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Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

Press Room

‘Advancing Defence Rights for Children’ project: Regional Training Conference takes place in the Netherlands

Monday 5th of February 2018
IJJO Day by Day

The Fair Trials International-led project “Advancing Defence Rights for Children” hosted its Regional Training Conference at Leiden University (The Netherlands) from 26th to 28th January. This project, in which the IJJO works as partner, aims at increasing the ability of defence lawyers to effectively represent children in criminal proceedings, providing tools, training and networking opportunities which facilitate the achievement of this goal.


The event started with an opening speech by Ton Liefaard from Leiden University. Jago Russel from Fair Trials Europe then introduced the training programme. This included a presentation about the project’s latest updates, as well as about the objectives of the training event.

Bruno Min, from Fair Trials International, followed this up with a brief presentation about the EU Directive 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings, including some of its provisions, and a few words about the Directive’s effect and the use of the EU law in the criminal proceedings context. The afternoon was rounded off with a group discussion among the participants about the role of defence lawyers in cases involving children.

The second day started with two plenary sessions. The first one, led by Stephanie Rap from the University of Leiden, tackled the key principles of the project and gave an overview of the e-learning materials. The second one, coordinated by Bruno Min and Anneliese Hendricks from Anaguía, focused on the project’s needs assessment and communication strategies.

During the afternoon, several interactive sessions were organised regarding topics such as the development of communication skills with children, the challenges faced by lawyers in situations of police interrogation where a disruptive parent is present, and the application of the EU Directive in juvenile justice systems. To facilitate discussions, the participants were divided into smaller groups.

On the third day partners engaged in a feedback session and a discussion about how to best adapt and disseminate the project’s training programme in their own respective countries.

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