Call for proposals for action grants to support transnational projects in the fields of e-Justice, victims’ rights and procedural rights
Justice Programme (JUST)
4 October 2023
€ 10.1 million
Relevancy Crime Prevention
As this call also focusses on victims’ rights and their rights in judicial procedures, this also encompasses the broader scope of resilience building in victims.
Special attention should be payed to the possibilities when it comes to communication and diffusion of information regarding victims’ and procedural rights for the topic of crime prevention.
The call covers two priorities
The key objective under the e-Justice priority is to contribute to achieving the goals of the Commission Communication on the Digitalisation of Justice in the EU and the Council European e-Justice Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2023 by supporting the implementation of e-Justice projects at the European and national level (as far as they have a European dimension).
Primary priority will be given to projects aiming at joining or enhancing existing or ongoing e-Justice projects:
- Projects facilitating electronic cross-border interaction and communication between judicial authorities, as well as with citizens, businesses and practitioners in judicial proceedings. For example, with regard to:
- Preparatory and implementation activities with regard to the Commission Proposal for a Regulation on the digitalisation of judicial cooperation and access to justice in cross-border civil, commercial and criminal matters, and amending certain acts in the judicial cooperation (depending on the progress achieved in the negotiations process between the co-legislators);
- The use of videoconferencing in a cross-border setting, in particular with regard to standardisation and achieving interoperability.
- Participation in the e-Evidence Digital Exchange System, set up following the Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyberspace from 9 June 2016;
- Integration of electronic multilingual standard forms into national e-government systems, in the context of Regulation (EU) 2016/1191. In this regard, national implementations must use and comply with the common XML schemas (XSDs) developed by the Commission;
- Participation in the Find a Lawyer (FAL) search tool hosted on the e-Justice Portal;
- Participation in the Find a Notary (FAN) search tool hosted on the e-Justice Portal;
- Participation in the Find a Bailiff (FAB) search tool to be hosted on the e-Justice Portal;
- Implementation of the European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) in case law repositories and interconnection with the e-Justice Portal;
- Participation in the Land Registers Interconnection (LRI) to be hosted on the e-Justice Portal;
- Participation in the European Court Database (in both civil and criminal matters) hosted on the e-Justice Portal.
Secondary priority will be given to the development of concrete cases on the use of artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology in the justice area. The Artificial Intelligence Act complements existing Union law on non-discrimination with specific requirements for AI systems, which have been identified as intended to assist a judicial authority in researching and interpreting facts and the law and in applying the law to a concrete set of facts. The specific rules aim to minimise the risk of algorithmic discrimination, in particular in relation to the design and the quality of data sets used for the development of AI systems, complemented with obligations for testing, risk management, data governance, documentation, human oversight and cybersecurity throughout the AI systems lifecycle. The design and the quality of data sets used for AI systems should, for example, take into account non-discrimination, including a gender dimension to forestall gender-based discrimination.
Finally, as tertiary priority, other e-Justice projects related to the development of relevant EU policies such as victims' rights, rights of suspects and accused in criminal proceedings and projects which are in advanced stage of development or already live on the e-Justice Portal at the moment when the call is published could also be financed.
National projects will be funded insofar as they offer a clearly demonstrated EU added value, for instance allowing to participate in EU projects, providing best practices for other EU Member States or promoting interoperability. Notwithstanding, transnational (multi-country) projects will have priority over national ones
Victim’ rights and procedural rights priority
Projects to be funded under this priority should:
- contribute to the effective and coherent application of EU criminal law in the area of the rights of persons suspected or accused of crime;
- contribute to the effective and coherent application of EU law in the area of the rights of victims of crime in line with the priorities set up by the EU Strategy on victims’ rights (2020-2025).
In both areas (procedural rights and victims’ rights), actions may include possible future EU initiatives regarding gaps in EU legislation where a further need for EU action is identified. Projects ensuring maximum practical benefits and impact for the target groups will be assessed more favourably than theoretical projects consisting mainly of research and other analytical activities. Actions on access to information, support, protection to victims of war crimes shall also be considered. Successful projects shall ensure easy access to and wide dissemination of their results.
In the area of procedural rights, the main legislative measures concerned include in particular:
- Directive (EU) 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings;
- Directive (EU) 2016/1919 on legal aid for suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings and for requested persons in European arrest warrant proceedings;
- Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings;
- Directive 2012/13/EU on the right to information in criminal proceedings;
- Directive 2013/48/EU on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty;
- Directive (EU) 2016/343 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings.
In the area of victims' rights, the main legislative measures concerned include in particular:
- Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime;
- Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims;
- Directive 2011/99/EU on the European protection order;
- Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters;
- Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism.
All activities should, both at design and implementation stage, incorporate a gender equality perspective. Thus, applicants are expected to conduct and include in their proposal a gender analysis, which maps the potential different impact of the project and its activities on women and men as well as girls and boys in all their diversity. Thereby, unintended negative effects of the intervention on either gender should be forestalled (do no-harm approach). To this end, applicants are encouraged to consult the key questions listed on the EIGE website, when conducting their gender analysis. A gender-sensitive approach should be taken to the identification of best practices, data collection, including sex-disaggregated statistics, and information dissemination. All communication activities should forestall discrimination, victimisation and stereotyping of women and men. Mutual learning, analytical and training activities should incorporate a gender equality perspective, and promote gender balanced participation in trainings.
For the e-justice priority
Project activities under this call would in principle include analytical, conceptual, design and elaboration work, IT software development, quality assurance and related auxiliary measures necessary for the establishment of new IT systems, as well as the expansion and adaptation of existing national and transnational solutions towards addressing the objectives of the call.
The requirements of the eIDAS Regulation, the use of the Digital Building Blocks developed under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, as well as the results from the e-CODEX project and ISA Core vocabularies, should be taken into account if and where relevant.
Supporting activities relating to project management, content preparation, editorial work, communication, promotion and dissemination are also eligible for funding.
For the victims’ rights and procedural rights priority
The following activities can be covered:
- mutual learning, exchange of good practices, development of working and learning methods which may be transferable to other participating countries;
- exchange and provision of information and development of information and educational tools;
- capacity building for professionals, including training in victim-sensitive communication;
- facilitating cooperation between competent authorities (including where relevant national experts or agencies dealing with the aspects covered by this call) and/or legal practitioners and/or service providers (including multi-disciplinary networks at EU or international, national, regional or local levels) and/or civil society organisations / National Human Rights Institutions / Equality bodies, Ombuds Institutions and national authorities (at national and local level, where relevant, including experts with gender expertise);
- communication activities including dissemination of information about rights and activities raising awareness of the existing rules on rights at EU and national levels, relevant to the priorities of the call;
- training activities, as long as they are of ancillary nature and not the main purpose of the project;
- analytical activities, such as data collection and creation of data bases, surveys, research etc.