About sixty participants representing Ministries of Justice, jurisdictions, judges, legal professionals and lawyers from the Southern Mediterranean region (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia) took part on 8 April in an online Round Table on the lessons learned from the health crisis and the innovative working methods implemented within the judicial bodies, organised by the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) in the framework of the South Programme IV.
The intensive use of information technologies in the region is today a reality, especially at a time of health crisis, which must however be thought and organised. Some Southern Mediterranean partners have adopted provisions to regulate the use of videoconferences. Morocco, for example, has included such provisions in the national action plan for the digital transformation of justice. Lebanon and Egypt have also identified the use of videoconferencing as a priority.
The priority cases are those involving the exercise of individual rights. Special attention should be paid to cases involving the protection of minors and domestic violence.
The CEPEJ Declaration on the lessons learnt and challenges faced by the judiciary during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, adopted in June 2020 and now also available in Arabic, constitutes a reference framework of good practices already observed.
Pursuing regional dialogue between peers from the Southern Mediterranean and the exchange of good practices can contribute positively to the proper functioning of the judicial systems in the region in the context of the health crisis.
The South Programme IV is a joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.