On 6 and 7 June 2016 the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights hosted in Vienna the second consultation workshop within the framework of the EU-funded project on “strengthening cooperation between the judiciary and torture monitoring bodies in the European Union.” On this occasion, the workshop was directed at representatives of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs). The project intends to increase the cooperation between the judiciary and NPMs with the aim of improving the rights of detainees within the EU through a more fundamental rights compliant implementation of EU law.
After an inspiring opening speech delivered by Manfred Nowak (BIM) and Tiphanie Crittin (BIM, head of project) as well as the warm welcoming notes from Ramin Farinpour (ERA) the first workshop was dedicated to recent developments in EU law of relevance for NPMs. Jean Tomkin (ERA) presented the core findings of the project´s Baseline Study, with the main focus on human rights and EU law, in particular to the main challenges related to the principle of mutual trust and recognition. This laid the solid basis for further discussions developed through Michaël Meysman´s (IRCP) comprehensive overview of the Framework Decisions on detention as well as their human rights impact. Gerrit Zach (BIM) provided an overview of the most recent CJEU case (Aranyosi/Căldăraru) related to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to the participants which prompted a vibrant discussion of the potential role of NPMs in the fundamental rights compliant implementation of EU law. A panel discussion followed, comprising of Mari Amos (SPT), Antonius van Kalmthout (CPT) and Jonas Grimheden (FRA) and each in turn addressed the question of the (potential) role of detention monitoring bodies and human rights institutes in order to ensure fundamental rights compliance related to detention, from a supranational perspective.
On the second day, the final workshop chaired by Moritz Birk (BIM) raised questions about strategies how to strengthen the cooperation between NPMs and the judiciary. To this end, Eva Csergö (APT) gave an insight into the best practice examples for strategies to enhance the visibility of NPMs’ work and thereby strengthen potential cooperation. Additionally to the workshop sessions, working groups were formed and a world café was established to further intensify the exchange between the participants. All in all, we can look back at a stimulating two-day workshop which comprised of fruitful, lively and productive discussions.