07 Nov 2022 by lbigmr

First Regional Consultation Workshop with Lawyers

The kick-off consultation of the project ”Justice for All” invited lawyers across the EU to exchange on court cases involving people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities.

On Wed., 25 October 2022, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) organized the first out of four EU-wide consultation workshops in the framework of the Justice for All: Enhancing the Rights of Defendants and Detainees with Intellectual and/or Psychosocial Disabilities project.

The consultation brought together practicing lawyers from different EU Member States who have experience in proceedings concerning persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities. The focus was on EU cross-border proceedings as well as the situation at national level.

The cases and current practices presented at the workshop highlighted the challenges that defendants and detainees with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities face. At the cross-border level, two recent European Arrest Warrant cases, one originating from the Italian and currently pending before the CJEU and one from the German system, were discussed.

In particular, participants critically analyzed the possibility of indefinite deprivation of liberty for persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, which still exists in several EU Member States as well as limitations to procedural rights of persons concerned. Throughout insightful presentations and engaging discussions, participants sought common recommendations and best practices to improve existing laws and procedures for defendants and detainees with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities.

The focus of the project’s EU-wide online workshops is on a specific stakeholder group that is involved in the criminal process with defendants and detainees with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities: The kick-off consultation invited lawyers to exchange with peers from the EU. This will be followed by consultations with probation officers (Wed., 7 December 2022), representatives of national preventive and oversight mechanisms (Wed., 18 January 2023) and judges (Wed., 1 February 2023).

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