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HELP Network Conference 2014

The 2014 annual Network Conference of the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (the HELP Programme) will take place on 16-17 June in Strasbourg.

This year’s event is entitled “From good training to good judgments: challenges, methodologies and perspectives”. The topic takes its source of inspiration from the speech that Mr Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered on the occasion of the last year’s HELP Conference. He stated inter alia that good training should result in good judicial decisions. Furthermore, he suggested that the identification of the main obstacles that might prevent good training from resulting in good judicial decisions should be part and parcel of the training efforts.

The conference is organised under the CoE Chairmanship of Azerbaijan. The event will be opened by Mr Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director of Human Rights (DG-I), and Mr Togrul Musayev, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Key note speakers will include Mr Guido Raimondi, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and President of Section, and Ms Danutė Jočienė, Judge of the Lithuanian Constitutional Court, former Judge of the ECtHR. They will make contributions respectively on Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and on the role of national courts in defending human rights and preserving the human rights protection system.

The event will gather representatives from all member states of the CoE and from several national and international professional organisations involved in capacity building of legal professionals. It will aim at providing the best possible tools for judges, prosecutors and lawyers on how to use the ECHR and other human rights standards in their daily practice. This includes the use of modern technologies and the most updated training materials in national languages.

Conceived as workshops, three working groups will discuss various aspects regarding human rights training methodology, co-operation among international organisations on capacity development to improve the implementation of the ECHR, obstacles to practical application of human rights knowledge, co-operation with national institutions in view of assessing the longer-term impact of human rights training on the work of legal professionals, HELP methodology for distance and blended human rights learning, etc.

The HELP Programme has been developed as a result of the Interlaken and Brighton Declarations, which expressed member states’ determination to ensure effective implementation of the ECHR at the national level by providing appropriate information and training about the Convention in the study, training and professional development of judges, lawyers and prosecutors. In its Resolution no. 1982 (2014), the CoE Parliamentary Assembly highlighted the particular role of HELP in providing assistance with training on the Convention as interpreted by the Court in any member State that requests it. The Programme is being implemented by the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DG-I). It is funded by a voluntary contribution from the CoE’s Human Rights Trust Fund.



Working groups

Conference report