on 10 April 2013 a key conference of reflection and information on judicial training in Europe.

 Françoise Le Bail, Director General of the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission welcomed the support of the many people coming from different legal professions and training providers. She recalled that the ambitions of the European Commission regarding training are related to the Stockholm program.

According to Ms Le Bail, joint training of all professionals of the legal world on European legislation is desirable because it allows comparing systems, discussing their interpretation, without neglecting the training of trainers and also e-Training. “It is not sufficient to train legal practitioners on how to apply EU law. We also have to take care that they have the necessary tools to practise what they have learnt” she reminded...

Luigi Berlinguer, Member of European Parliament said that training is a very important topic for the European Parliament, which is very sensitive to the establishment of an e-Judicial culture. The role of professionals will be crucial in the development of this European culture. Training should include training courses, exchanges and common technological tools. For this judicial actors should work within a common framework.

Jonathan Goldsmith, Secretary General of the Council of Bars and Lawyers Societies in Europe (CCBE) presented the European Training Platform, a software tool designed to provide comprehensive information on training of lawyers in Europe. The project began in 2013. It will last two years. This platform connects national bars, the CCBE, the European Commission and national training institutions.

Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Justice then detailed the day program organized in two sessions of two groups:
- organising and promoting judicial training, including two workshops, one dealing with the exchange and needs assessment, and the other with the role of networks in European legislation with regard to the assessment of training needs
- Cooperation and promotion, including two workshops, one dealing with cooperation between institutions of legal education and the other with opportunities to promote a European judicial culture.

The members of the delegation of the UIHJ were spread out in each of the four workshops. Here are the final reports.

Workshop on "Exchange and Needs Assessment"

Leo Netten, rapporteur of the workshop, said that the working group had discussed the "Aiakos" program, which involves exchanges between young professionals (judges, lawyers and other legal professionals) and has attracted considerable interest. While this may raise an issue concerning the language used, it could be sufficient at the outset to agree on a working language, English for example. The methodology will use case studies, and face to face course. In conclusion, Aiakos could be a good example of a joint work between legal professions. For now, the program is only in its initial phase. It needs time to take shape.

Regarding the assessment of training needs, everyone agrees on the tasks at hand. The only question is: why are they not carried out? There are two important things to remember: mutual trust and good practices that are the basis of training needs and their setting. Everyone has more or less his own network but we should learn to work together. Good practice and mutual trust will therefore remain the hallmarks of this workshop.

Workshop on "The role of networks of European legislation with regard to the assessment of training needs"

Dominique Hascher, Secretary General of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union, rapporteur, held that it is individuals who take initiatives on training (bars, professional associations ...). Continuity of partnerships is an important part of training organizations. Lawyers are more interested in personal networks in the context of such agreements. The organization of regional cooperation should be flexible because everything can be a topic of training. The European Day of Civil Justice, which is organized at the initiative of the European Commission each year on 25 October, is a good opportunity to raise awareness, including training. The workshop participants emphasized the value of a shared training by the various legal professions. Communication systems and virtual exchanges can partly replace face to face training.

Workshop on "Cooperation between institutions of legal education"

Christiane Wenderhorst, Member of Executive Committee of the European Law Institute (ELI), rapporteur, began her remarks with a statement: "Money is tight. You have to make good funding decisions." For this, one solution could be to rationalize the landscape of different instruments. It is necessary to adapt according to practice and to finance available training. European Training should focus in particular on training on cross-border issues. The rest could be financed by member states internally. It may be necessary that Member States also provide the translation costs of training. The workshop finally was in favour of a presentation of an e-Learning which could be finalised by Member States. In the context of project financing, the conclusions of the workshop recommended to take into consideration innovative projects.

Workshop on "Opportunity to promote a European judicial culture"

The rapporteur of the last workshop, Pier Giovanni Traversa, Advisor, Consiglio Nazionale Forense, said that the common denominator of the meeting today was that the acquis needs to be incorporated in the initial training. At first, there was a presentation in this workshop of the programs currently funded by the European Commission for the year 2013 - since there will eventually a new program for seven years with a principle of greater flexibility: for example, it will be possible to finance purely national projects provided they are relevant to other countries. In a second time there was a presentation of current funding frameworks: "Action grant", pilot programme ... Cascade funding was presented. This is an interesting innovation in order to fund several parties interested in developing training topics. The workshop then turned to the problem of evaluation of training that should take into account both quantitative and qualitative indicators. Structures will have to be taken into account and evaluation questionnaires will have to be adapted.

After these reports, a presentation of the implementation of the pilot project allowed Luis Pereira, Secretary General of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), to expose the details of this network which is a platform for exchange of experience among its members for the training of judges and prosecutors.

Then Peter Goldschmidt, Director of the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers (ECJL) of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), presented the status of the training of lawyers and judicial staff in Community law with implementation of cooperation agreements between those who provide education and the beneficiaries. Two projects have been created, one for lawyers and the other on court staff with the participation of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of France.

Erminia Mazzoni, Member of European Parliament, then gave her comments on the prospects of the pilot project considering the need to adopt common minimum rules for enhancing mutual trust and developing a common legal culture while facing financial and economic problems. She proposed the idea to gather all the professions to implement a training cooperation.

Then, Heiko Wagner, policy officer, European Commission, DJ Justice, presented the report on European Judicial Training and the presentation of the future second report. He stated that the Commission had established statistics to satisfy a quantitative target (how many lawyers will have been trained by 2020, in which professions ...) as well as a goal of public information on the quality of lawyers.

He particularly thanked the UIHJ which, at the request of the European Commission, helped provide some data needed for statistics and feedback to improve the questionnaire which will be sent to develop the new report from the previous year.

Lotte Knudsen, Director, European Commission, DG Justice, was in charge of addressing the conclusive words about this eventful day as regards the way forward. Ms Knudsen stated that the European Commission has an ambitious goal concerning training of legal professionals, and that thanks to the efforts and participation of all, a new training process will be initiated. She admitted being impressed by the commitment of the participants. Synergy, cross-fertilization, Aiakos exchanges are a training model. During the day best practices as well as the value of networks were highlighted. Financing and assessment still need to be taken into consideration. "You act and we are here to help you, to support you. We are your intermediaries."
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