Second Regional Rule of Law Forum for South East Europe

The second Regional Rule of Law Forum for South East Europe

The AIRE Centre and Civil Rights Defenders would cordially like to invite you to the second Regional Rule of Law Forum for South East Europe on the 6 and 7 of March 2015 in the hotel Falkensteiner, Belgrade (Serbia).

The aim of the Forum is to promote the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the region, to encourage regional cooperation in the continued development of Rule of Law and Human Rights, and to assist the process of EU integration of the region.

The invited participants are from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. We are hoping to bring together the judges from the region, who sit in the European Court for Human Rights, with the representatives of the Supreme Courts and Constitutional Courts from the region, Directors of Judicial Training Academies and Institutions, Government Agents before the Strasbourg Court, and the representatives of NGO’s and prominent legal experts in the field. Judges of the European Court of Human Rights Ledi Bianku (Republic of Albania), Ksenija Turković (Republic of Croatia), Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska (Republic of Macedonia), Nebojša Vučinić (Montenegro) and Dragoljub Popović (Republic of Serbia) have confirmed their attendance and participation in the Forum.

Taking into account the concerns raised during the debates at the 2014 Forum and the suggestions of several national and Strasbourg judges, the 2015 Forum will provide the opportunity to take part in regionally focused plenary discussions about the latest developments in ECtHR case law and discussions with national judges about Article 6 (fair trail) of the Convention. A disproportionately high number of complaints are brought before the European Court from the region, and they frequently disclose an imperfect familiarity with and understanding of the European Court’s jurisprudence.

The aim of the conference will be to discuss key obstacles to effective national implementation, specifically within the topic of Article 6 of the Convention. This will include issues that were identified in the previous Forum such as: the lack of

coherence in national jurisprudence, the lack of reasoning behind judgments, the role and significance of precedent, issues of non-enforcement of judgments, access to court and practical aspects with regards to equality of arms. We aim to promote regional cooperation in overcoming those obstacles and to enable all the participants to share and learn from each others experiences.

The organizers will also promote the recently launched regional database containing ECtHR jurisprudence in national languages, which is a result of the cooperation of the AIRE Centre legal team with the Government Agents in Strasbourg from the region. The database provides judges, prosecutors and other legal practitioners with easy access to ECHR jurisprudence in local languages, and thereby assists as a resource to strengthen the implementation of the Convention at national level.
After last year’s success, both in terms of attendance and of engagement, we would like to make invited courts and institutions aware of the possibility of sending more than one representative. Due to budgetary and management constraints we will be able to fund one place per invited court or organization and will be able to receive a maximum of three persons for each, provided that the additional participants bear their expenses. We encourage you to do so and to make this year’s event even more successful than the last one.

Should you wish to discuss any specific topics or issues within Article 6 of the Convention, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We aim to send further details and the final agenda of the event to all participants in February.

You are kindly advised to confirm your presence by sending e-mail to our colleague Srđan Miljević (info@rolforum.org) at the latest by 31 of January 2015.

With very best wishes,

Goran Miletić
Civil Rights Defenders

Biljana Braithwaite
The AIRE Centre