Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles

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Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Cutting edge research in the area of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters has allowed the legal section to be a pioneer in these subject areas.

In the domain of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the European criminal law research team is led by Anne Weyembergh and is made up of Francesca Galli (postdoctoral researcher, FNRS), Gilles de Kerchove (chargé de cours), Serge de Biolley (assistant chargé d’exercices and collaborateur scientifique), Chloé Brière (researcher on external funds – European Commission; GEM Erasmus Mundus as of October 2013), Céline Cocq (researcher on external funds – FP7); Laura Surano, Gisèle Vernimmen and Yves Moiny (collaborateurs scientifiques at the IEE).

This is the team that established and organises the annual summer school devoted to the EU Area of Criminal Justice. The first summer school took place at the IEE-ULB in July 2004 and the tenth anniversary will occur in July 2013. This European criminal law team is also responsible for managing ECLAN, the European Criminal Law Academic Network.

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The ECLAN network was established and is coordinated by Anne Weyembergh and Serge de Biolley. The network’s activities kicked off on 1 December 2004. For its first eight years, the network’s activities were co-financed by the European Commission (Agis and Criminal Justice Programme), Luxembourg’s Ministry of Justice and, for the third year, by Belgium’s Ministry of Justice. On 1 January 2013, the network covered 32 countries, i.e. the 27 member states of the European Union plus five non-EU countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina) with which the EU has close links in terms of police and judicial criminal cooperation. It brings together over 150 researchers and professors specialised in European criminal law. The main aim of the network is to promote research and to bolster synergies between universities, academics and researchers by organising international conferences or colloquia and by editing collective publications. It also aims to develop education and training in the EU criminal law domain. It plans to facilitate contact and exchanges between the ‘world of academia’ and the European institutions. The network therefore makes the expertise of its members available to the latter and in particular to the European Commission. (see the network’s website: http://www.eclan.eu/ ).

The following are among the outputs of the ECLAN network’s research that we would like to highlight:

- ‘Co-patronage’ of the New Journal of European Criminal Law (NJECL)

-  Establishing and organising on a regular basis a PhD seminar devoted to the EU Area of Criminal Justice (the first one took place at the IEE in July 2010, the second at the University of Luxembourg in November 2011 and the third will take place at the University of Bayonne in the May 2013)

-  Organising a number of international colloquia and conferences – often together with the IEE-ULB – such as:

  • the evening seminar co-organised with the legal section of the IEE-ULB, ‘Opting out of EU Criminal Law, what is actually involved?’, on 13 December 2012, at the ULB;
  • the evening seminar co-organised with Luxembourg’s Permanent Representation to the EU institutions and entitled ‘Terrorist blacklisting: inevitable reform? Squaring the circle: protecting sensitive security information whilst respecting rights of the defence (theory and practice)', on 4 October 2012 in Brussels, Luxembourg’s Permanent Representation;
  • the conference ‘Approximation of Substantive Criminal Law in the EU: The Way Forward’, on 27-28 April 2012, ULB, Brussels;
  • Gilles de Kerchove’s conference on the topic ‘l'Union européenne et le monde dans la lutte contre le terrorisme’, Brussels, IEE-ULB, on 26 March 2012;
  • the conference ‘EU counter-terrorism offences: what impact on national legislation and case-law?’, on 27-28 May 2011, ULB, Brussels;
  • the conference ‘Reconfiguration of powers in the European criminal justice after Lisbon - the cases of PNR and SWIFT’, Brussels, IEE-ULB, on 2 July 2010;
  • the conference ‘Evidence in Criminal Matters in the EU: Admissibility and Acquisition’, on 22 October 2009, ULB, Brussels;
  • the conference ‘The Stockholm Programme and the future of EU cooperation in criminal matters’, Brussels, IEE-ULB, on 30 June 2009.

Linked to these subject areas, the legal section has been involved, under the auspices of Anne Weyembergh, in several large European projects:

- Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties (GOA), « Constitutional European Criminal Law after Lisbon and Stockholm. In Search of a Foundation Respectful of Human Rights », 2011-2016.

- FP7 SURVEILLE Project, “Surveillance: ethical issues, legal limitations and efficiency”, February 2012 - May 2015.

