The Centre for Judicial Cooperation dedicates its activities to the research of the use and impact of judicial interaction developing in the field of fundamental rights in the EU. It aims to put forward explanations for its specific development. It also clarifies what is the potential of judicial interaction for the European and domestic judiciaries and other national and European actors.
One of the recurrent fields where the Centre investigated the role and impact of judicial interaction is the migration related sectors. In addition to empirical evidence showing the increasing judicial interactions and its impact, the Centre decided to focus on this field due to the social necessity of helping vulnerable persons.
Another key research field where the Centre has and will investigate the role and impact of judicial and legal interaction is data protection. Starting with the CharterClick Project, the Centre has been involved in research focused on the interaction among key national and European actors in this field and the impact of the EU Charter and judicial and legal interaction on legislative development and the enhancement of fundamental rights protection.
Judicial cooperation and judicial interactions have been acquiring importance in the academic environment in the course of the past ten years. It developed from an elusive, hardly traceable institutional dialogue to a quasi-formalised cooperation required in the European Union under the obligation for mutual recognition provided for by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The elusive nature of judicial interactions as well as cooperation have lead academics to discuss: the scope of these notions (e.g. where does dialogue stop, and where does cooperation start?); the classification of the forms of the broadly understood interaction; and tools and instruments used by judges when they consider the dialogue essential for their practice, as well as threats and opportunities that come with its use or lack of its use in practice.
According to the Centre’s methodology, judicial interactions are as a set of techniques used by courts and judges and lawyers to promote coherence and coordination (or, at least, minimize the risk of conflicts) among different legal and judicial systems in the safeguard of some constitutional goods that are protected by various levels of governance, namely the national, international and supranational normative layers.
The area of fundamental rights provides a good foundation for the research of the role and impact of judicial interactions on institutional relations; impact of supranational rules on domestic legal systems; and delivery of justice. It offers the possibility to investigate how and why such interactions are essential within the EU judiciary system.
The CJC specific training methodology is based on the premise that judicial training is a continuous process which should be the result of mutual exchange and learning between academics and legal practitioners, and amongst legal practitioners from different jurisdictions, Member States, and legal traditions. Our methodology includes a toolkit that offers not only basic, detailed information but it also stimulates active engagement of legal practitioners with the practical problems concerning the scope and application of fundamental rights.
The objectives of the CJC training methodology are the following:
- Creation of a common legal culture
- Enhancement of mutual trust and exchange
- Dissemination of judicial interaction techniques.
Therefore, the training tools elaborated by the CJC are not the result of an academic exercise, rather they are based on the direct and continuous collaboration with the legal practitioners, selecting and testing the most relevant issues, and consequently national and European cases, that are then included in the training tools made available to the public.
Given that there is an increasing body of rules that are not only based but also influenced and affected by EU law in many fields, legal practitioners may have difficulties in understanding the boundary between the purely national and the “unionised” legal rules, which have to be benchmarked against a different set of fundamental principles.
In this sense, the CJC toolkit provides for a full-fledged training where the EU most recent legislative and judicial intervention are analysed from both the European and national perspectives.
The Centre’s philosophy ensures the cooperation and the dialogue between legal practitioners and academics, offering an experimental forum where concrete problems in the delivery of justice are discussed from the perspectives of both worlds.
Through the Centre’s events legal practitioners and academics will be able to expand their knowledge in comprehensive manner, learning from each other practices, reasoning and opinions.
Moreover, legal practitioners and academics will be challenged through experimental activities, such as moot court cases and role playing, enhancing the opportunity for participants to acquire legal and methodological tools able to guide them in their subsequent practical application. In order to do so, the hypothetical cases and examples do not just replicate the decided cases, rather they will provide the opportunity to identify and test the new challenges and developments in the selected areas.