The two-day seminar aimed at deepening the understanding of the importance of the jurisprudence of the ECHR took place in Skopje on 6 and 7 June. Judges and Justices from first and second instance courts from all over Macedonia, as well as representatives of the Macedonian Ministry of Justice and various defense lawyers were addressed by professor Kuijer, the Governmental Agent of the Macedonian Ministry of Justice, Ms. Radica Lazareska Gerovska, and Judge Mirjana Radevska Stefkova of the Macedonian Supreme Court. After a brief outline of the historical and institutional development of the European Court of Human Rights, the seminar focused on the cases against the Republic of Macedonia, the interaction between Straatsburg and the national domain, the effects of the Convention standards on the legislative practice, and the effects of ECHR judgments on the Macedonian administration of justice. On the second day of the seminar three Convention provisions, articles 3, 5 and 6 – the right to protection against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to protection against abuse of power by the administration, and the right to a fair trial – were highlighted.
As a result of the seminar, a large group of Macedonian key legal professionals has been well informed about the role and importance of the jurisprudence of the ECtHR for the member states of the Council of Europe. Next to a following seminar on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), tentatively planned for December 2011, the project team will look into ways to structurally incorporate an ECHR and ECJ course in the continuous training programme for Macedonian judges and public prosecutors.
Another important project part is the design and strengthening of an open source jurisprudence database containing Macedonian and international jurisprudence. A first meeting between the Macedonian stakeholders in the legal field and a Dutch legal informatics advisor will be held after summer.