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Menu for Justice. Toward a European Curriculum Studiorum on Judicial Studies
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

This project is framed in the current debate concerning the impact that education may have (and should have) on the well being of developed democratic society (USAID, 2007; UNESCO, 2006) and focuses this crucial aspect of contemporary life by paying particular attention to the role that legal and judicial education play in European societies. Within the EU legal and judicial education perform an even more important role as legal scholars and judicial professions are pivotal actors in the processes of legal harmonization and of judicial cooperation. By providing young generations with an innovative and rich offer of training in legal and judicial matters European training institions may impact deeply and permanently upon the pace and the path of the EU integration. Judicial systems and legal expertise are deemed to be increasingly important in contemporaty societies. The European Union exhibits these features in a peculiar way. If on the one hand some member States underwent processes of judicialisation of domestic politics, judicial coordination and legal hamornization proved to be in the last decade (starting from the European Council held in Helsinki in 1999) a challenging and at the same time inescapable issue the process of integration is dealing with. Among the many several aspects mentioned in a huge variety of official documents issued by the European institutions as for the judicial cooperation and the enhancement of the mutual trust among the member States, judicial training and socialization of legal elites to a core of common principles came out as prioritized issues of the European agenda. In the Communication adopted by the European Commission in June 2006 judicial training is outlined as a domain in which European actions should be boosted and enhanced. Despite the institutional attention put on this, legal education offered within the member States did not develop accordingly: judicial governance is not properly analyzed within the curricula offered by the universities nor a deep and detailed preliminary study of the similarities and differences that are exhibited by the member States as for their own systems of legal education and judicial training is still missing. Surely, it can not be denied that judicial schools developed courses and programs that take into account the European dimension of justice administration. This project, which is run in three years, wants to fill this space. The preliminary knowledge of what is thought to undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students so far provides an extremely rich basis to step forward and to construct a new curriculum, which will be called judicial studies. The development of this new curriculum is the main goal pursued by the project. Partners involved into it will work intensively to elaborate a proposal by the end of the second year of the project. The third year is devoted to discuss and to spread off the outcomes achieved. Diffusion and discussion will take place within and outside the academic field. Civil society organizations, bar associations and political institutions will be extensively involved.

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