More than 100 judges, prosecutors, lawyers and experts gathered in Strasbourg on 20-21 March to exchange views on ‘Legal/Human Rights Training and Evaluation Methodology’. Most of the participants were members of the EU HELP network (National Training Institutions and Bar Associations and their HELP contact points) and HELP national tutors. Representatives from the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) with whom HELP closely works, and the EU.
The event served as a stock-taking exercise and also as a forum to identify best practices and lessons-learned to pave the way ahead for more HELP actions in EU countries.
The Seminar was organised under the Council of Europe - European Union Programme ‘Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals in the 28’, otherwise known as “HELP in the 28”. Implemented by the Council of Europe, over the last 2 years, HELP in the 28 has been the largest training programme on fundamental rights focusing on EU member States. It has supported legal professionals to apply the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), the European Social Charter (ESC) and the EU Charter of Fundamental rights, building on the ever-evolving case law of both the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts.
Thanks to the Programme, the number of courses has been tripled, the pool of HELP trainers counts with additional 20 members and there will be 32 translations of courses on fields highly relevant to EU legal practitioners.
The first session started with the conclusions from the previous four thematic ‘HELP in the 28’ Seminars on data protection, fight against xenophobia and homophobia, labour rights and personal integrity (bioethics). In all Seminars it was underlined that professionals need to equip themselves for the legal enforcement of not merely European legislation on various areas touching fundamental rights but also for upholding of European values and principles.
For this purpose, “HELP in the 28” has developed courses that combine CoE and EU legislation, making them unique practical tools for EU legal practitioners. In addition, these courses have been translated and adapted to national legal orders, and, after having been launched in the EU -25 courses launched in 16 EUMS reaching directly 750 professionals- they will be freely available in the HELP e-learning platform.
Three keynote and brilliant presentations stood up: EU’s DG Justice about judicial training and e-learning, EJTN’s work on evaluation methods and tools, and finally, new trends on e-learning.
The improved friendlier version of the HELP Platform was presented, underlining the current HELP focus to reach out a larger audience through its self-learning courses.
In addition to plenary sessions, participants were split into distinct working groups allowing for group discussions by course(s), on how to do legal training; and on evaluation methodologies. All discussions based on the experience of training institutions and individual tutors and best practices regarding the application of the HELP methodology in Legal training.
See here the Seminar’s presentations:
- Introductory presentation by the EU
- "HELP in the 28": Wrapping up
- Presentation of the HELP course on the ECHR and Asylum
- Presentation of the HELP Handbook
- Presentation of attractive materials - e-learning design commpany
- Presentation on legal training and Evaluation Methodology
- Presentation of the e-learning course on "Data Protection and Privacy Rights", national application and methodological remarks
- Presentation on "How to do HELP?"
- Presentation on evaluation methodologies. How to measure the impact of Human Rights / legal training
- "HELP in the EU", the way ahead
The Seminar concluded that HELP in the 28 has increased the professional interaction among the EU members of the HELP Network, implemented more courses in the EU and anchored the HELP methodology in Judiciary Schools and Bar Associations throughout the EU.
In cooperation with its partners, HELP plans, on the one hand, to intensify the implementation of the existing courses, and on the other hand, create new HELP courses on new domains relevant for EU countries, such as the prevention of radicalisation.
HELP’s objective in the EU remains intact: to have a direct impact on securing the effective implementation of fundamental rights in EU member states.