More than 230 future and early-career judges and prosecutors from ten European countries participated in the spring session of the 2023 AIAKOS programme.
Between 8 and 12 May and 22 to 26 May, AIAKOS participants met their future colleagues in other EU Member States and visited twelve judicial schools and institutions across the EU.
For five days each, participants had the opportunity to discuss differences and similarities between their national judicial systems and to learn from their European counterparts. Participants also attended presentations, workshops, and lectures by experienced speakers and experts, attended hearings and visited local courts and institutions.
Learning the art of judgecraft
During each week, EJTN organised a webinar on judgecraft led by Judge Leslie Cuthbert, an expert from the Judicial College of England and Wales. The sessions focused on “cognitive biases” and “judicial conduct and ethics”.
This activity aimed to help trainees understand how biases can influence decision-making, analyse the principles and standards for adequately conducting a hearing, and to identify the ethical challenges judges and prosecutors face in their work.
Both AIAKOS weeks concluded with a session organised by EJTN in cooperation with the Spanish Judicial School and the Dutch Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary (SSR) . The EJTN secretariat gave an overview of all the training activities offered by the Network, both in the area of exchanges and training programmes.
EJTN Secretary General, Judge Ingrid Derveaux, and Judge Raf Van Ransbeeck, Director of the Belgian Judicial Training Institute and Convener of the Exchange Programme Working Group, exchanged with the participants and emphasised the European dimension of the work of national judges and prosecutors.
EJTN would like to thank the national judicial schools and institutions for their effort and collaboration.
Note for editors
The first discussions about creating an Erasmus-type programme for initial training started in 2011.
The first pilot of the programme was launched in 2013 when 269 young and early-career judges and prosecutors from 12 EU countries had the opportunity to participate for the first time. Initially, only two weeks of exchange were organised in the autumn.
Since then, the AIAKOS Programme has become a large and unique platform for future and early-career judges and prosecutors to learn and exchange views about different national judicial systems, foster mutual trust and raise awareness of the European dimension of their future work.
Today, nearly 900 future and early career judges and prosecutors participate annually in the four weeks of the AIAKOS Programme (two in spring, two in autumn).