EJTN study visits have been an opportunity for a first contact with European judicial institutions for a long time. They are organised in various institutions for judges, prosecutors, and court and prosecution staff.
Court of Justice of the EU
Study visits at the Court of Justice of the European Union have a long-lasting tradition in the EJTN Exchange Programme.
They offer judges, prosecutors, and court staff a first-hand insight in the work of the Court of Justice and its Units, as well as the cabinets of judges, advocate generals, and the Research and Documentation Department.
Participants have the opportunity to follow presentations, as well as a briefing on a case before the Court before taking part in a live court hearing before the Grand Chamber.
In 2024, two study visits at CJEU will be combined with a visit to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. These combined study visits are have a duration of 2.5 days.
By participating judges, prosecutors, and court staff will also have the opportunity to meet their colleagues from all over the European Union and to exchange best practices while discussing cases of a European dimension.
European Court of Human Rights
Study visits at the European Court of Human Rights aim at providing a thorough knowledge of the Court, its functioning and its case law. The study visits will focus on:
- Presentations on the Court’s competencies, procedures before the court, and case law
- Attending a court hearing if possible
- Meeting with a judge from the Court
- Presentation of the HELP Programme of the Council of Europe
To participate in study visits at the European Court of Human Rights, you need to be a judge, prosecutor, court/ prosecution staff or judicial trainer.
Five study visits are usually organised during an year, three in the first semester and two in the second one.
The study visit at Eurojust aims at raising the participants’ awareness of the role of Eurojust and its organisation as well as increasing their understanding of the powers given to Eurojust National Members and judicial cooperation instruments in criminal matters.
During this 3-day study visit, two additonal institutions are usually organised
- A presentation of Europol gives an overview of the work of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation to the participants.
- A visit to the headquarters of the International Criminal Court allows the participants to discover the work of this major international institution and to know more about the concrete functioning of international justice. When possible, the attendance of a hearing is organised.
To participate in the study visit at Eurojust, you need to be:
- A prosecutor or investigating judge
- A court/prosecution staff working with criminal issues
One study visit will take place with Eurojust in 2024 during the first week of June.
Twice a year, the Exchange Programme organises a study visit to Vienna focused on Human and Fundamental Rights, as well as the prevention of violence and hate crimes. he aim of the study visit is to introduce the participants to the work of the visited institutions in the judicial context. Among the topics tackled at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will be the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, FRA’s work in the area of Non-Discrimination, LGBTI, Access to Justice, Asylum and Migration, Hate Crime, the Rights of the Child and Data Protection.
In small groups, judges, prosecutors, and court staff will also have the opportunity to work on a case study while exchanging best practices with their European colleagues which gives the study visit a valuable social component.
A complementary visit to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the historic Vienna International Center provides for an international view on crime prevention and criminal justice in Hate Crime, Discrimination, and Human Rights cases.
The study visit with the EU institutions in Brussels is organised with the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). The study visit is designed to provide beneficiaries with an insight into the EU law making process and the host institution’s functioning and procedures. The role of the EDPS and OLAF is also be explained.
To participate in study visits in EU Institutions, you need to be a judge, prosecutor or court/prosecution staff
Hague Conference on Private International Law
The visit at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) aims at giving an insight to family judges of the EU Member States about the main instruments of the Conference (Conventions, Protocols and Principles) in the area of international family law. The visit will cover the Conventions on the civil aspects of international child abduction, the protection of children and cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption, the jurisdictions applicable law, recognition, enforcement, cooperation in respect or parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children, the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance as well as the protocol on the law applicable to maintenance obligations. The visit will also provide for EU law perspective and relations between The Hague Conventional system and the EU law system.
