On Tuesday 13 December, the French partner of the project 'Improving Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe: Training for Professionals', Association Diagrama, represented by its director general, Sébastien Marchand, held their first national workshop with juvenile justice stakeholders.
The workshop took place at the Senate and was co-organised with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory, represented by its Chairman, Dr. Francisco Legaz, and the ERP (Espace de Recherche et de Prospective Santé Social). It attracted representatives from all professions working in juvenile justice systems: the Paris Bar was represented by the Vice-Batonnière Maître Dominique Attias, the National School of Judges (ENM) by Ms. Laurence Begon; several psychologists, educators and academics were also present, and the President of the Legislative Commission at the Senate (Président de la Commission des Lois du Sénat), Mr. Philippe Bas, gave a very committed speech in favour of a more child-friendly justice system.
This varied audience was the source of high quality presentations, debates, and proposals, in particular when it came to training. High commitment to improve the French juvenile justice system, through a good transposition of the new Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings, was emphasised by all participants. Many insisted on the importance of multidisciplinary training involving all categories of professionals working with children, on the rights of the child and in particular effective communication with children.
A second national workshop will be held in France in the upcoming months, and will focus more actively on providing training tools and skills, based on the Manual and the Toolkit for Professionals developed during the project, that can be disseminated to a larger audience afterwards.