Training School in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Our first ever ImpleMéndez Training School took place in the beautiful city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, on July 2nd and 3rd 2024. 27 members of our growing international network gathered together, across disciplines and jurisdictions, under the theme of “Implementing the Méndez Principles in Suspect Interviews.” For this initial Training School priority was given to “young researchers” as participants, and those in attendance were primarily academic colleagues from law, psychology, criminology, policing studies, forensic linguistics, translation and interpreting, and social work.

The training was delivered by four experts from within the ImpleMéndez network – Prof Yvonne Daly; Dr Ivar Fahsing; Dr Simon Oleszkiewicz; and Prof Miet Vanderhallen – very ably supported by our Action Chair, Prof Dave Walsh. The two-day event covered high-level outlines of the Mendez Principles and related legal and human rights instruments, as well as more practical matters such as establishing and maintaining rapport in interviews, good questioning skills, police approaches to the disclosure of evidence, and the role of a lawyer in advising and representing suspects at interviews. Opportunities to encourage the implementation of the Méndez Principles across jurisdictions were also discussed, along with the potential for further research on related matters. A variety of training methods were employed to engage participants, from lecture-style talks and open-ended discussions, to video exercises and role-plays. The trainers referred to the underlying purposes of specific training methods throughout, to assist participants who might later go on to give training in this area to others in the future.

As with previous ImpleMéndez events, this was a wonderful opportunity to connect with others across the network, all of whom are working towards the implementation of the Méndez Principles worldwide. Those present came away with a renewed sense of endeavour and enthusiasm for the ongoing work of our COST Action and its important mission.

Special thanks to our local host Dr Igor Areh (University of Maribor) who provided such wonderful support throughout our time in Ljubljana, and to all who participated and made this first ImpleMéndez Training School such a success.