Judicial Living Lab – Fundamental rights in terror-related judicial processes José Santos November 3, 2021

Judicial Living Lab – Fundamental rights in terror-related judicial processes

IPS led this online discussion and training event developed by the Consortium of projects FAIRNESS and PRE-RIGHTS.

“Judicial Living Lab/Training of Trainers” was held on the 16th, 17th and 19th of November 2021 for a gathering of Portuguese experts of distinct career backgrounds in the sector. Considering the variety of backgrounds and knowledge of participants on the topics covered by the event, it sought to promote dialogue and knowledge acquirement, or consolidation, on the pre-trial rights of persons involved in or accused of crimes linked to terrorism.

The first day of the joint event began with a background presentation of project FAIRNESS and its intellectual and research products. It was followed by a brief explanation of legal and theoretic general notions about the radicalisation and terrorism phenomena, which then paved the way for the presentation of the origin and fundamental principles of the Stockholm Roadmap,  and associated EU procedural rights Directives.

On the 17th, the facilitators proposed the discussion of a fictitious case-study case around Directive 2013/48 to the participants. The goal of the exercise was to specifically focus on the tension points of compatibility between the Directive principles and the Portuguese legal framework, while considering the case of an individual remanded in custody due to their alleged involvement in a terror-related offence. The debate therefore focused mostly on the derogation of the right to communicate with third persons before the first judicial questioning, while equating the impact posed by isolation as well as other preventive measures, against the need to safeguard security priorities.

During the last day of the event, on the 19th, Judicial Living Lab from PRE-RIGHTS project was introduced, and three study cases were at the centre of a debate within the issue of “Prevention in Prisons: pre-trial and alternative measures framed with security”. Each of the case-studies aimed to explore different scenarios showcasing the impact of anti-radicalisation or anti-terrorism preventive measures on the fundamental rights of the people involved, when confronted with:

  • the objectives of the prison system;
  • the proportionality of the measures applied and the risk of arbitrariness;
  • judicial cooperation framed by prevention and the potential use of tools such as the European Investigation Order for preventive ends.

The FAIRNESS “Implementation of the Stockholm’s Roadmap in cases of terrorism and radicalisation” project, co-financed by the European Commission, promotes a balanced harmonisation between the European Member States’ legal practices concerning individuals suspected or accused of terrorism-related crimes or radicalisation. This project explores the coherence between the ‘spirit’ and provisions of the ‘Stockholm’s Roadmap’ contrasted with investigative and preventive practices involving suspects or accused persons of crimes related to terrorism in the pre-trial stage.

The PRE-RIGHTS “Assessing the impact and performance of preventive measures on EU Directives and Framework Decisions” project promotes a balanced approach to judicial and police cooperation, in line with the provisions of the EU’s Security Agenda on prevention, as well as a coherence between the new hybrid investigations in the “intelligence-led police approach”. The project involves addressing the problems and needs with a judicial perspective that is in line with the international standards concerning fundamental rights protection and considering the Brexit transition.

For more information on the projects, please visit FAIRNESS and PRE-RIGHTS’ websites.