To support initiatives by public institutions or private bodies which pursue the objective of raising awareness among legal practitioners of the legal and judicial systems of the different Member States, within a framework of continuing education.
Joint action 96/636/JHA of 28 October 1996, adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on a programme of incentives and exchanges for legal practitioners [Official Journal L 287 of 08.11.1996].
The programme, entitled "Grotius", aims to foster mutual knowledge of legal and judicial systems and to facilitate judicial co-operation between Member States by implementing measures involving training, information, studies and exchanges for legal practitioners.
The following are considered to be legal practitioners: judges, including liaison and contact judges, advocates, bailiffs, solicitors, researchers, investigation services, ministry officials, court interpreters and other officers of justice.
The programme is established for a period of five years (1996-2000).
The categories of project which may considered under the programmes are:
- training, in particular language training (legal terminology)
- exchange and work-experience programmes with institutions and practitioners from another Member State;
- organization of meetings, conferences and seminars on topical legal issues or legal subjects of general interest;
- studies and research in connection with the other activities of the programmes;
- distribution of information, both on the activities of the programme and their results and on developments of all kinds relating to judicial cooperation which could be of interest to practitioners.
Projects are selected on the basis of the general criteria set out in Article 8 of the joint action.
The Commission's role includes drawing up a coherent and complete annual programme and undertaking each year an assessment of the implementation of the programme for the previous year (and submitting an annual report to Parliament and the Council).
To carry out its tasks, the Commission is assisted by an advisory committee consisting of one representative from each Member State and chaired by the Commission.
For information on the second phase of the programme as regards judicial cooperation in criminal matters, see GROTIUS II.
4) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES
Annual programme for 1999 - Official Journal C 12 of 16.01.1999
Annual programme and call for applications for 2000 - Official Journal C 12 of 15.01.2000
It lays out the annual priorities regarding the implementation of the programme on the one hand and supplies general and practical information to applicants seeking finance to initiate projects on the other.