- Team Greece wins first place and Team Poland gets second place.
- EJTN THEMIS Competition continues to help skill the future's judges and build a European area of justice.
The Hungarian Academy of Justice (HAJ) in Budapest, Hungary, hosted the fourth and final semi-final of this year’s THEMIS Competition from July 3 to 6.
10 teams from 10 EU Member States participated in this semi-final. Judicial trainees presented their written papers, debated legal issues with fellow teams and conducted discussions with the jury about the topics of their presentations.
Judicial ethics and professional conduct
The teams addressed a wide range of topics within the field of judicial ethics and professional conduct.
Two distinguished members of the jury assessed the competing teams: Mr Lauris Liepa, Managing Partner, COBALT in Latvia; and, Mr Markus Thoma, Judge, Austrian Supreme Administrative Court.
They faced the very difficult task of assessing and ranking the 10 teams in order to decide the winning and the runner-up teams to take part in the THEMIS Grand Final, which will be held in November in Bucharest, Romania.
Congratulations Team Greece!
First place was awarded to Team Greece (Ms Foteini Sarantopoulou, Ms Archonita Vretta and Mr Christos Makris) which had an outstanding presentation entitled Judicial Ethics: Reflecting on Their Influence on Judges’ Private Life. Second place was awarded to Team Poland (Ms Paulina Korfanty-Pisana, Mr Radosław Skwira and Ms Małgorzata Żmijewska) which had a presentation entitled Courage in Judge’s Service. Norm or Exception?.
Both teams have secured a spot at the THEMIS Grand Final to be held in Bucharest, Romania on the topic of Right to a Fair Trial (Art. 47 EU Charter of Fundamental Law and Art. 6 ECHR).
The jurors expressed their sincere thanks to all the participating teams for the very high quality of their written papers and outstanding presentations. All participants received a certificate of participation.
As a testament to the high calibre teams, the jury decided to announce 4 special awards. A Methodology Award, a Human Ethics Award, an Outstanding Presentation Award and a Timeliness and Relevance Award were given to Team Germany, Team Italy, Team The Netherlands and Team Romania, respectively.
Belonging to Europe
Participants expressed some particularly glowing words about the added value of the THEMIS Competition. The winning Team Greece members noted that "efficient and trustworthy justice is not just a national issue and concern, but we achieve more when we work together" and "this experience will help me become a better and broad-minded judge in the future."
"A very positive experience that enables participants to compare practices and build bridges between judicial systems" and an "opportunity to feel truly belonging to Europe and to improve our mutual trust and practices," expressed members of Team France.
Team Spain said of THEMIS that "not only does it allow you to learn about efficient judicial systems, but also to debate and contrast your views with prestigious jury and with your peers around Europe."
Throughout its long 12-year history, the THEMIS Competition has been helping future European magistrates to exchange views and experiences and improve their presentation and language skills. Most importantly, the Competition offers them the opportunity enhance personal and career contacts and to familiarise themselves with different approaches to the same legal topic, creating a space for improving mutual trust in other European legal systems.
EJTN wishes to thank the staff of the Hungarian Academy of Justice (HAJ) for the outstanding support and kind assistance with this semi-final. The opening speeches and presentations of Dr Judit Gyarmathy, Vice President of The National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ), Dr Viktor Györe, Assistant Judge, Cabinet of President and Dr Laura Dédesi, Assistant Judge, Head of Department of Press and Communication at NOJ were inspirational.
The closing speech and special awards given by Dr Karolina Varga, Judge, Head of Department of Judicial Administration at NOJ provided for a fitting and memorable close to the ultimate THEMIS semi-final round of 2017.
EJTN is the proud organiser of the annual THEMIS Competition, and is grateful for the financial support of the European Commission’s Justice Programme.
Read more about THEMIS on the THEMIS project page.
The main aim of the THEMIS project is to bring together future magistrates from different European countries at a time when they are undergoing entry level training to enable them to share common values and to exchange new experiences and discuss new perspectives in areas of common interest.
The project also aims to develop abilities related to the future profession of the participants, such as communication skills, debating abilities, critical and analytical thinking, logical reasoning and proper legal writing. Furthermore, THEMIS is intended to foster the development of professional contacts, experiences and relationships between both the entry-level trainees in magistracy and their teaching staff.