Fair Trials has launched a new free online training for criminal defence lawyers. The course, on cross border cases and human rights, contains contributions from leading extradition lawyers, including Rebecca Niblock, Ed Grange and Saoirse Townsend.

The course - entitled Cross-Border Cases and Human Rights - has a special focus on the European Arrest Warrant, and has been made possible thanks to generous support from the Legal Education Foundation.

The training is the latest in Fair Trials’ ongoing series of online learning. Designed by lawyers for lawyers, it will help to provide practical guidance on European human rights standards and explain how to use these standards and enforcement mechanisms in a way that can protect defendants’ rights. 

European cooperation is based on the idea that EU member states can trust each other to respect basic rights. This has resulted in high-profile cases of injustice, creating tensions in the relationship between respect for human rights and cross-border cooperation. These issues arise day-in-day out in UK courts and will continue to do as lawyers start to use EU laws with increasing frequency to transfer prisoners and exchange evidence.

This latest training is designed to complement the e-training Fair Trials has already produced, which focused on the enforcement of EU criminal law in domestic criminal proceedings, as well as providing practical guides to two recently introduced European Directives. All of our courses are designed to stand independently from the others in order to allow defence practitioners to focus in on the issues that are most relevant to their current cases. However, when taken as a whole, our courses can demonstrate how regional human rights standards have the potential to protect the rights of thousands of people accused of crimes each year. 

The right to a fair trial is one of the cornerstones of a just society. Fair Trials is a unique human rights charity that works to protect the right to a fair trial around the world and campaigns for fairer criminal justice systems. One of the most significant ways to do this is by improving the capacity of defence practitioners to advance respect for the right to a fair trial by providing legal training. Through this training and with increased access to practical legal information the ability of UK practitioners to defend the rights of their clients will be strengthened, and in time regional human rights standards will become more widely used and applied in our national legal system.

If you’d like to find out more about the training or the organisation, please visit Fair Trials’ website.