29 Mar 01 Apr
15:30 - 16:30
A Criminal Law event

An evidence-based approach to pre-trial detention and its harmonisation in Europe.

Three Interdisciplinary webinars

This webinar series is organised by the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience of Maastricht University and the Faculty of Law of Leiden University.
These events bring together international experts to discuss pre-trial detention from an interdisciplinary perspective and investigate possibilities for an EU action. Three webinars are planned, each providing insights into the most topical aspects of the law and practice of pre-trial detention. The webinars are open to the public upon registration.

First Webinar:
Harmonisation of pre-trial detention
in the EU: is it possible (and desirable)?

Monday 29 March 2021

Should pre-trial detention be harmonised at the EU level? Is there a legal basis for it? In this first webinar, scholars and practitioners discuss the possibility (and the desirability) of establishing minimum standards on pre-trial detention at the EU level. The presentations will look at previous projects of harmonisation, reports and campaigns and will reflect critically about the implications of the current state of things for the rights of suspects and the prospects of judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

Chair: Dr Adriano Martufi, Leiden University & Dr Christina Peristeridou, Maastricht University

  • Irene Wieczorek, University of Durham, United Kingdom 
    Legal basis and competence to harmonise pre-trial detention
  • Ilze Tralmaka, Legal and Policy Officer, Fair Trials
    Previous harmonisation projects and findings of international reports and campaigns
  • Jesca Beneder, Team Leader Procedural Criminal Law, European Commission
    The action of the EU Commission and prospects of harmonisation of pre-trial detention

Second Webinar:
Towards an evidence-based
approach to pre-trial detention?
Visions from Europe and beyond

Wednesday 31 March 2021 
13:00-14:30h. & 15:30-17:00h.

What is the purpose of pre-trial detention under national law? And what are the actual needs it tries to address? This webinar explores the multiple functions of pre-trial detention by casting a critical gaze on its increasing use for purposes of ‘public protection’. In session 1, speakers analyse national procedural models inscribed in national law, assessing whether legal grounds are amenable to reduce/increase the use of pre-trial detention. In session 2, contributions focus more distinctly on tools of risk assessment and prediction. The process of decision-making in pre-trial detention practice relies increasingly on algorithms aimed at predicting risk of recidivism: in this session, presentations reflect critically on prospects and risks of these tools.

Session 1:
Comparing procedural models and international trends in the use of pre-trial detention

Chair: Prof. André Klip, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

  • Christine Morgenstern, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
    The German approach to pre-trial detention
  • Jan Crijns, Faculty of Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    The use of pre-trial detention in the Dutch legal system
  • Ed Cape, University of the West England - Bristol, United Kingdom
    The practice of pre-trial detention in England & Wales: changing law and changing culture

Session 2:
Methods, tools and biases within decision-making and pre-trial detention

Chair: Anna Sagana, Maastricht University & Jennifer Kamorowski, Plymouth State University USA

  • Mandeep Dhami, Middlesex University London, United Kingdom
    How do judges make bail and remand decisions?
  • Seena Fazel, Oxford University, United Kingdom
    Risk assessment instruments and criminal justice
  • Gijs van Dijck, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
    Reflections on Predicting Recidivism

Third Webinar:
Exploring the impact of (judicial)
culture on the use of pre-trial
detention and its alternatives

Thursday 1 April 2021

The current debate about pre-trial detention is often associated with calls to increase (and improve) the use of its ‘alternatives’. While the definition of these instruments remains vague, their contents vary widely across jurisdictions. More interestingly, the very notion of ‘alternatives’ appears reflective of each jurisdiction’s judicial culture. In this webinar our speakers clarify and operationalise the concept of ‘alternatives’ to pre-trial detention. In doing so, contributions explain how judges and prosecutors view alternatives (most notably, bail) by providing insights into the individual and social implications of these measures.

Chair: Dorris de Vocht, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

  • Sandra Susan Smith, Harvard University, USA
    The impact of the system of pre-trial detention and bail on lives and society
  • Mary Rogan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
    The concept of judicial culture, pretrial detention and the presumption of bail
  • Hilde Wermink, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    Disparities in pre-trial detention and its impact on final sentencing decisions


Participation is free.
Please register via the green button on the right side of this page.