By Ingrid de Haer with input from Jelena Tepić
A group of 10 judges and public prosecutors, 2 Judicial Academy representatives and the interpreter of the Resident Twinning Advisor Language Assistance visited the Netherlands for a study visit between 2 – 8 April 2017. This study visit took place as part of the Twinning project Enhancing the quality of judicial training – by upgrading EU law and on-line trainings (CRO EULAW) HR/14/IB/JH/03. The overall aim of the study visit was to exchange good practices regarding the training delivery and to improve the training skills of participants who are going to conduct trainings on EU law within the framework of this project.
The delegation visited the Training and Study Center for Dutch Judiciary (SSR) in Utrecht. SSR representatives Judith Mombarg and Ineke van de Meene explained the competence of SSR to the participants, as well as the development of EU law training in the Dutch curriculum. They informed the group about the training principles and stressed the most important factors to have in mind while conducting a training. The participants also had the opportunity to see how e-learning was organized in SSR and were impressed with the technology and resources available to the trainers and to the training providers.
At the T.M.C. Asser Institute, a research centre for international and European law in The Hague, the participants met Tamara Takacs and Vesna Lazić. After an introduction on the role of the Institute, a former judge of the Netherlands Supreme Court and the Court of Justice in Luxemburg, Arjen Meij, gave a lecture about the multi-level judicial structure of the EU and the dialogue between national and EU judges. The role of the Hague Conference on Private International Law was explained by Philipe Lortie, First Secretary of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
At the CILC premises Tamara Takacs conducted a Training-of-Trainers session in the area of training on EU law basics (EU Essential Law and Preliminary Ruling Procedure). Ms. Takacs introduced a concept of the materials and also explained the main issues of the EU law basic topics.
Judith Mombarg and Ineke van de Meene (SSR) carried out a training skills exercise based on the lessons learned during the week. The participants and the experts exchanged their opinions and experiences on practical models for designing and developing a training. The practical part, i.e. a training simulation, was a great opportunity for participants to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses as trainers.
As a result of the study visit, the participants had the opportunity to gain insight on new developments in training delivery and to test their skills as trainers. The participants discussed developments in EU law with the Dutch experts, which concern not only the subject matter, but also the training methodology. As a result of all the experiences throughout the study visit, the participants have agreed that a practical approach and the use of modern training methodologies, when appropriate, is a fruitful combination for delivering a training.