European Council for Juvenile Justice European Council for Juvenile Justice
I. Latest News from the European Council for Juvenile Justice

a. 4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice

The 4th Meeting of the European Council for Juvenile Justice "Towards the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Policies in Europe: Lessons Learned and Future Challenges" took place in Brussels on December 4th and 5th. The meeting, funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union, saw the participation of representatives from the 28 EU member States from the different sections of the Council: academic, public administration and civil society.

On December 4th, in 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 Ms. Margaret Tuite, Coordinator for the Rights of the Child in DG Justice, Ms. María Amor Martín Estébanez, from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and Mr. 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, Ms. Valérie Gengoux, of the Criminal Policy Service of Belgium, and Mr. 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.

Then, after a detailed presentation and consultation of the research for the European Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, moderated by IJJO's Secretary General Ms. Cristina Goñi, 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. Minutes of the Meeting will be available on the ECJJ website from the end of January 2015. [+]

b. 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 the 28 snapshots. Designed to capture existing legislative frameworks and policies for implementation of restorative justice across EU member States, the snapshots have revealed good practices as well as weaknesses in legislation and gaps in the implementation phase.

Later, Professor Tim Chapman, Ms. Monique Anderson and Ms. Maija Gellin presented the first draft of the Manual, 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. The complete results of the EU Model on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, including Snapshots, Manual and Toolkit, will be available at the end of March on the ECJJ website.

c. The 6th IJJO International Conference took place in Brussels on December 3rd and 4th

The IJJO would like to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers and participants who took part in the 6th International Conference "Making Deprivation of Children's Liberty a Last Resort: Towards evidence-based policies on alternatives". Their contributions to the event, organised in name of the right of children not to be detained, allowed us to speak about the right of the child to not be detained when it can be avoided, sharing experiences, good practices and priorities for the future. We also thank everyone who participated in the workshops, which made possible an evidence-based analysis of different policies and projects.[+]

We express our gratitude to Mr. David Farrington, Mr. Imman Ali, Mr. Robert Badinter, Ms. Alison Hannah, Ms. Enakshi Ganguly and Mr. Pedro Calado, who each received the 'Juvenile Justice Without Borders' International Award 2014, and whose engagement in favour of children and justice constitutes a strong motivation for our work. Finally, we thank Ms. Noa Chorin and Mr. Nassib Ahmadieh for accepting the Honorific Award, and for the beautiful work of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. [+]

II. Latest News from International and European Bodies

a. Council of Europe: Conference on 'the Best Interests of the Child' - Reports from the Council of Penological Co-operation

On December 9th and 10th, the Council of Europe organised in Brussels a Conference on the Best Interests of the Child, in partnership with the Belgian authorities. Through plenary sessions and workshops, the Conference investigated the understanding of the child's best interest both in international and national contexts, and dedicated the entire second day to addressing child's best interests in family affairs. The event was attended by the Director of International Affairs of the IJJO, Cédric Foussard, who contributed to the diffusion of ECJJ activities. [+]

The Rights of Children, and especially Youth in Conflict with the Law, are also at the heart of the Council for Penological Co-operation of the CoE, which recently approved two reports that prove particularly interesting for the work of the ECJJ. The first one, the 'Report on Violence in Institutions for Juvenile Offenders' was also realised by prof. Ton Liefaard, member of the ECJJ from the Netherlands [+], while the second one concerns the use of 'Restorative Justice in Prisons: Methods, Approaches and Effectiveness' [+]

b. EU Children Directive: Report of S&D Rapporteur published

On December 3rd, the final report of S&D Rapporteur Caterina Chinnici on the proposal for a directive on procedural safeguards for children suspects or accused in criminal proceedings was presented and discussed in the LIBE Committee. The report presents some significant amendments to the original proposal, which could: extend the scope of application of the directive; clarify specific safeguards for established rights, see individual assessment and right to information of the holder of parental responsibility; establish remedies in case of violation.[+]

In view of the first reading, scheduled for January 13th 2015, the IJJO will continue in its advocacy activity, supporting the proposed amendments and strenghtening the collaboration with partner NGOs.

c. Fundamental Rights Agency Upcoming Study on Children and Justice

In the context of the EU Agenda on the Rights of the Child, the FRA has been collaborating with the Commission on a study that analyses the involvement of children in the justice system of EU countries. The study, that will be available in 2015, has highlighted gaps in the implementation of the right to be heard, where hearings are often far from being child-friendly and are instead a rather intimidating, long and repetitive process. Amongst the findings is also the lack in specific training for professionals who deal with children, and, in some cases, even of specific courts dedicated to treating children. Furthermore, the study has identified shortfalls in legislation and practice with regards to the child's right to information and privacy.[+]

III. ECJJ Corner: a space dedicated to ECJJ Members

a. The Social Pedagogy study program, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences

Thanks to the collaboration of Dr. Neven Ricijas, Department of Behavioural Disorders Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb - ECJJ Member, Croatia.

The Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, is the only higher education institution in Croatia that provides undergraduate and graduate programmes in the fields of social pedagogy, speech and language pathology, and rehabilitation/educational rehabilitation, along with developing high-quality research work in these areas. The Social Pedagogy study program, led by professors and research assistants from the Department of Behavioural Disorders and the Department of Criminology, is focused on research, education and professional work in the field of risk and delinquent/criminal behaviour of people all ages. It trains experts for scientific-research and practical work on prevention, detection, evaluation. It also covers all spectrums of interventions, including early interventions, and treatment, processing and subsequent care for children, youth, and adults at risk of behavioural disorders or with manifested behavioural disorders, and their social environment, in the function of education, socialization, rehabilitation, and social integration.

