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11 June 2023

Team Romania wins the semi-final B of the 2023 Themis competition in Naples, Italy


The Italian School of the Judiciary hosted the Semi-Final on EU and European Family Law of the 2023 THEMIS Competition from 6-9 June. Team Romania 2 was proclaimed the winner among the nine competing teams attending the event at the beautiful Castel Capuano in Naples, Italy.

The second place in the competition went to Team Italy, whilst Team France secured the third spot on the podium. Mr Klaas Adriaan Jan Bisschop from Team Netherlands was awarded a special award for Best Speaker.

Ms Karina Livia Reizner, Ms Ioana Bianca Burciu and Ms Aurelia Vasilache from the winning team discussed the situation of rainbow families in the EU in their presentation. They impressed the jury with their innovative ideas and critical thinking about this increasingly relevant topic in EU law.

Ms Elena Banchi, Ms Giulia Zappalà and Ms Liboria Maria Stancampiano from Team Italy discussed domestic violence and the impact on parental rights across borders.

The papers from the teams Romania 2, Italy and France will be published in the forthcoming edition of the THEMIS Annual Journal. Team Romania 2 and Team Italy will attend the Grand Final of the 2023 THEMIS Competition in Bucharest, Romania, in December 2023.

EJTN extends its gratitude to all participating teams, the Italian School of the Judiciary for their impeccable coordination of this THEMIS Semi-Final and their warm hospitality, and to the jury members: Judge Ilse Couwenberg, Judge Stylianos Bios and Professor Boriana Musseva.


The Members of the Team Romania 2 said:

“We would like to express our gratitude to EJTN for the opportunity to transcend the barriers of our own thinking rooted in national legal jurisdictions, to reflect upon the instruments of the EU, and to think like a judge while still being judicial trainees”.

“This experience was a chance to observe how our colleagues across borders think and also an occasion to collaborate with our professors beyond the formal context of the National Institute of Magistracy. It has also been a unique opportunity to make lifelong friends”.

The Chair of the Jury, Judge Ilse Couwenberg, noted:

“The Themis Semi-Final on European family law is particularly challenging. Not only because family law deals with often competing interests, like the rights of the parents and those of the child, but also because different legal instruments on an EU and a European level come into play”.

“It was very inspiring to witness how the young European judges of tomorrow are guided by common values and are eager to find workable European solutions to concrete problems, even in sensitive topics such as the recognition of parenthood in rainbow families”.

Note for editors

Since 2010, EJTN has organised the highly acclaimed THEMIS Competition, open to future EU magistrates undergoing entry-level training. The THEMIS Competition is an event for debating EU law, practising judicial skills, and exchanging experiences and perspectives.

The teams have to deliver a written paper on a topic of their choice within the subject of the Semi-Final, give a 30-minute presentation, reply to audience questions, and have a 45-minute discussion with the jury.

Between 2006 and 2009, the event was organised and financed by the Portuguese Centre of Judiciary Studies and the Romanian National Institute of Magistracy.

The 2023 THEMIS Competition will consist of four Semi-Finals:

• Semi-Final A: EU and European Criminal Procedure: 16-19 May 2023, Budapest, Hungary.

• Semi-Final B: EU and European Family Law: 6-9 June 2023, Naples, Italy.

• Semi-Final C: EU and European Civil procedure: 14-16 June 2023, Budapest, Hungary.

• Semi-Final D: Judicial Ethics and Professional Conduct: 3-7 July 2023, Krakow, Poland.

The winner and runner-up of each Semi-Final qualify for the Grand Final on Access to Justice that will be held in Bucharest in December.

The best-written papers will be published in the THEMIS Annual Journal.

The competition winners will be awarded a 5-day study visit hosted by an EJTN Member.