Team France 3 wins Themis 2011!

  • Team France 3 wins at the annual, week-long Themis finals competition.
  • Eight teams from the semi-final heats earlier this year participated in the gruelling finals.
  • Themis sees the highest levels of judicial debate and competition.

EJTN is delighted to announce the champions of the Themis 2011 competition! Eight teams, representing France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal, convened in Amsterdam from the 7th to the 11th of October, 2011 to participate in a tough week of preparation, debate and presentation.

A weeks’ work
The competition opened with a welcome session after which the eight semi-finalists got down to the business of work.  The teams were first responsible for preparing a thorough paper based on a given legal case.  

The winners! The France 3 team.

They then prepared for a deliberation later in the week, within the topic of international cooperation in civil matters, which saw sets of two teams face each other in 1.5 hour debates.

After several late nights of writing and researching, polished presentations and inspired debate, the final day of the competition arrived. The jury members, who had been hard at work assessing the teams’ efforts, announced the results:

  • Winners: France 3
  • Runner-up: Italy 2
  • Third: Hungary 1


How does it feel?
After the results were announced, EJTN caught up with the winners and others involved in the competition. How does it feel to be the winners of Themis 2011? “We are so happy – the whole week felt like a dream. Teamwork is the key to success. Teamwork means exchanges, dialogue and having fun, too. Both work time and free time are important,” explained team France 3.

All of the teams worked very hard, and most teams had an accompanying coach. As in all previous years, the level of competition was exceptionally high. A French team coach, Gilles Bourdier, based at France’s Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature (ENM) in Bordeaux, attested to the calibre of the competition by saying, “Themis has a really high level of competition. These very same issues could be debated by professional judges in courts.”

Solving conflicts
He continued and touched on the significance and impact of Themis. “Go back to the founding of Europe. Put yourself in the shoes of the founders of the EU. What we are working on at Themis are the tools to provide for a peaceful and prosperous Europe through the solving of conflicts. It’s not just an intellectual idea – there is a higher aim and philosophy behind it.”

EJTN is the proud organiser of the annual THEMIS competition, and is grateful for the generous financial support of the European Commission and the backing of the Portuguese Centro de Estudos Judiciários (CEJ) and the National Institute of Magistracy of Romania (NIM).

The jury members, Diana  Ungureanu of Romania, Francisco Puig Blanes of Spain, Marie Linton of Sweden and Victor Hall of the UK, worked tirelessly all week long assessing the written papers, presiding over the debates and assessing the teams.

EJTN also thanks the final competition’s host, SSR (Netherlands’ Studiecentrum Rechtspleging/Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary), for its warm welcome, superb practical arrangements and for offering such diverse venues and free-time events.

Photos courtesy of SSR. 

The main aim of the THEMIS project is to bring together future magistrates from different European countries at a time when they are undergoing entry level training to enable them to share common values and to exchange new experiences and discuss new perspectives in areas of common interest.

The project also aims to develop abilities related to the future profession of the participants, such as communication skills, debating abilities, critical and analytical thinking, logical reasoning and proper legal writing. Furthermore, THEMIS is intended to foster the development of professional contacts, experiences and relationships between both the entry-level trainees in magistracy and their teaching staff.