Judical and Police Cooperation Preventing Radicalisation towards Terrorism
University of Malta (Lead Applicant) and 10 others.
Radicalisation and violent extremist are at the top of the EU security agenda. «The challenges arise not least from the lack of a clear common definition of radicalization and extremism and of a consensus over what the problem actually is (violence or ideology), what the roots are (politics, religion, failed integration, identity, wars, etc.),what the cure is (more religion, less religion, social changes, crime prevention, individual treatment, harsher punishments, etc.), and who can best reach the target group (soft social workers, tough police or someone not connected with the authorities at all)» (DIIS Report 2015). These phenomena emerge in several social environments (schools, neighbourhoods, gyms, cultural centres, etc.), however some specific contexts may be considered as ‘opportunity factors’. The 2011 study JIHADIST RADICALISATION IN EUROPEAN PRISONS (JLS/2007/ISEC/551) revealed firstly through evidence-based data that prisons may become highly dangerous breeding grounds for out-and-out recruitment of new adepts in the army of terror or within Organized Crime Groups (OCG) and criminal gangs. Prisoners and probationers convicted for non-terrorist related crimes or inmates waiting for trial (suspects) in prison environments might still escalate towards violent attitudes with political and/or religious motivations due to the influence of other prisoners or social groups they engage in, seeking for protection or within classical prison gang dynamics and based upon specific grievances or for bad prison conditions below International standards.
Despite the relevance of this issue for judiciary and judicial staff and the presence of numerous International soft best practices (see slide on the left), courses for legal practitioners and judges on this specific topic are neither available through the e-Justice web-portal, nor in key relevant catalogues such as The Study on the state of play of lawyers' training in EU law, assigned to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the EIPA European Centre for Judges
and Lawyers, or the CEPOL and EJTN portals. There is a lack of judicial institutionalisation of diversified and scattered initiatives, while security initiatives are flourishing (RAN, Hidayas, etc.). One of the reasons for this lack has to do with the constitutional architecture and the differentiated roles of judges and prosecutors in relation to prevention within and outside prisons. In some MSs, prison staff is part of de-militarized police forces, while in others is civil staff while in others external police carry out security duties within prisons. Moreover, in inquisitorial systems, judges and prosecutors play a key role in countering critical radical events, while in adversarial legal contexts the principle of equality of arms leaves to lawyers and administrative procedures a large space of action. Finally, in some MSs public-private partnership and Information Sharing Agreements (ISA) are a key, while in others security remains an asset of public bodies and private institutions play a subsidiary role only. To conclude, it is a fragmented geography that requires comprehensiveness, up-scalability, institutionalisation and jurisdictionalisation of the solutions adopted. This is the core of JP-COOPS.
Between December 2018 and Mai 2021, the project addresses the following issues:
a) Tackle existing gaps in counter-radicalisation policies and practices through a cross-border cooperation of training providers which strengthen and institutionalize training courses on judicial and police cooperation within a public-private framework, considering up-scalability and principle of conferral;
- Expanding the existing networks through exchange of information, training contents, and best practices on countering radicalisation and terrorism through the rule of the law by designing and delivering a Toolkit of the Toolkits.
By capitalising from ongoing projects, innovate the segment of the training on radicalisation through an extensive use of jurisdictionalistion procedures based upon the integration of different European legal instruments as basis for future policies and practices. Explore the opportunities offered from recent EU legislation to deescalate tensions and de-potentiate grievances leading to recruitment and terrorism in different social environments.
- Promote a “Knowledge Partnership” between EJTN, CEPOL, universities, judicial and police schools and Ministries as stated in one of the flagships of the Europe 2020 Strategy. We contribute to the cooperation between CEPOL and the E-Justice Portal as part of a better coordinated effort between LEAs and Judiciary in CVE. Integrate the training activities of the partners countries with the e-Justice Portal as reference tool in the context of judicial training, in line with the provision 2.3 of the EU Security Agenda 2015 and give formal recognition to the acquired training credits through academic bodies (UFC-System) extended to the European Law Institute.
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