Testimony

Mr Bruno Clément, Resident Advisor for Twinning, Twinning Support to the General Directorate of the Algerian Corrections and Reintegration Administration

I became fully aware of the international dimensions of the Ministry for Justice during a three-day trip to Algeria in April 2015 with Isabelle Gorce, Director of Prison Administration. The prospect of twinning between the European Union and that country was announced at that time.

Making contact with JCI was a natural fit for me, being a novice in terms of international cooperation at the time. JCI is a human-sized structure; the atmosphere feels almost like a family, and it’s easy to get in contact with people. Present but not overbearing, JCI’s in-depth knowledge of the complex mysteries of European cooperation procedure allows Resident Advisors for Twinning to devote themselves to working with equanimity on the core issues.

For a prison officer who had served his administration for nearly thirty years, this was an opportunity to get started on a second career. Far beyond the mere transmission of know-how, twinning above all entails a true exchange of professional practices among persons dealing with the same issues. It’s a mutually enriching way to bring countries with different cultures and systems together around common values.”

Mr Richard Bometon, Honorary Judge

I retired in July 2016, and that was when JCI contacted me to participate in missions abroad, in an area I knew well: the training of magistrates and the organisation of prosecutors’ offices.

Previously, in my career and when I was teaching at the National School for the Judiciary, I had already been involved in these kinds of activities abroad, and so I was happy to take on the role, since what I appreciate above all is the way it allows me to continue to pass on the knowledge I acquired in the course of my career as a judge, and to become familiar with judicial systems that are sometimes quite different from ours.

In December 2016, I participated in a mission to Kyrgyzstan, together with a colleague from the central office, to work on evaluating and developing their training programs for judges, their preparation of training plans, and the training procedures they follow, as well as to work on writing and distributing teaching materials.

In January 2017, I undertook a new mission in the Central African Republic, in Bangui, to conduct a study of the legal texts governing the creation of a Judicial Training Institute, its administrative and educational organisation, and the programs for the initial training of the judicial actors concerned.

Finally, in March 2017, I returned to Kyrgyzstan to lead a seminar on the role of public prosecutors in criminal trials. 

I look forward to new missions in the future, especially in the Central African Republic, and hope to be able to continue my pursuit of this exciting activity.

During these missions, I have appreciated the quality of the service provided by JCI, both in terms of the contextual explanations and documentation it made available to me, and in terms of the material preparation and organisation of travel provided. The team has always listened to my requests and sought to arrange optimal conditions to ensure the success of my expert assessment missions.

In every country I visited, I saw a particularly warm welcome given to the experts, and high expectations placed upon our contact persons, who showed a keen interest in the practices we were presenting to them, in the discussions which followed, and in the resulting recommendations.

For now, thanks to this activity, I still don’t feel completely retired, and I have the sense that I can still be useful, and that with my wisdom I can contribute to the professional work and training of judges. It is of vital importance that JCI continue its work recruiting experts who have a passion for auditing, counselling, training, and traveling the world to engage in discussions and exchanges concerning judicial practices in other countries, forever guided by the concept and values of the Rule of Law.”