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  • Effective Justice

Abstracts of Performers for 19th December Seminar

“The Organisation of Judicial Systems: Recent Approaches and Ancient Gripes”

 

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Effectiveness of the International Criminal Court – From Afghan Failure to Ukrainian Hope

- by Prof. UW Patrycja Grzebyk (University of Warsaw)


The paper aims to explore three crucial issues related to international criminal justice. Firstly, the Author will analyze how the effectiveness of the ICC can be assesed. Secondly, the research will attempt to solve the question of whether the ICC effectively investigates crimes committed in the territory of Afghanistan. Lastly, the Author will present her considerations on what kinds of lessons can we learn from the Afghan example (and general ICC practice). The last posed question is of particular importance, given the current hopes related to the investigation of the situation in Ukraine.



Reconsidering the Role of Lay Magistracy within the Judicial System: A Comparative Analysis of its Regulation in Spain and England

- by Dr. Christa María Madrid Boquín (Jaume I University)


Justice of the Peace is an institution whose origin dates back to medieval times and which continues to exist in many countries. In this sense, England and Wales have an internationally characteristic system, since their Magistrates' Courts, composed mostly of lay judges, hear a considerable percentage of criminal cases. In Spain, on the contrary, the competencies of the Magistrates' Courts have been gradually reduced to the point of contemplating a legal reform that would imply their final disappearance. In this study, we would like to recall the forgotten value of Justices of the Peace and question whether the suppression of these courts in Spain is the best alternative.



Efficiency and reeducation: criminal mediation, restorative and transitional justice. A transnational perspective

- by Mattia Cutolo (University of Salerno)


First and foremost, efficiency in criminal proceedings refers to preventing the actor from committing crimes in the future. On one hand, such a scope can be achieved by imposing a severe punishment and instilling fear in him in the case of a second offense. On the other hand, re-educating the perpetrator may achieve that goal more effectively since it would re-socialize him within the community. It requires exploring new approaches to criminal mediation, restorative justice, and transitional justice to end criminal trials: these solutions not only ensure the offender is held accountable for his actions and directly learns the harm he has caused, but they also allow him to connect with his victims, who are also an active and crucial part of the process. The report will delve into these legal tools from a transnational perspective.



An overview of the research project “Promoting Fair Justice: Innovation and Efficiency in Judicial Offices”

- by Dr. Dalila Federici (Sapienza University of Rome)


This presentation focuses on the project “Promoting Fair Justice: Innovation and Efficiency in Judicial Offices” (also known as “Giustizia Agile”), which is part of the National Operational Program (PON). PON is financed by the EU through the European Structural and Investment Funds (EIS Funds). The project aims to improve the organization of courts and accelerate decision-making. This is one of the most ambitious objectives of PNNR, which is the government document disclosing how Italy intends to invest Next Generation EU funds. The project “Giustizia Agile” involves eleven public Universities and consists of two phases. The first phase is dedicated to the study of the “territorial Court” organization, with a strong focus on Trial Offices (Italian translation: UpP – Ufficio per il Processo). This phase is also dedicated to the identification of serial disputes for which it is possible to adopt more incisive rationalization measures. In the second phase, each University will create templates for classifying, studying, and defining the most relevant legal issues. These templates will be available to Judges to facilitate quicker decisions. The Universities will also create case-law databases; create special task forces to “tackle” the backlog; offer post-graduate training courses for UpP employees; modernize Master’s degree courses.



The European Union’s strategy on digitalization of judicial cooperation in criminal matters: towards a more effective Justice in cross-border scenarios?

- by Dr. Alejandro Hernández López (University of Valladolid)

(presentation postponed to January seminar)


The digitalization of justice and, specifically, of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, is one of the main unresolved issues in the development and strengthening of the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice. The latest information available from the Commission on the digitalization of judicial cooperation in the European Union shows that vast differences still exist between Member States in terms of the level of digitalization of their justice administration systems and how most of the formal exchanges of information continue to take place in paper-based format and channels. Efficient judicial cooperation in criminal matters requires a secure, reliable, and agile communication infrastructure between competent authorities, capable of adapting to contingent situations. From the perspective of suspects and accused persons, they have the right to access justice in a reasonable time as part of their right to due process. In this sense, digitalization appears as an opportunity and optimal path for achieving these objectives. The exceptional situation experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to underline this issue. The impossibility of carrying out face-to-face actions and hearings during the peak of the crisis, along with the severe restrictions on mobility established both nationally and internationally, led to the temporary adoption of solutions based on digital means —which until then had only been applied to an exceptional basis— to avoid the total paralysis of procedures. The lessons learned during this dark period have driven Member States and the European Union to consider the need to standardize the use of ICT, making the digitization of all areas of our society, including judicial cooperation and access to justice, a high priority. Within this broad strategy, this contribution focuses on some of the latest proposals on the digitalization of judicial cooperation published by the Commission in December 2021 as part of a legislative package designed to bring about this paradigm shift. Specifically, this work critically analyses the Proposal for a Regulation on the digitalization of judicial cooperation and access to justice in cross-border civil, commercial, and criminal matters, and the Proposal for a Directive accompanying it.




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