Retraining Lawyers in Transition Countries of Southeast Europe

December 21, 2007

Donor: Norwegian People’s Aid   
Duration of the project: September 2007 – May 2008

This project has started in 2002 and continued in 2007 and 2008. The aim of the project is to retrain members of legal profession responsible for protection and the implementation of human rights (i.e. legal professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, government officials involved in the reform of judiciary in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the human rights NGOs activists).

Liaison governments’ structures on this project were the Ministries of Justice, Ombudspersons offices, Ministries of Human and Minority Rights, National Judicial Training Institutions in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and Supreme courts. See more in the section Projects 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

In this phase of the project five specialised two-day training courses were held for around 200 participants:

  1. Prohibition of discrimination, Igalo, Montenegro (September 2007)
  2. Organised crime and trafficking in human beings, Zagreb, Croatia (October 2007)
  3. Family law – custody over children with international element, Belgrade, Serbia (November 2007) 
  4. Insult, slander and compensation, Sarajevo, BiH (2007)
  5. Prohibition of torture, Skopje, Macedonia (March 2008) 

One expert dialogue meeting for eight Supreme Courts Judges, four Constitutional Courts Judges and four legal advisors from SEE and Norway was held. They met in Sarajevo in March 2008 and discussed the following topics:
– Independence of judiciary and institutions enabling independence, especially in the context of election and re-election of judges after the political changes;
– Efficiency of system of protection of human rights –  The right to compensation in cases of violation of human rights under Article 13 of the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR);
– Problem of violation of right to trial within reasonable time – legal remedies and their efficiency; 
– European human rights standards – their implementation in jurisprudence of national courts, in particular the application of decisions of European Court for Human Rights.

A compilation of judgements of the European Court for Human Rights related to cases from SEE Trial within a reasonable time was translated and distributed to the participants. The book with the same title was published in the second part of the 2008.

Project web page has been updated and maintained regularly during the whole project in four languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and English). The web page provides information about the project (programs, lists of participants, materials and documents) but also other information relevant for the human rights practitioners, links to the most useful web pages dealing with human rights issues and links to the partner organizations.