Today EJTN held the first webinar in a series on victims’ rights. The event, which focused on the protection of war crime victims, was attended by 70 judges and prosecutors from across Europe.
Participants discussed relevant legal aspects, such as applicable European and international rules for war crime victims, legal mechanisms to ensure the protection of the rights of international victims of crime in national prosecution procedures, and operational challenges in this area.
European judges and prosecutors also exchanged views on protecting victims and witnesses of war crimes, including providing ensuring psycho-social help, and best practices for taking testimonies in war crime trials. The protection of victims’ rights, such as their right to participate in criminal law proceedings formed a central theme of the discussion.
The event benefited from the participation of experts from the Witness Support and Protection Unit of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (United Nations), the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service, and the NGO REDRESS
This seminar is particularly timely given the recent influx of people into the EU, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Against this background, European judges and prosecutors are actively working to ensure adequate protection for war crime victims.
In June 2020, the European Commission published a Roadmap for an EU Strategy on victims’ rights 2020 – 2025. This strategic document outlines five key priorities for the EU: effective communication with victims and a safe environment for victims to report crimes, improving protection and support of the most vulnerable victims, facilitating victims’ access to compensation, strengthening cooperation and coordination between all relevant actors and strengthening the international dimension of victims’ rights.
Note for editors
EJTN’s Criminal Law Sub-Working Group organises a wide range of training activities for European judges, prosecutors and court staff to help them better understand the EU’s criminal law framework and to promote mutual trust and cooperation between members of the judiciary.
EJTN training activities cover key areas in European criminal law, such as joint investigative teams (JITs), financial investigation, cybercrime, the fight against corruption and assets recovery, counter-terrorism operations, protection of victims’ rights and the fight against illegal immigration.
EJTN seminars and webinars on criminal law are organised in close cooperation with the following key partner organisations:
• European Judicial Cybercrime Network (EJCN)
• Genocide Network Secretariat (GNS)
• European Judicial Network (EJN)
• European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)
• European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust)
• European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol)
• European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL)
• The Network of National Experts on Joint Investigative Teams (JITs Network)
In 2022, EJTN’s Criminal Law Sub-Working Group organised 38 training activities, which were attended by 1,156 practitioners from the EU and Western Balkans.
For more information about the group’s forthcoming activities, please visit: https://ejtn.eu/activity/criminal-law