Fundamental Rights Conference 2012 Programme

Thursday 6 December

Time Description
12:00 – 14:00

Welcome reception

14:00 – 14:30

Opening

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. View speech (Video)|Download speech (DE)

Introduction

Loucas Louca, Minister of Justice and Public Order, Cyprus. Download speech.

Morten Kjaerum, Director, FRA. Download speech.

14:30 - 15:00

Keynote addresses

Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Download speech.

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), European Parliament

15:00 – 16:30

Panel debate

Justice in recession? Current trends and challenges for access to justice

What are the key challenges that affect justice systems across the EU? Increasing poverty and unemployment, reduced public funding for justice institutions and legal aid programmes – how does this affect people’s ability to seek redress when their rights are violated? What are the costs of the economic crisis for access to justice? What institutional and policy changes have taken place because of the economic crisis?

Panellists:

  • Maura McGowan QC, Chairperson Elect of the Bar Council of England & Wales, United Kingdom
  • Lotta Hakansson-Harju, Member of the Committee of the Regions, Commission for Citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs (CIVEX), Sweden
16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break

 

Presentation of the FRA's EU Charter app

 

17:00 - 17:15

Keynote address

Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Read speech.

 

17:15 – 18:30

Panel debate

Access to justice in austerity: new opportunities for reform?

This time of economic crisis could also be an opportunity to rethink how we can ensure access to justice for all, re-shaping existing institutional structures and looking for alternative and more cost-efficient ways to guarantee effective and independent justice. It is time to articulate vigorously the key principles of justice that cannot be ignored or rescinded, even in times of recession, showing how these could guide policy responses and institutional adjustments. Alternative dispute resolution, non-judicial redress, e-justice and other mechanisms could be promising tools for the road ahead. What are their costs and benefits? How do reforms in the justice system affect the most disadvantaged groups, such as persons with disabilities, migrants and the elderly? What are the promising practice initiatives that we could learn from?

Panellists:

 

20:00 – 22:00 Evening reception

Friday 7 December

Time Description
09:00 – 09:15

Re-thinking access to justice in practice

Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe. Download speech.

09:15 – 09:30

Access to justice in cases of discrimination in the EU: Steps to further equality

Presentation of the FRA report

Jonas Grimheden, Team Coordinator Access to Justice, FRA. Download presentation (pdf).

09:30 - 11:30

Working groups
Innovating justice - ideas, pathways, solutions

  • Working group I: RAISING LEGAL AWARENESS: NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AGE OF E-TECHNOLOGIES?
    Chaired by: Dick Heimans, Deputy Head of Unit Criminal Law, DG Justice, European Commission
  • Working group II: RIGHTS OF VICTIMS OF CRIME IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC AUSTERITY
    Chaired by: Nathalie Griesbeck, Member of the European Parliament, Committee Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
  • Working group III: ENSURING ACCESS TO A LAWYER AND ACCESS TO LEGAL AID
    Chaired by: Tadeusz Zwiefka, Member of the European Parliament, Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI)
  • Working group IV: STRENGTHENING ACCESS TO JUSTICE THROUGH BODIES WITH HUMAN RIGHTS REMIT
    Chaired by: Jozef De Witte, Chair of the Board of EQUINET and Executive Director of the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, Belgium
  • Working group V: TOWARDS EFFECTIVE MEDIATION POLICY MAKING
    Chaired by: Giuseppe De Palo, Director of JAMS International and co-founder and President of ADR Center, Italy

For more information please refer to working groups.

11:30-12:00 Coffee break
Presentation of the FRA's EU Charter app
12:00-13:00

Panel debate

The road to justice: next steps and commitments

 

Discussion with working group chairs

13:00-13:30

Closing remarks

Maija Sakslin, Chairperson of the Management Board, FRA. View speech.

13:30-15:00 Lunch

 

Downloads: 

FRC2012 programme

[pdf]en fr (1.02 MB)