Second edition of the HELP Training-of-Trainers

The second edition of the HELP training-of-trainers course (ToT) was held in Strasbourg from 16th- 19th February 2015. The purpose was to ensure for legal professionals a high quality of training on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The conference was addressed by several distinguished experts, including Judge Spano, Mr Andrew Drzemczewski, Prof. Martin Kuijer, Mr Vincent Berger and Mr Szymon Janczarek. The ToT also included group training sessions on the use of HUDOC and the HELP Moodle Platform and introduced participants to some of the curricula currently available on the HELP platform. The conference was well received by attendees and the HELP Secretariat looks forwards to certifying new national trainers.

HELP in the field meeting

On the 19th and 20th February in Strasbourg the HELP Secretariat was delighted to host a HELP in the Field meeting. Mr Mikhail Lobov and Ms Tatiana Termacic opened the conference by discussing the strengths and futures challenges of HELP, and the important role Field Officers can play in encouraging the integration of HELP tools and methodology in various projects.

The meeting provided a welcome opportunity to present the HELP network, methodology, activities and e-learning resources. There was also fruitful discussion from participants on the projects being implemented in the field and the role HELP can play in current and future works.

20 newly certified trainers at the Armenian Justice Academy

On 12 February 2015, the Council of Europe awarded certificates to 20 trainers of the Armenian Justice Academy who participated in two training-of-trainers seminars organised in October and November 2014.  The aim of the seminars was to equip the trainers with new tools and interactive methodologies essential for the delivery of high-quality professional training on human rights issues. Thanks to the acquired knowledge, the trainers of the Justice Academy will now be able to design their own case studies and training materials on specific human rights issues. They will also deliver a number of cascade seminars in the Justice Academy in 2015.

HELP’s partner, the "Mémoire Albert Cohen" Foundation, awards literary prize

The prize is awarded by “Mémoire Albert Cohen” Foundation every year to a novel written in French, which questions the role of the foreigner, as Albert Cohen did in both his books and in his international career as a civil servant, through which he reflected his humanist approach, having promoted the rights of refugees and stateless persons in the aftermath of the Second World War. This year, the award winning novel is “Ce sont des choses qui arrivent” by Pauline Dreyfus.


The ceremony took place in the Constitutional Council, under the auspices of its President, Jean-Louis Debré, who emphasised that the mission of the Foundation has never been so relevant, with thousands of migrants dying every year at Europe’s borders. He also said that “liberty needs a state” and that humour is a vital accompaniment to the fight for freedom.


Launch of the course on Family Law and Human Rights for Italian Judges

The kick-off meeting for the launch of the distance learning course on Family Law and Human Rights for Italian judges will be held in Scandicci, Florence on 8 and 9 January 2015. The event is organised in cooperation with the Italian School for the Judiciary and it will take place at its premises.

After an introduction to HELP and its methodology, the kick-off meeting will be focusing on the role of the Italian judges in the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in the field of Family Law as well as the Italian legal framework.

Bosnia and Herzegovina must establish a political system for elections without discrimination

25.12.2014. Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg issued in July this year, which instructs BiH to adopt amendments to the Election Law and the Constitution of BiH in order to enable all citizens to run for the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH and the BiH Presidency became final after December 15, when appeal BiH filed to this verdict was rejected.

The application was filed by Azra Zornic who refused to declare affiliation to any particular ethnic group but declares herself as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In accordance with the Constitution, only those who declare affiliation with the so-called “constituent peoples” (namely, Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs) are entitled to stand for election.

The implementation of the project on “Strengthening the Capacity of the Turkish Judiciary on Freedom of Expression"

The Launching Event of the Council of Europe and European Union Joint Project on Strengthening the Capacity of the Turkish Judiciary on Freedom of Expression will be held on 11 December 2014 in Ankara. The occasion will be honored by the participation of H.E. Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, Minister of Justice, and high level representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Council of Europe, Central Finance and Contracts Unit and Turkish judiciary.

Kick-off meeting for the launch of the course on Family Law and Human Rights for Austrian legal professionals

The kick-off meeting for the launch of the course on Family Law and Human Rights will be held in Vienna on 10 December 2014 at the premises of the Federal Ministry of Justice. The event will take place in the presence of Mr Axel Weissenfels, judge and representative from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Oliver Scheiber, judge and HELP Focal point for Austria, Mr Rupert Wolff, attorney, President of the Austrian Bar and Mr Roberto Rivello, manager of the HELP Programme.

News release of the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commisioner: Bosnia & Herzegovina: UN experts raise alarm on imminent release of a man convicted of genocide

19 November 2014 - A group of United Nations human rights experts have raised the alarm over the potential imminent release of Mr. Milorad Trbic, who was convicted in 2009 by the Bosnian State Court of committing genocide in Srebrenica and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The experts' call comes after the Bosnian Constitutional Court quashed the verdict and ordered a retrial, without questioning Mr. Trbic's guilt. The Constitutional Court has overruled over a dozen other convictions for war crimes and aiding genocide over the past year, following its highly questionable legal interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in Maktouf and Damjanović.