Eunomie: a new network of foreign judges and prosecutors trained at the ENM

The French National School for the Judiciary (ENM) has launched "EUNOMIE", a network of foreign judges and prosecutors trained at the ENM. Its aim for this innovative new tool is to give these judges and prosecutors a way of maintaining a special relationship, both with each other and with the School, but also to promote the notion of belonging a professional body and an international judicial community.

To maintain a link between former foreign trainees of the ENM

"To develop international cooperation in the area of judicial training, the ENM regularly and has for many years welcomed foreign judges and prosecutors on initial and in-service training courses. We trained 610 foreign colleagues at ENM Paris or Bordeaux in 2017, 491 in 2018 and 663 in 2019,", explains Ingrid Derveaux, member of the judiciary, subdirector and head of the International Department of the ENM. "EUNOMIE is the culmination of a project the School has been working on for several years, with the support of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE). The main objective is to develop a professional network focused on common interests: independence of the justice system, protection of fundamental rights and mutual judicial assistance in criminal and civil matters," she adds.

EUNOMIE is also the name of a minor Goddess from Greek mythology. The personification of the law, legislation, order, justice and fairness, she is associated with the internal stability of a State, including the establishment of good laws and maintenance of civil order.

To contribute to the emergence of an international community of the judiciary

To encourage the creation of national associations in partner countries

"Given the growing number of international judges and prosecutors that the ENM trains each year, it seems relevant and innovative to develop associations or networks of judges and prosecutors who have been trained by the School, on a country-by-country basis," considers Leïla Broncard, cooperation officer at the International Department of the ENM.

Such associations should allow ongoing, lasting relations to be established between the School and the judges and prosecutors it has trained, whatever their background, in order to "form a network of legal professionals to exchange on the experiences and practices specific to each country, to spread the values of legal and judicial excellence based on the professional and general ethics of judges and prosecutors and respect for legal texts in the exercising of their professions, to share the methods and practices of the professions in support of a common judicial culture, and also to promote the right to training," she details. They would constitute a new tool for exchanges, a forerunner among the international judiciary.

The purpose of the EUNOMIE network is precisely to encourage the creation of associations in the partner countries: "There is only one association of former trainees, in the Republic of the Congo, which was created in 2016 at the initiative of some Congolese judges and prosecutors after a seminar organised by the ENM. And it is in Brazzaville that we will be officially inaugurating the network on 29 October."emphasises Alice Thibaut, member of the judiciary, Cooperation Officer at the International Department of the ENM.
She goes on to add: "We do have "connections" in the partner countries – liaison judges, cultural cooperation and action departments (SCACs), the judicial training schools, the ministries of justice and the international departments, where one exists, and we hope to encourage the creation of associations in each of these countries."

For the ENM, it is also about "having identified contacts out in the countries, who can support our international cooperation officers in their projects, our trainee judges and prosecutors on placements under the "Justice Without Borders" scheme or our experts during missions to support the training institute: it's a real added bonus," emphasises Ingrid Derveaux.

To develop the network through a dedicated platform

The EUNOMIE platform allows each foreign judge or prosecutor who has undergone initial or in-service training at the ENM to keep abreast of the latest international news from the ENM and to make free applications to register. "They can also follow events organised in connection with the network in the pilot countries by the French Embassy, the Institut français and the Alliance française. The creation of a dedicated platform will support the development of national associations and should encourage exchanges between former trainees," explains Leïla Broncard.

Members have access to:

  • a directory listing all the members of the network;
  • national and international discussion forums;
  • mutual assistance forums for trainee judges and prosecutors arriving in France, or French trainee/serving judges and prosecutors going abroad;
  • training documents and e-training modules.