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Comparative Criminal Procedures: The Case of Terrorism Investigations and Prosecutions

QM School of Law

Friday, 10 May 2013 from 10:30 to 17:30 (BST)

Comparative Criminal Procedures: The Case of Terrorism...

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Event Details

The Criminal Justice Centre at the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of Londonand the European Criminal Law Academic Network (ECLAN) are delighted to invite you to a one day conference, generously supported by Hart Publishing and the European Criminal Law Association (UK).

The purpose of this one-day conference is to highlight the similarities and differences between the two systems of accusatorial and inquisitorial criminal procedures and to assess the eventual impact of the two meta-models on terrorism investigations and prosecutions.

An introductory overview will see a distinguished panel examining the accusatorial and inquisitorial traditions: different features, cross influences, and current pressures for harmonisation. The analysis of key features and the comparison of the two meta-models will highlight that neither a purely accusatorial nor a purely inquisitorial system exist anymore. By virtue of the shared fundamental principles of the ECHR and the case law of the Strasbourg Court, the cross-fertilisation of the two systems has been strong for many years. The perpetual revolution of criminal justice reforms, with notably in France the traces of influences from the "Anglo-Saxon" model (eg plea-bargaining, right to silence, and even proposed abolishment of the investigating judges) has also played a significant role. In addition, the impact of EU criminal justice initiatives has been pushing for an increase harmonisation of the different approaches. Finally, the existence of a mixed system in Italy shows that positive elements from the two systems may also be merged in order to ensure the respect of two opposite needs: the protection of society and the safeguard of suspects and defendants' rights.

The three main sessions will then be devoted to the eventual impact of accusatorial and inquisitorial traditions in criminal procedures onto the investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences. The meta perspectives will be contrasted with the discussion of identified, individual points of criminal procedure and the law of evidence. The first session will address the judicial oversight of police powers of evidence gathering. The second session will analyse the delicate issue of the access to and treatment of lawyers both during pre-charge detention and at trial. The third session will evaluate the usefulness of pre-trial and pre-charge questioning in terrorism cases. The fourth session will focus on the admissibility of evidence at trial, with a particular reference to intercept evidence.

The conference will lead to the publication of a collective book in 2014.

Final Programme 

10.30 Arrival and registration of the participants 

11.00 Welcoming speech – Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary, University of London

  • Introduction (purpose of the conference, method of analysis, eventual publication) – Francesca Galli, FNRS Post-Doctoral researcher at IEE-ULB

11.20 Introductory session: accusatorial and inquisitorial systems – distinguishing features, cross-fertilisation and attempts of harmonisation.

Chairman: Duncan Fairgrieve, BIICL

  • Adversarial vs. inquisitorial systems – is there still such a difference? : John Spencer, University of Cambridge
  • Attempts to reform the criminal procedure system in Italy since 1989. The mixed-accusatorial system: Michele Panzavolta, University of Maastricht
  • ECtHR case-law and EU policies – cross-fertilisation and current pressure for harmonisation: Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary
  • Debate                  

13.00 Lunch

13.45 Judicial oversight of police powers of evidence gathering and access to a lawyer in terrorism cases

Chairman: Francesca Galli ,FNRS Post-doctoral researcher at IEE-ULB

  • The role of the juge d’instruction in French investigations: William Bourdon, Barreau de Paris and founder of the Association SHERPA 
  • Stop and Search powers in UK terrorism investigations – a limited judicial oversight? : Genevieve Lennon, University of Dundee 
  • Custodial Legal Advice in Four European Jurisdictions: Jacqueline Hodgson, University of Warwick
  • Debate        

15.20 Second session: pre-charge or post-charge questioning in terrorism cases

Chairman: Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary

  • Perceived risks in the introduction of post-charge questioning for terrorism cases in the UK: Clive Walker, University of Leeds 
  • Post-charge questioning in France and Italy as a means for the suspect to defend himself during the judicial investigation: Silvia Allegrezza, Università di Bologna
  • Debate

16.20 Coffee Break

16.30 Third session: (in) admissibility of evidence at trial – the case of intercept evidence in terrorism cases

Chairman: John Spencer, University of Cambridge

  • The inadmissibility of intercept evidence at trial – pressure for changes in the law in the UK: Eric Metcalfe, Monckton Chambers
  • The interception of communication in France and Italy: Francesca Galli, FNRS Post-doctoral researcher at IEE-ULB
  • Debate

17.30 Concluding remarks: Daniel Squires, Matrix Chambers and Queen Mary, University of London

Do you have questions about Comparative Criminal Procedures: The Case of Terrorism Investigations and Prosecutions? Contact QM School of Law

When & Where

Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS)
Queen Mary, University of London
67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
WC2A 3JB London
United Kingdom

Friday, 10 May 2013 from 10:30 to 17:30 (BST)

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