Some of the courses that focus on juvenile justice, youth risk/delinquent behaviour and interventions aimed at them are: Phenomenology of Behavioural Disorders; Criminology of Youth Delinquency; Individual and Group Approach in Sociopedagogic Interventions; Prevention Programmes in Family and School Environment; Sociopedagogic Assessment; Out-of-Court Settlement (Restorative Justice); Cognitive-Behavioural Approach in Treatment of Behavioural Disorders, etc.

For further information, please visit the website or contact Dr. Neven Ricijas at [+]

b. Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities?

Thanks to the collaboration of Ruairi Gogan, Principal Officer - Community Programmes Unit - Irish Youth Justice Service - ECJJ Member, Ireland.

The study Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities, a collaboration between Facing Forward, Dr Marie Keenan, University College Dublin and Ms Bernadette Fahy, Consultant to the research.

The research considers the potential of restorative justice to address the aftermath of sexual abuse, trauma and violence in Ireland.

149 people were interviewed for the research including 30 Victims/ Survivors and 23 Offenders as well as members of the Criminal Justice System, services providing supports to Victim/ Survivors and Offenders, members of the media and religious orders. A number of issues became apparent throughout the research, such as the debilitating delays experienced by both victims and offenders of sexual crime in the administration of justice in Ireland. In addition, all cohorts in the study see the need for additional justice mechanisms for victims of sexual crime and two cohorts who experienced interfamilial abuse and young offenders detailed the need for an alternative justice mechanism, restorative justice.

The research made several recommendations one of which being that the provision of Restorative Justice Services should be included in the forthcoming second National Strategy for the prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (2015-202) and the expansion of Restorative

Justice Services in Irish Prisons. The report was launched in Dublin on the 1st December at a conference, which was well attended and covered by the media. To read the report in full:[+]

c. Protecting Young Suspects in Interrogation- A Study on Safeguards and Best Practice

Thanks to the collaboration of Barbara Stando-Kawecka, Head of the Department of Penitentiary Law and Policy, Faculty of Law of the Jagiellonian University - ECJJ Member, Poland.

This project is designed to acquire more systematic empirical evidence on the legislative safeguards and on the practical protection that is available to young people when interrogated. Moving from the consideration of the particular vulnerability of a juvenile when questioned by the authorities, the project focuses on how to improve effective protection at that time. In order to do so, it aims to collect information on existing legislation and practices in five selected EU Member States: Belgium, England & Wales, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands, with the final goal of drafting a proposal of minimum rules and good practice to diffuse at EU level.[+]

IV. European Research

a. Final Conference of the Project ‘Alternatives to Custody for Young Offenders – Developing Intense and Remand Fostering Programmes'

The project ‘Alternatives to Custody for Young Offenders – Developing Intense and Remand Fostering Programmes' analysed the opportunity to extend the use of foster care placement to children and youths in conflict with the law. This objective was based on the consideration that good foster care prioritises a child's best interest, giving consistent attention to protection, participation, education, and keeping links with families of origin, and therefore investing in a child's long-term potential. During the Final Conference of the project, which took place on December 2nd in Brussels, experts presented the results of the quantitative and qualitative research on the potential of foster care for children in conflict with the law, and in particular the national experiences in Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria and the UK. Finally, the Conference was the occasion to present the practical outcomes of the project: The European training program & Integrated pan-European Quality Standard, and Operational Guidance: setting up and operating a fostering service for children in conflict with the law.[+]

b. Workshops of 'Keeping Youth Away from Crime' and 'CLEAR' projects in the framework of the IJJO International Conference

The workshop on Juvenile Crime and Early Prevention: Lessons Learned with the Keeping Youth Away from Crime's EU Project' was entirely dedicated to the European project, focused on the needs of children who are at risk of developing a network of criminal contacts. In order to foster early prevention, the project included a comparative study, selection of best practices and implementation of pilot projects. The comparative study showed that, while early prevention is increasingly used as an effective measure against crime, with grass-roots organisation playing a considerable part, improvements need to be made to better connect education, health and care systems, and to increase trans-national cooperation. Representatives of civil society and public administration presented the national practices of the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania, Scotland, Italy.[+]

The workshop 'Educating children about their rights. Lessons learned with the Children's Legal Education-Adapted Resources. C.L.E.A.R. - EU Project' was the opportunity to present the final outcomes of the C.L.E.A.R. project, in particular, the child-friendly set of three manuals 'Children's Rights, Laws and You', and 'Teenagers, Their Rights and the Law', the Toolkit for Facilitators.[+]

These instruments are based on the research conducted in 5 EU member States: Belgium, Italy, Romania, Spain and the UK, promoting the understanding of children and their rights as part of the European community and its rules. Moreover, the workshop became the occasion to illustrate the interactive perspective that animated the project and its direct approach to children.

c. Seminar of 'Listen to the Child-Justice befriends the Child' project in Rome.

The Seminar and Working groups of the 'Listen to the Child' project took place in Rome between December 16th and December 18th. The project is dedicated to building an integrated approach to the treatment of children who have witnessed or have been victims of crimes, and concentrates in particular on the essential feature of the needs assessment. The meeting was the opportunity to focus on the psychological needs of children who have experienced such traumatisms and how to make the justice proceedings more responsive to such aspects. A panel of Italian professionals (judges, police, psychologists, doctors, social workers...) involved in the 'Children victims or witnesses of crime' interviews and process have presented their experiences, highlighting the cooperation between the different services and stakeholders. Furthermore, it has been the occasion to present the national reports of partner countries, and plan the next activities of the project. Adélaïde Vanhove, Policy officer on EU Affairs, presented the research the IJJO is conducting for this project on Finland and Northern Ireland.[+]

European Commission
With financial support of the Justice programme of the European Union



International Juvenile Justice Observatory - 50, Rue Mercelis, 1050 - Brussels - BELGIUM