To participate in the study visit at the Hague Conference on Private International Law, you need to be:
- A family judge or prosecutor working with family-law issues
- A court staff working with family-law issues
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
The study visit will be organised at the Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, located in the city of Halle in Eastern Germany, is a leading centre for research in socio-cultural anthropology. The Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ aims to offer a stimulating interdisciplinary forum where both anthropologists and lawyers can engage constructively and conduct cutting-edge, policy-relevant research linked to intensified interactions within and between societies, communities, and cultures in contemporary Europe and beyond. These interactions call for an in-depth assessment of the ways in which different normative orders and systems of morality coexist at various levels of decision-making. The Department strives to systematically involve legal practitioners in researching and theorizing concepts of justice and the accommodation of diversity in rapidly changing contemporary pluralistic European societies. To this end, the Department organizes an annual one-week study visit for up to 12 judges, prosecutors and court staff in collaboration with the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN).
The aim of the study visit is to provide deeper knowledge and comparative perspectives on how to adequately address cultural and religious diversity in the courtroom, with specific reference to family/kinship relationships and identities across borders (see below).
Through a mixture of presentations, collaborative team-work exercises with Department researchers, self-study and joint discussion sessions, participants are offered the opportunity to develop in-depth contextual understanding of diversity dimensions that are of direct relevance to their judicial practice. The visit is structured around a core exercise, called Rethinking Judgments. Each participant is required to submit a case from their home jurisdiction and relevant to discuss the study visit’s theme two weeks before the start of the visit. During the week in Halle, participants will be invited to rethink – and, if they wish, to rewrite parts of – the decision of the case they submitted, in light of the exposure to Law and Anthropology they have had. On the last day of the visit, participants will be invited to present the findings of their Rethinking Judgments exercise to the rest of the group. This last session will be made accessible by a wider audience of colleagues as part of an EJTN-MPI advanced webinar. Academic materials in preparation for the Rethinking Judgments exercise will be shared with participants before the visit starts.
For the year 2023, the following study theme will be offered for participants:
“Relationships and Identities across Borders: Normative Conflicts around the Recognition of
The ways in which family relationships and personal identities are created, perceived and negotiated in present societies are increasingly plural. One of the main drivers underlying this plurality is migration. The increased mobility of people across borders has not only led to a growing number of transnational families – i.e., families that are physically spread over two or more countries – but also to a widespread circulation of norms, practices and legal institutions from outside and within Europe. If, on the one hand, it is no longer possible to say that Europe today is homogeneous in terms of kinship relations and personal identities, on the other hand, legal frameworks and bureaucratic practices of status inscription remain mostly anchored in conventional and monolithic understandings of ‘the family’, child- and parenthood, personal identity and religious belonging as well. This disconnection has resulted in an increasing pressure on the judiciary to take the responsibility to fill the (legal) gaps and to accommodate present-day diversities in their practice.
The study visit will delve into some of the ensuing challenges, and provide participants with conceptual and practical tools to manage cultural and religious diversity, drawing from anthropological insights and perspectives. The focus will be placed on a range set of issues pertaining to: personal status and vertical family relationships (e.g., adoption, kafala, surrogacy and assisted reproduction), personal status and horizontal family relationships (e.g., marriage and divorce) and personal status and documentary practices of status recognition and inscription (e.g., identity documents, age, gender, name). In a migration context, these personal and family status issues are intertwined with family reunification.
European Public Prosecutor's office
Study visits at the European Public Prosecutor’s office (EPPO) will be organised at the EPPO premises in Luxembourg. EJTN will offer two different types of study visits:
A general study visit, combined with visits to the Court of Justice of the EU, will be organised twice a year as of 2024. This visit includes general presentations on EPPO and its mandate, as well as a short case study involving EPPO’s competence. The study visit will have a length of one day and will be organised in combination with a study visit to the Court of Justice of the EU.
One specialised study visit will be organised as of 2024 for investigative and criminal law judges, as well as prosecutors working on financial crimes. The specialised study visits shall have a duration of 1.5 days and focus on a case study
Interested in an exchange?
The call for applications for study visits opens twice a year. Study visits of the first half of the year will be advertised in December until January of the year of implementation on the EJTN Exchange Programme platform. Study visits starting in the second half of the year will be advertised in May.
Applicants are preselected by the EJTN Members and Associate Members. Preselected applications will then be allocated according to the number of available places in the hosting institutions.