The 4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice ‘Towards the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Policies in Europe: Lessons Learned and future challenges’ was organised to provide an opportunity for ECJJ Members to:
- Analyse the latest Juvenile Justice developments within the EU framework, and the future agenda of EU Institutions and Agencies.
- Discuss the EU Model of Restorative Justice for Juveniles and consult on the latest results of the research.
- Present and discuss the ECJJ Roadmap 2015 – 2017.
In order to address these different themes the Meeting alternated different formats, including plenary sessions to tackle political developments, as well as a networking event, presentations and debates.
1. Juvenile Justice in the EU Framework: developments and challenges
Juvenile Justice and, with a broader perspective, children’s rights and their relation with the law, are at heart of various studies and programmes of European Institutions. The plenary sessions of the meeting focused on:
- Achievements and next steps in the framework of the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, from the perspective of the DG Justice of the European Commission
- The implementation of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child and upcoming policies.
- The comparative research on children and justice in European countries undertaken by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU: to what extent are fundamental rights, such as the right to be heard and to be informed, truly respected in practice.
- The specific activities of the Council for Penological Co-operation, within the Council of Europe, and in particular, the CoE recommendations and their impact on National legislation.
2. EU Model of Restorative Justice for Juveniles
The Meeting was the opportunity to discuss the progress of the EU Model of Restorative Justice, focusing on:
- The research carried out in the 28 EU Member States, the basis for the final national snapshots, which analysed how legislative frameworks include restorative methods, as well as the degree of implementation and practice that have been developed nationally.
- The first draft of the Restorative Juvenile Justice Manual, which emphasizes the need for a regional approach to restorative practices, presents the results of the three case studies carried out in Northern Ireland, Belgium and Finland and analyses the key features to ensure effectiveness of restorative processes.
- The content and structure of the final publication, the Toolkit for Professionals, which will be designed to favour the local implementation of the Manual’s values and principles.
3. ECJJ Roadmap 2015 – 2017
The Roadmap will be the main ECJJ working document of the ECJJ for the next three years. During the meeting, a first draft of the Roadmap has been presented and discussed with the Members. The document includes:
- The themes that the ECJJ considers priorities for action, on the basis of: the strategies of the EU institutions concerning children and their relation with the law; pressing issues at local and national level that require more attention in the European forum; the specific expertise acquired by the ECJJ in the course of its latest projects.
- The follow-up of the EU Agenda, including overall strategies, specific legislation, policies and programmes developed by European Institutions and Agencies.
- The variety of activities that will be undertaken by the ECJJ, according to the aforementioned priorities. Different lines of action reflect the multidisciplinary approach of the Council and include research, projects and trainings.
- Suggestions and questions to stimulate the debate between members on how to improve interactivity of ECJJ communication tools and strengthen collaboration and exchange between members.