The final conference of the European project “The judicial response to terrorism in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” was held on 12 and 13 April 2018 at the National Assembly. 17 countries were represented.
“Does effective judicial treatment require a compromise, and giving up the freedoms on which our democracies are based?” asked Olivier Leurent, Director of the ENM at the opening of this conference.
200 judges from 17 countries, mainly from the EU, gathered to discuss respect for judicial rights and procedural safeguards and the dignity of the human being in the adjudication of terrorist cases and after conviction.
Four prosecutors specialised in the fight against terrorism
Belgian, Spanish, French and Italian prosecutors specialised in the fight against terrorism shared their views and experiences on national criminal policies in the fight against terrorism and the management of dangerousness: Jesùs Alonso Chief Prosecutor of the Spanish National Court, Federico Cafiero de Raho, Italian National Prosecutor, François Molins, Public Prosecutor at the Paris Regional Court and Frédéric Van Leeuw, Belgian Federal Prosecutor.
Through this unprecedented cross-analysis, we asked these specialized prosecutors to address criminal policy and the management of dangerousness when directing the investigation, in the choice of prosecutions, as well as at the stage of the execution of sentences. Our aim was to question the apprehension of dangerousness, which leads the justice system to intervene before the facts are actually committed, and which must be taken into consideration throughout the procedure.Elie Renard, Deputy Director of ENM Paris
Cycle of five conferences
The search for balance between effectiveness and the protection of fundamental rights was the guiding principle of the conference cycle. This final conference closed a roudn of four seminars held in 2016 and 2017:
- “The prevention of violent radicalisation” with particular reference to religious freedom (Strasbourg, December 2016),
- “Judicial investigation and intelligence techniques” with the delicate link between the guarantee of rights and the effectiveness of the investigation (Brussels, February 2017),
- “The media treatment of terrorist cases” with the complex balance between the security of the investigation and freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right of public information (Paris, June 2017)
- “The hearing and enforcement of sentences relatec to terrorism” with the specific features of the hearing of a terrorist trial, in particular with regard to the right to a fair trial (Sofia, October 2017).
The outcomes of these five conferences on the changes needed to meet the current challenges, will give rise to a scientific report written by Antoine Megie, lecturer, researcher at the University of Rouen and expert mobilised as rapporteur for the project.
This round of conferences, was funded by the European Commission, and designed by ENM in partnership with the Belgian, Swedish and Bulgarian training institutes, as well as the Council of Europe, ERA and EJTN, and with the active support of JCI for the whole planning and logistics.