07 December 2010

The Future of Adversarial Systems


The Third Conference on the Future of Adversarial Systems, April 1, 2011

In the European Union, criminal justice is a rapidly expanding area. But while police and prosecutorial co-operation has been relatively unproblematic, the establishment of corresponding basic procedural safeguards for suspects has proved impossible. This undermines confidence and mutual trust in EU member states’ legal systems and creates a gap in the protection of the accused that cannot be filled by mutual recognition alone. An EU measure would provide for precise and uniform safeguards across all member states, enforceable irrespective of any trial or subsequent proceedings. Yet for this very reason there has been resistance: the imposition of a level of procedural uniformity upon the member states would require all states to provide for basic due process rights to the same standard and at the same point in the proceedings.

The question, then, is whether the rights at issue should be settled by a central document emanating from the EU, or should be left to the member states to decide. This problem is the topic of heated debate and the subject of a proposed EU directive. In approaching the problem it is natural to look to the experience of the United States, which has dealt with the same problem through judicial application of the Bill of Rights to the individual states.

For the Third Conference on the Future of Adversary Systems, we have invited seven scholars – three Americans and four Europeans – to take part in this debate. The Conference will take place on April 1, 2011 at the UNC Center for School Leadership Development, on the campus of the Friday Center. The Conference, as always, is sponsored by the Law School and the UNC Center for European Studies, with funds from the European Union and the U.S. Department of Education.

Professional credit will be available. For more information, please contact Mike Corrado or Richard Myers; or visit the website. For those interested in learning more about the topic, a short paper on the subject by Professor Jacqueline Hodgson will be available on the website.

Please save the date. Information about registration will be sent out in February.


Christopher Slobogin, Vanderbilt
Jacqueline Hodgson, Warwick, UK
Donald Dripps, San Diego
Taru Spronken and Dorris de Vocht, Maastricht, Netherlands
Richard Myers, UNC
Martin Boese, Bonn, Germany

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