Council of Europe through “Initiative for legal certainty in the Western Balkans” allocates 300,000 Euros

The two-day Regional conference on ensuring the principle of subsidiarity of the European Court of Human Rights through empowering the judiciaries to apply the Court’s standards held in Sarajevo on 24 and 25 October 2019 gathered over 40 participants across the region.

“Today we are launching a new program which is not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina but for the Western Balkans and it is called “Initiative for legal certainty in the Western Balkans”. The project will last for three years’ and it is worth 300,000 EUR funded by the European Union and co-founded and implemented by the Council of Europe, and is complementing national program for Bosnia and Herzegovina which are implementing with Kingdom of Norway”. – stated Ambassador Drahoslav Štefanek, Head of Office of the Council of Europe in Sarajevo.

The two-day conference gathered the representatives of superior courts from the Western Balkans region. The participants discussed the role of national courts in ensuring that the European Convention on Human Rights is well embedded within the national judicial systems and to identify the tools (IT, institutional) required to efficiently do so.

Ambassador Štefanek stated that national domestic legislation and courts systems should not use the European Court for Human Rights for instance but to use them as subsidiary organ to the system. This is not related only to Bosnia and Herzegovina, or to Western Balkans, but to all 47 states members of the Council of Europe.

Mr Zdravko Knežević, President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed his hope that the Conference will assist to other judges and will give additional perspective to domestic legal practice and obligations of public authorities related to their everyday work.

The major discussion points were focused on the topics of shared responsibility; applicable judicial tools on the European Convention on Human Rights; Human Rights identification and classification in judicial IT tools – ways forward; The role of case law departments in ensuring the coherent judicial application of the ECHR and Judicial dialogue for Human Rights Implementation.

“The topic of the Conference is essential for the enlargement perspective and the future of BiH as an EU member state and especially for fulfilling the recommendations of the opinion of the European Commission focused on judiciary, rule of law and Human Rights.” – stated Mr Krassimir Nikolov, Head of European Integration, Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to BiH.

The conference is organised by the Council of Europe and European Union, in co-operation with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is organised in within the project: “Initiative for legal certainty in the Western Balkans” worth 300,000 EUR funded by the EU and co-funded by the Council of Europe, under the programme “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey II“, but also as part of cooperation within the project Initiative for Legal Certainty and Efficient Judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina, worth 500,000 EUR funded Kingdom of Norway and the Action.

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