*CANCELLED* Fair criminal proceedings in Europe: the limits of regulating by legal rules
*This conference is cancelled and the (re-)scheduled conference for 1-2 October 2020 is provisionally cancelled*.
The current (and projected) situation around COVID-19 and restrictions on travel and public gatherings do not allow to hold the conference with personal presence of speakers and participants. Given its highly interactive nature, an online format is not suitable for this event.
We are committed to organising the conference at a later date, hopefully in 2021, when the epidemiological situation improves and the respective restrictions are lifted. We will keep you informed about the developments on this webpage.
The EU plays an increasingly important role in security and justice-related issues of the Member States. It deals with matters like border control, terrorism, organised crime and criminal justice. EU actions on cooperation in criminal matters aim at improving mutual confidence between Member States' judicial systems. These objectives are sought to be achieved primarily through the approximation of national procedural laws. EU has been criticised for prioritising ‘safety and security’, or effective law enforcement cooperation, over ‘justice’, or the rights of individuals. EU has attempted to address the ‘human rights deficit’, notably, by adopting legislation on procedural rights in criminal proceedings.
Critical voices are increasingly raised concerning whether EU action aimed mainly at harmonising Member States’ criminal procedural laws is sufficient to achieve the above-mentioned objectives. This area is incredibly complex to regulate. It requires expertise in forensic science, psychology, policing and other relevant disciplines. It also requires careful balancing of the various interests and values involved, such as the protection of individual freedoms versus effective law enforcement. Another difficulty is to determine the role of legal regulation, as opposed to ‘soft regulation’ or other measures, in achieving the goals of bringing Member States' criminal justice systems closer to the ‘vision’ embedded in the EU area of freedom, security and justice. Certain concepts, such as ‘vulnerability’ in criminal proceedings, are very difficult, if not impossible, to regulate by law in any meaningful detail. National laws can provide a general definition of ‘vulnerability’; the question then remains how to ensure that national criminal justice institutions adequately deal with vulnerabilities in their daily practice.
The goal of this conference is to identify the impediments to improving cooperation in the area of criminal matters. The method is to bring together experts from various disciplines to discuss the challenges in the ‘harmonisation’ of the criminal procedural systems of the EU Member States by means of legislation.
The following challenges will be discussed:
- Defining certain interdisciplinary concepts, such as ‘risk’, ‘vulnerability’, ‘proof’ or ‘procedural justice' for the purposes of EU legal regulation;
- Determining the paths for ensuring proper enforcement of these concepts: legislation, policy or other paths (including: to what extent these matters could be left to the individual discretion of criminal justice actors)?
- Enforcing the respective regulations and other measures in practice: What are the most important obstacles (culture, lack of expertise/training, funding, etc.)? What is our ‘theory of change’ with respect to enforcement by Member States’ governments, national criminal justice institutions, and individual criminal justice actors?
The conference will focus on those concepts, which raise important interdisciplinary questions, and which are subject to the current or prospective EU regulation.
Maastricht University, Faculty of Law
Contact: Chantal Meertens
Organisers: Dr. Anna Pivaty, Prof. André Klip & Dr. Dorris de Vocht (FoL) and Dr. Melanie Sauerland (FPN) with participation from UNU-MERIT (FaSoS).
Thursday 19 March
|12:30-13:00||Opening and welcome|
Session 1: EU fair trial standards and ‘procedural justice’.
Speakers: Prof. Dr. Jackie Hodgson, Warwick University, UK
Moderator: Dr. Julieta Marotta, UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Maastricht University & Dr. Anna Pivaty, FoL, Maastricht University
Session 2: ‘Vulnerability’ in criminal proceedings.
Speakers: Dr. Roxanna Dehaghani, Cardiff University, UK
Speakers: Dr. Yvonne Daly, Dublin City University, Ireland
|17:45-18:30||Drinks at Restaurant Petit Bonheur|
|18:30-21:00||Dinner for all registered attendees at Restaurant Petit Bonheur|
Friday 20 March
Session 3: Standard and burden of proof in criminal proceedings.
Speakers: Dr. Marieke Dubelaar, Radboud University, Netherlands
Moderators: Dr. Dorris de Vocht, FoL, Maastricht University & Ms. Peggy ter Vrugt, FoL, Maastricht University
Session 4: Risk of re-offending: pre-trial detention and sentencing.
Speakers: Prof. Dr. Seena Fazel, Oxford University, UK
Moderators: Dr. Christina Peristeridou, FoL, Maastricht University & Dr. Anna Pivaty, FoL, Maastricht University
|13:00-14:00||Lunch in "Lenculenhal" room C0.300B|
Session 5: Forensic expert evidence in (cross-border) criminal proceedings.
Speakers: Prof. Dr. Paul Roberts, Nottingham University, UK
Moderators: Dr. Melanie Sauerland, FPN, Maastricht University & Prof. André Klip, FoL, Maastricht University
Participation fee (regular participants or non-speakers):
100 EUR - for regular participants
50 EUR - for students/PhDs including dinner (day 1) and lunch (day 2)
0 EUR - for students/PhDs excluding dinner (day 1) and lunch (day 2)
0 EUR - for invited speakers and employees of the European Commission
Registration and payment by 5 March (via the green button on the right side of this page).
Participation as speaker in individual panels is by invitation only. Speakers will present their responses and remarks on the questions suggested by organisers. Limited financial support is available for conference speakers. If you would like to act as a speaker, please contact Dr. Anna Pivaty at a.pivaty[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl outlining the reasons for your interest.
Partly financed by SWOL, University Fund Limburg.
SWOL aims to support scientific research and education at Maastricht University. Science is a crucial building block to achieve a better future for next generations.
Partly financed by Maastricht, Working on Europe.
The aim of Maastricht, Working on Europe is to position Maastricht as a meeting place for citizen dialogue and debate and establish a Centre of Excellence for research on Europe and European integration. In short: a workplace for a better Europe. For everyone.