On June 16-17, a full house packed the meeting room at the Czech Parliament Building in Prague for the first European Innocence Network Conference. Representatives were present from England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Armenia, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany, among others. The program is available here, and included talks and panels on the causes of wrongful conviction across national borders, how to start an innocence organization, and the vision of future structure of the European Innocence Network moving forward. Day One consisted of formal presentations and panel discussions, while Day Two was dedicated to discussing the structure, the by-laws, the sub-committees, and the future activities of the European Innocence Network.
The conference was sponsored by Daniel Vanek of the Innocence Program Czech Republic, and the Center for the Global Study of Wrongful Conviction at the University of Cincinnati College of Law (part of the Ohio Innocence Project).
The group agreed to meet again in the fall to continue discussing the structure of the Network, to hammer out membership criteria, and to elect board members, etc.. The Network will be housed at the University of Milan, Italy.
As a participant in the conference, I can attest that the energy in the room was high and spirits were soaring. Everyone left the conference committed to continuing and growing the collaboration in the future. The fall meeting will be held in either Italy or Dublin on dates to be determined. The conference in 2017 will be held in Italy (either Rome or Milan), and the 2018 conference will be held in Amsterdam.
Below are some pictures from the event….