4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice

4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice
2014 Dec 22

The 4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice, organized by the International Juvenile Justice Observatory, took place in Brussels on December 4th and 5th, under the title ‘Towards the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Policies in Europe: Lessons Learned and future challenges.” The meeting, funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union, saw the participation of representatives from the 28 EU member States who belong to the different sections of the Council: academic, public administration and civil society. During the meeting, the European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, currently being developed by a selected group of ECJJ experts and researchers, was presented and discussed by its members.

On December 4th, in the framework of the 6th IJJO International Conference, the plenary sessions focused on the activities of European institutions and Agencies in the field of children protection and juvenile justice. The theme was addressed by Margaret Tuite, Coordinator for the Rights of the Child in DG Justice, María Amor Martín Estébanez, from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and Antanas Jatkevicius, of the Council for Penological cooperation of the Council of Europe, also member of the ECJJ. The day ended with a session set as an open space for ECJJ members to present to their peers their latest initiatives, projects and research.

On its second day, the 4th ECJJ Meeting took place in the European Economic and Social Committee. After the welcome speech of Dr. Francisco Legaz, Chairman of the IJJO, Valérie Gengoux, of the Criminal Policy Service of Belgium, and Antanas Jaktevicius, the ECJJ presented its activities from 2012 to 2015 in a session conducted by Cédric Foussard, IJJO’s Director of International Affairs, and Adélaïde Vanhove, IJJO’s Policy Officer on European Affairs.

During the next session, Cristina Goñi, Secretary General of the OIJJ, moderated a consultation on the Juvenile Restorative Justice Research among the ECJJ members. Following this consultation, the first outcomes of the Research on Juvenile Restorative Justice were presented to the members by the team of experts from Greifswald University, composed of Professor Frieder Dünkel and Doctor Andrea Parosanu. These experts outlined the results of 28 snapshots designed to capture existing legislative frameworks and policies for implementation of restorative justice across EU member States. The snapshots revealed good practices as well as weaknesses in legislation and gaps in the implementation phase.

Later, Professor Tim Chapman of Ulster University, Monique Anderson, of the Leuven Institute of Criminology, and Maija Gellin, of the Finnish Forum for Education, presented the first draft of the Manual that the ECJJ will release as part of its ‘European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles’, which includes the studies of good restorative practices in Belgium, Northern Ireland and Finland, where the researchers analysed the legal framework and interviewed representatives of public administration as well as practitioners and children who have been involved in restorative justice. The complete results of the research for the ‘European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles’, including Snapshots, Manual and Toolkit, will be available at the end of March on the ECJJ website.

After the presentation of the current Research on Restorative Justice, the ECJJ roadmap for 2015-2017 was introduced by Adélaïde Vanhove and Giulia Melotti, both from IJJO’s department of European Affairs. The ECJJ members discussed the roadmap, shared their own projects and priorities, and consulted on the future direction of the ECJJ work. Minutes of the Meeting will be available on the ECJJ website from the end of January 2015.