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In order to allow as many interested defence lawyers as possible to benefit from this project, a wide range of activities is offered - from an e-Learning course and recordings to webinars, face-to-face seminars, and a conference bringing together different legal professions.

Introduction to EU Criminal Law e-Learning course

This introductory, three-hour e-learning course will provide a basis of understanding for everyone interested in European criminal law from the defence perspective. It will provide a guide through the fundamental characteristics of EU criminal law and show that EU criminal law does not mirror national criminal law systems. Instead, EU criminal law is a body of legal instruments and supporting EU-level actors influencing and facilitating the work of national criminal justice actors.
The modules of the course will delve into both the mechanism of approximation (of procedural and substantive criminal law) and the principles of mutual recognition. The role and functioning of Europol, Eurojust and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office are also clarified. Key topics of the course will include procedural criminal law, the presumption of innocence and right to a lawyer; substantive criminal law, especially looking at offences relating to trafficking in human beings; mutual recognition of sentences, especially looking at cross-border execution and criminal records; and judicial cooperation, including an introduction to the European Arrest Warrant and European Investigation Order.


The e-Learning course will be publicly available on the  project website.

Pan-European seminars on European Criminal Justice for defence lawyers

The main aim of the activities in this project is to bring together defence lawyers from all over the EU in face-to-face training events covering current issues in European criminal justice relevant for the defence. By means of presentations and workshops, the participants at these six face-to-face seminars will learn about the milestones of EU criminal justice, receive an overview of the six EU Directives on Procedural Rights with a focus on fair trial rights, bring together human rights and criminal justice by looking at the scope and application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, get perspective on the role of lawyers in protecting and promoting the rule of law and mutual trust, and deal with current developments such as digitalisation in criminal proceedings (e-evidence, video conferencing in criminal proceedings). Every face-to-face seminar will first and foremost offer a platform for exchange of experience and best practice to network and get to know each other.


The seminars will have a duration of 1.5 days and be held in English. They will take place in Barcelona, Budapest, Lisbon, Riga, Vilnius, and Zagreb.

Webinars on key issues in European criminal justice for defence lawyers

This series of six 3-hour webinars, ERA offers practicing defence lawyers an easy access solution to learn about the following current issues in European criminal justice: 


  1. cross-border procedures and the EAW
  2. taking evidence in cross-border procedures and the EIO
  3. representing foreign citizens in criminal procedures
  4. anti-money laundering in the EU
  5. freezing and confiscation in the EU
  6. computer crimes


Before the webinars, participants will receive background materials with factsheets, legal sources, relevant cases, and a vocabulary list. The webinars will be held in English.

Seminar on Protection of legal privilege in criminal proceedings in the EU

This seminar will give interested legal practitioners the opportunity to discuss and debate the question of the protection of legal privilege in criminal proceedings in the EU. In the absence of common EU standards, legal privilege is applied differently from EU Member State to EU Member State, resulting in different standards of criminal defence. Hence, this seminar will seek the opportunity to present and debate the effects of such differences on both the defence and the judiciary and discuss the need for common standards.


The 1.5-day face-to-face seminar will be offered to defence lawyers together with judges and prosecutors. The language of the conference will be English.

Seminar on the role of the CJEU for defence lawyers

The increasing importance of the Court of Justice of the EU and its case law in the field of European criminal law is the focus of this 2.5 day seminar. The following topics will be addressed: preliminary reference procedure and litigation before the CJEU; case law of the CJEU; and the practitioners will also develop skills to draft a motion to the national court for a preliminary reference order during small-group workshops. The seminar will include a visit to the Court of Justice and attending a hearing.


The seminar will take place in Trier at ERA’s premises due to the proximity to the CJEU in Luxembourg. The language of the seminar will be English.


Selected recordings from key lectures and presentations at the events will be made publicly available on the project website.


Co-funded by the European Union