- Cooptofight Project, “The fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU: promoting legal cooperation and victims’ protection”, December 2011-November 2013 (funded by the EU - Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme)

- FNRS Project, “L’Union européenne et la prévention du terrorisme: impact sur le droit pénal et la redéfinition de la relation entre le droit pénal européen et les droits pénaux nationaux”, 2010-2014.

- “Development of ECLAN – Phase II”, September 2010-August 2012 (co-funded by the EU – programme criminal justice, by the Ministry of Justice of Luxembourg and by the IEE-ULB)

- “Analysis on the future of mutual recognition in criminal matters in the European Union”, November 2007-November 2008 (funded by the EU – call for tender JLS/D3/2007/03)

- “Copen-Training II”, December 2007 – August 2009 (co-funded by the EU – programme criminal justice, by the International University Institute of Luxembourg (IUIL) and by the Ministry of Justice of Luxembourg). The project aimed at the updating and the developing of the standard training programme in the field of criminal judicial cooperation, as it resulted from the project “Copen-training I”.

- “Elaboration of a standard evaluation model on the implementation and impact of EU instruments developed in the framework of Title VI of the Treaty of the European Union”, December 2006-November 2007 (co-funded by the EU – programme Agis, by the Ministries of Justice of Belgium and of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)

-  “Copen Training I - standard training program for cooperation in criminal matters in the European Union”, December 2005 – November 2006 (co-funded by the EU – programme Agis and by the Ministry of Justice of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)

-  “Creation of an academic network in the field of European criminal law”, December 2004-November 2005. (co-funded by the EU – programme Agis and by the Ministry of Justice of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg).

ECLAN (and the ECLAN Brussels team) has been also involved in the following projects as consultant for the EU Commission (DG Home, DG Justice and OLAF):

-  “Evaluation of the Legal Framework Applicable to Combating Terrorism in the EU Member States”, EU Commission, DG Home, (December 2012- June 2013).

-  “Study on the impact of strengthening of administrative and criminal law procedural rules for the protection of the EU financial interests” ; EU Commission, OLAF (August 2012-March 2013)

-  "Impact assessment on a new legislative instrument replacing the Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA on illicit drug trafficking" (September 2011 – October 2012)

-  "Study on the impact of the different policy options to protect the financial interest of the Union by means of criminal law, including the possibility of establishing a European public prosecutor's office (EPPO)" (April 2012 – November 2012)

-  “OLAF project on the “development of an EU evaluation mechanism in the area of anti-corruption with a particular focus on identifying and reducing the costs of corruption in Public Procurement involving EU Funds”, (March-April 2012)

Besides Anne Weyembergh supervises 4 PhD theses and 1 post-doctoral research in the area of EU criminal law:

- Chloé Brière, (THB: cooptofight, Novembre 2011-Novembre 2013) “The fight against trafficking in human beings in EU: promoting legal cooperation and victims’ protection” – (GEM Erasmus Mundus Grant as of October 2013) “Police and judicial cooperation in the fight against human trafficking: a representative example of the challenges caused by the externalisation of JHA”

- Francesca Galli, (FNRS, 2010-2014), supervisor: Anne Weyembergh, « L’Union européenne et la prévention du terrorisme: impact sur le droit pénal et redéfinition de la relation entre le droit pénal européen et les droits pénaux nationaux » (post-doctoral research).

- Inès Armada, (GOA, 2011-2016). Co-supervisors: Anne Weyembergh and Paul De Hert (VUB), research contract Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties (GOA), « Constitutional European Criminal Law after Lisbon and Stockholm. In Search of a Foundation Respectful of Human Rights »

- Irene Wieczorek, (GOA, 2011-2016). Co-supervisors: Anne Weyembergh and Paul De Hert (VUB); research contract Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties (GOA), « Constitutional European Criminal Law after Lisbon and Stockholm. In Search of a Foundation Respectful of Human Rights »

- Auke Willems, (GOA, 2011-2016). Co-supervisors: Anne Weyembergh and Paul De Hert (VUB); research contract Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties (GOA), « Constitutional European Criminal Law after Lisbon and Stockholm. In Search of a Foundation Respectful of Human Rights »

Images

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