Universiteit Leiden

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Advancing the Defence Rights of Children: Fair Trials Regional Training Event for Lawyers

From 26 until 28 January Leiden Law School hosted the regional training for lawyers as part of the EU funded project Advancing the Defence Rights of Children, organized by Fair Trials.

Around 50 lawyers from all over Europe came to Leiden to advance their knowledge and skills in defending children in juvenile justice proceedings. The implementation of the EU Directive 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings was an important part of this training. The directive needs to be transposed in national legislation by June 2019.

Dr. Stephanie Rap.

Fair Trials has invited training providers, including practicing lawyers, and representatives of bar associations, NGOs, and other training institutions to attend this event. The training is a ‘regional’ version of the training which will need to be adapted and built on to respond to local training needs. The regional training provided information and discussion on the implementation of the directive and theory and skills training on how to communicate with children and young people. Ms. Annelies Hendriks (practicing child psychologist and mediator in the Netherlands), Dr. Miet Verhallen (associate professor legal psychology at Antwerp University, Belgium and assistant professor criminology at Maastricht University, the Netherlands), Dr. Stephanie Rap (assistant professor Department of Child Law, Leiden Law School), Prof. Ton Liefaard (professor of children’s rights) and the organisation Young in Prison, provided plenary talks and practical workshops involving role-plays.   

Advancing the Defence Rights of Children is a project led by Fair Trials, working in collaboration with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, and APADOR-CH from Romania to develop a multi-disciplinary regional training programme to help criminal defence lawyers across the EU to develop both the practical skills and the knowledge necessary to provide effective assistance to child suspects and accused persons.

Prof. Ton Liefaard.
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