New Horizons for EJTN and its Members

Thursday, November 25, 2021

  • EJTN convened its Directors Conference – bringing together the key national representatives of Europe’s judicial training landscape.
  • This conference was the first EJTN high-level meeting with face-to-face contact since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EJTN was honoured to organise its Directors’ Conference “New Horizons for EJTN and its Members” hosted in Lisbon on 18 and 19 November 2021 by the Centro de Estudos Judiciários of Portugal.

Held under the auspices of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Conference was the first EJTN high-level event with face-to-face contact since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, a Directors Conference was organised in a hybrid format to enable all delegations to participate. The event provided a valuable opportunity to exchange views on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the integration of EJTN’s new target audience, the court staff.

Ms Francisca Van Dunem, Minister of Justice of Portugal as well as Mr Marjan Dikaučič, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia honoured EJTN, its Members and Associate Members with warm welcoming speeches and words of encouragement.

The conference was co-chaired by Ms Blanka Javorac Završek, Director of the Judicial Training Centre of the Republic of Slovenia, and Mr João Manuel da Silva Miguel, Director of the Centro de Estudos Judiciários of Portugal. 

They highlighted the importance of resilience to face the challenges encountered during the last years under the influence of the pandemic, but also the opportunities it brought through the process of digitalization. Mr João Manuel da Silva Miguel also shared a beautiful anecdote in which EJTN's digitalization process might be the ‘glimmer of hope to come back again to normality.’

EJTN’s Secretary General, Judge Markus Brückner, reminded the recent challenging times and how important this long-awaited offline event with direct and interpersonal exchange was. He also called to join forces to strengthen European friendship and mentioned the discovery of new horizons for EJTN and its members.

A Keynote speech by the European Commission addressed by Ms Emmanuelle Cretin-Magand, Team Leader, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, General criminal law and Judicial Training, underlined the outcome and importance of the Study on the Training Needs of Court Staff on EU Law in the EU which was EJTN finalised in June 2021. 

The participants had the opportunity to exchange on two main topics, organised under the snowball methodology, with the following outcomes:

  • On the COVID-19 crisis and the future: EJTN shall support its Members to develop adequate training methodologies for in-person and distance learning past COVID-19;
  • In regards to the court staff integration, EJTN shall develop an inclusive approach for court staff training, and integrate the institutions responsible for the training of the court staff in EJTN’s existing structure.

The EJTN Directors’ Conference was a particularly important event, one which helped to refresh the interpersonal strengths of our network. The audience was also able to successfully find answers to the above-mentioned questions regarding opening EJTN's portfolios for court staff and how to handle the COVID-19 crisis within our network.

EJTN would like to thank all its EJTN Members, Associate Members and the European Commission for their insights and participation in this fruitful event.