After a year and a half since the last face-to-face edition of the AIAKOS programme, EJTN and its partner institutions were able to organise the in-person exchange over two weeks in the autumn of 2021 (from 15 to 19 November and from 29 November to 3 December).
Launched in 2014, the AIAKOS programme offers a unique exchange platform for future and early-career judges and prosecutors to learn and exchange views about different national judicial systems, foster mutual trust and raise their awareness of the European dimension of their (future) work.
For the first time ever, the AIAKOS programme has been organised in a hybrid version. Due to the worsening of the pandemic situation across Europe, the countries that could not organise the live exchange hosted an online event (e-AIAKOS).
A total of 19 countries (and 21 institutions) hosted young judges and prosecutors from all over Europe during the two AIAKOS weeks onsite and online. The first AIAKOS week (15-19 November) saw the participation of around 210 attendants in 9 institutions, and around 40 participants who joined the e-AIAKOS programme of the Netherlands and Romania.
In the second week (29 November – 3 December), some 40 future judges and prosecutors ultimately benefited from an online programme in Germany, France, and Latvia, while nearly 150 participants were hosted by 12 institutions in face-to-face format.
Overall, around 340 participants had to opportunity to join the 2021 AIAKOS programme in the autumn. Each country’s programme was different and unique because it was entirely designed by each national judicial institution. During each week of AIAKOS, EJTN offered a joint session to all participants from the host countries: the judgecraft webinar on ‘cognitive bias’ led by Judge Leslie Cuthbert, expert from the Judicial College of England & Wales.
All participants appreciated the exchange and the efforts of the host institutions to organise it despite these difficult times. EJTN looks forward to fruitful and strong cooperation for the organisation of the AIAKOS Programme in 2022. As usual, four AIAKOS weeks will be organised: two in the spring (from 2 to 6 May, and from 16 to 20 May) and two in the autumn (from 14 November to 18 November, and from 28 November to 2 December).
Image courtesy of the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution in Krakow, Poland