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Rule of Law Forum for Southeast Europe

19 March 2016

Third Regional Rule of Law Forum in Southeast Europe


Sarajevo, 19 March 2016 - AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe, London, United Kingdom) and Civil Rights Defenders have organised the Third Regional Rule of Law Forum for South East Europe, which took place in Sarajevo, on 18 and 19 March 2016. 

This year’s Forum was focused on the right to a fair trial, particularly on the right to an independent and impartial court, one of the postulates of the rule of law, as well as on the challenges in the respect of this right in the region. 

“Greater judicial effectiveness, an EU accession requirement, must be accompanied by the key features of fair trials, such as judicial independence and impartiality. It is precisely through the application of the Strasbourg Court’s case law that we can ensure respect for those rights and simultaneously strive for fairness and effectiveness,” said Mrs Biljana Braithwaite, AIRE Centre Western Balkans Programme Manager.

“In the UK, we are lucky enough take the independence and impartiality of our justice system for granted. But here in BiH, and in the wider Balkans region, justice systems at all levels are too often subject to inappropriate political influence and pressure,” stated H.E. Edward Ferguson, British Ambassador to BiH, adding: “ So we're delighted to be one of the sponsors of the 3rd Regional Rule of Law Forum. It is a fantastic opportunity for senior judges from across the region and from wider Europe to share experience, and to learn from each other.”

More than 130 eminent representatives of the highest courts, the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, judicial councils, directors of judicial academies, institutions and non-government organisations in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia, as well as these countries’ representatives in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg participated in the work of the Forum.

The Forum is organised with the support of the UK Government, the Swedish International Development Agency, the Regional Cooperation Council and the German International Cooperation Agency GIZ. The Forum aims at improving the enforcement of the European Convention on Human Rights and facilitating the EU accession efforts of the countries of the region.


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