The 4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice, organized by the International Juvenile Justice Observatory, took place in Brussels on December 4th and 5th, under the title ‘Towards the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Policies in Europe: Lessons Learned and future challenges’.
The meeting, funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union, saw the participation of representatives from the 28 EU member States who belong to the different sections of the Council: academic, public administration and civil society. During the meeting, the European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, currently being developed by a selected group of ECJJ experts and researchers, was presented and discussed by its members.
The meeting started on December 4th, within the framework of the 6th IJJO International Conference. The plenary sessions focused on the activities of European institutions and Agencies in the field of children protection and juvenile justice. The theme was addressed by Margaret Tuite, Coordinator for the Rights of the Child in DG Justice, María Amor Martín Estébanez, from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and Antanas Jatkevicius, of the Council for Penological cooperation of the Council of Europe, also member of the ECJJ. The day ended with a session set as an open space for ECJJ members to present to their peers their latest initiatives, projects and research.
On its second day, the 4th ECJJ Meeting took place in the European Economic and Social Committee. After the welcome speech of Dr. Francisco Legaz, Chairman of the IJJO, Valérie Gengoux, of the Criminal Policy Service of Belgium, and Antanas Jaktevicius, the ECJJ presented its activities from 2012 to 2015 in a session conducted by Cédric Foussard, IJJO’s Director of International Affairs, and Adélaïde Vanhove, IJJO’s Policy Officer on European Affairs.
Latest Progress in the EU Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles
After the consultation organised at the IJJO headquarters in November, the 4th ECJJ Meeting was the occasion to present the first outcomes of the Research on Juvenile Restorative Justice. The team of experts from Greifswald University, composed of Professor Frieder Dünkel and Doctor Andrea Parosanu, outlined the results of 28 snapshots designed to capture existing legislative frameworks and policies for implementation of restorative justice across EU member States. The snapshots revealed good practices as well as weaknesses in legislation and gaps in the implementation phase.
Later, Professor Tim Chapman of Ulster University, Monique Anderson, of the Leuven Institute of Criminology, and Maija Gellin, of the Finnish Forum for Education, presented the first draft of the Manual that the ECJJ will release as part of its ‘European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles’, which includes the studies of good restorative practices in Belgium, Northern Ireland and Finland, where the researchers analysed the legal framework and interviewed representatives of public administration as well as practitioners and children who have been involved in restorative justice.
ECJJ Roadmap 2015 – 2017
Eventually, the ECJJ roadmap for 2015-2017 was introduced and discussed by ECJJ members, who shared their own projects and priorities, and consulted on the future direction of the ECJJ work.