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NEWS

Fair trial defenders from across Europe meet to discuss emerging threats

admin - June 20, 2018 - Justicia, counter-terrorism, justice in europe

In June 2018, members of the JUSTICIA European Rights Network convened in Brussels for the first time since the network was integrated into Fair Trials’ Legal Expert Advisory Panel as a working group in 2017.  The meeting brought together fair trial defenders from 16 different organisations based in 15 different countries, to discuss the achievements of the network to date as well as the working group’s priorities going forward.

The JUSTICIA network was formalised under the leadership of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in July 2012, and it consists of 20 Network Member organisations based in 17 Member States. The Network aims to strengthen measures to protect the rights of accused and suspected persons in criminal proceedings, and to have a significant impact on domestic criminal law, policy and practice throughout the European Union. In 2017, it was decided that Fair Trials would take over the coordination of the Network, integrating it into Fair Trials’ LEAP Network as a Working Group.

Ralph Bunche, Director of Fair Trials Europe, said:

“We’re delighted to be taking over the coordination of JUSTICIA under the LEAP Network. JUSTICIA went from strength to strength under the leadership of the ICCL, and we are so pleased that Fair Trials has the opportunity to continue to take the work of the Network forward. As threats to civil society and well-established rights continue to emerge across Europe, it only serves to reinforce the vitalness of having supportive networks of fair trial defenders across Europe who are able to identify and respond to these threats, as well as share expertise and experiences.”

At the meeting, the membership discussed the main aims of the working group going forward, with a special focus on cutting edge research into unexplored areas of EU criminal procedure law. The Network also identified advocacy initiatives aimed at raising awareness and improving implementation of EU law related fair trial rights as a key priority.

A particular focus of the meeting was how the network can better address fair trial issues in an era in which civic space is shrinking in the face of a rising tide of populism, and public discourse is increasingly focussed on security over human rights.

Find out more about the JUSTICIA network.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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