The Exercise of Defence Rights in International Investigations within the European Union

The Exercise of Defence Rights in International Investigations within the European Union

The Course start 15 - 17 March 2018
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Originally born as an area of economic interest, nowadays the European Union is walking down the path of a progressive harmonisation of legislation, even in the Criminal Law field.  The journey is not without difficulties, yet we are witnessing the creation of a body of European Criminal Law in the respect of the sovereignty of the Member States and of the principle of subsidiarity.  Essentially, even though the Union cannot adopt a general EU criminal code or criminal procedural code, EU criminal legislation can support existing national criminal law systems and facilitate their evolution in a common continental direction despite the co-existence of civil law and common law legal systems.

The Course is designed for national lawyers, in-house counsel, and international legal practitioners appointed to defend clients in criminal cases that may be covered by legislation created or inspired by the European Union.  It will analyse the roles and responsibilities of the international and national regulatory, enforcement, and supervisory bodies in this field.  The Course will also focus on defence techniques in international legal cooperation in European Criminal Law matters, mutual recognition of judicial decisions, instruments like the European Investigation Order, the European Arrest Warrant, and the role of Eurojust and Europol.

The Course will tackle the following main topics:

  • The European Criminal Law Framework
  • The Sources of European Criminal Law
  • Main Actors in European Criminal Law
  • Defence Rights and the Harmonisation of National Criminal Laws
  • Procedural Elements and Instruments of European Criminal Law
  • Defence Rights and the European Investigation Order
  • Defence Rights and the European Arrest Warrant
  • Defence Rights and the Execution of Decisions and Sentences
  • Eurojust, Europol, and the European Public Prosecutor Office
  • Future Developments of European Criminal Law


Participants will benefit from the significant experience of international experts who are defence lawyers, judges, prosecutors, as well as officials of international courts and tribunals, relevant international organisations, and the Programme’s partners.
The distinguished speakers are


Click here for the full syllabus


Eligibility Requirements

To participate in the Specialisation Course, participants must:

  • be a lawyer with at least two years’ experience in conducting defence cases or other relevant experience before international courts, tribunals and related bodies, and/or at the national level;
  • have in-depth knowledge of their state’s relevant constitutional and other national legal instruments (both in English and in their domestic language), such as national criminal codes, criminal procedural codes, legislation and related agreements on international cooperation in criminal matters including on mutual legal assistance, and other laws relating to cooperation with international courts, tribunals and related bodies;
  • be an international jurist, an officer working for international justice institutions, an official working for national and international organizations or associations dealing with defence rights and justice in the broader sense, including human rights protection; a related subject matter scholar or advanced researcher;
  • have a high level of proficiency in English.

Prior to commencing the Specialisation Course, participants are strongly advised to study the course materials that will be distributed in advance.

Certificate & Accreditation

  • A certificate of attendance will be issued for each participant who successfully completes all course modules, at the end of the course.
  • The Siracusa Institute is ready to liaise with relevant lawyers’ and bar associations, in order to have course attendance recognised as valid within the respective continuing legal education system (CLE).  To this extent, each participant is requested to inform the course organisers of any relevant procedures to activate the accreditation.


Duration and Location of the Course
The Specialisation Course will be conducted between 15 and 17 March 2018 in Siracusa, Italy. It will take place at the premises of the Siracusa Institute.


Language of the Course
The Specialisation Course will be presented in English and so a high level of proficiency in English is required.


Registration Fees

  • Early Bird Registration Fee: 700 euros up until 1 month before the Course begins
  • Standard Registration Fee: 900 euros in the last month prior to the Course

Application procedure and deadline

  • Registration must be done online after the login;
  • Registration will be available for limited positions;
  • Acceptance into the course will be on a “first come, first served” basis;
  • Legal Notice.

Participants requiring a Visa

Participants needing a Visa to participate in a Course who may require the Siracusa Institute’s assistance in completing or submitting their Visa application, are kindly requested to register for the Course as early as possible and notify the Institute’s Administrative Office of their specific request for assistance by email at:

The Institute is only able to assist participants once full payment of registration costs has been finalised.

All participants are responsible for initiating and pursuing his/her Visa application.

Please consider that Visas are usually issued by Italian Embassies and Consulates more than 30 days after a Visa application is submitted.


Contact Us

The Siracusa Institute

Via Logoteta 27, 96100 Siracusa - Italy


Telephone: +39 0931 414515

Fax: +39 0931 67622