Legal Practitioner Training in 2019
19 January 2021
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

The number of justice professionals trained in EU law or the law of another Member State remains remarkably high. In 2019, over 182,000 justice professionals (judges, prosecutors, court staff, lawyers, bailiffs, and notaries) were trained accordingly. Although this is a slight decrease compared to 2018 (190,000 --> eucrim 4/2019, 229-230), the participation rate continues to remains at a steady high level. Figures and charts on European judicial training in 2019 are provided in the annual report that the Commission presented on 2 December 2020.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, emphasized that the findings of the 2019 report confirm the success of the strategy on European judicial training adopted in 2011. As reported previously, the Commission already reached the strategy’s goal to train half (800,000) of all justice professionals in the EU by 2020 already in 2017, two years ahead of schedule. Other results of the ninth report on European judicial training include the following:

  • The decrease in total numbers, in comparison to 2018, is mainly due to a decrease in the EU legal training of lawyers;
  • Lawyer training figures dropped significantly, by almost 40% in comparison with 2018, due to less reported participants in several large Member States;
  • Between 2011 and 2019, close to 1.19 million justice professionals received training in EU law and the law of another EU Member State;
  • Regarding the proportion of practitioners by profession, judges (62.14%) and prosecutors (40.46%) remain the professional legal groups that receive the most continuous training on EU law by far; these figures confirm the results of the past annual reports;
  • 2.98% of all EU justice professionals’ training was (co)-funded by the EU in 2019.

As found in past annual reports, considerable differences remain in the level of training participation across Member States and across the various legal professions. The Commission concludes that there are still training challenges, notably for lawyers, court staff, and bailiffs. Challenges (also in view of the trend towards the digitalisation of justice) will be tackled by the new European judicial training strategy 2021-2024 and the launch of the European Training Platform. Both initiatives were presented, together with the annual report on European judicial training, on 2 December 2020 (--> separate news items).