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The Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House (Lithuania) hosted a workshop on the right to a fair trial for lawyers and judges

Between August 25 and 27, 2017, the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House (Vilnius, Lithuania) hosted a seminar entitled “The right to a fair trial: standards of Article 14 of ICCPR and Article 6 of ECHR in the light of the criminal process.”

Students of the training course “Standards of Human Rights in the Practice of Lawyers and Judges” as well as attorneys and lawyers from the Republic of Belarus attended the seminar.

During the event, participants got acquainted with following topics:

  • The right to a fair trial in international documents and practice;
  • Some practical aspects of the right to a fair trial;
  • The system of Human Rights Protection of the United Nations.

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The experts at the seminar were:

  • Professor Jeremy McBride, Attorney, and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights;
  • Serhii Zaiets, lawyer and expert of the training course “Standards of Human Rights in the Practice of Lawyers and Judges”;
  • Roman Kysliak, lawyer and ILIA program expert at the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House.
  • Professor Oleksandr Vashkevych, European Humanities University, judge emeritus of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus, ILIA expert.

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The seminar program, in addition to expert lectures, included visits to the Advice Council of Lithuania, meetings with Lithuanian lawyers and judges, discussions and informal communication.

As Konstiantyn Shalota, participant of the seminar and judge of the Koroliovsk District Court of the city of Zhytomyr, noted, “The held event, hosted by the Belarusian Human Rights House, was informationally rich, interesting, and unique. The visit to the Council of the Lithuanian Bar Association and communication with Lithuanian lawyers and the President of the Vilnius Court of Appeal made possible to identify the commonalities in the movement vector between them and their Ukrainian and Belarusian counterparts in pursuit of the implementation of European standards for the protection of human rights in their daily professional activities.”

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“I have unforgettable impressions after the meeting and talk to Prof. Jeremy McBride, who shared his encyclopedic knowledge and his own life experience with the application of ECHR case law under Art. 6 of the European Convention”, judge Shalota noted.

Anna Kryvtsova, participant of the seminar and judge of the Zarichnyi District Court of Sumy, also spoke about her experience at the seminar.

“Impressions after the seminar in Vilnius, hosted by the Belarusian Human Rights House, were unforgettable, festive and inspirational. Everything was interesting – vivid communication with colleagues from Belarus and Lithuania, lectures by Jeremy McBride and Roman Kysliak, a practical case developed by Serhii Zaiets. Many impressions of excursions, museums, city walk with colleagues. The atmosphere in our audience was the most memorable – it turns out that we are all fans of our profession and become human rights fans. It seems to me that Jeremy McBride was pleased to talk to the non-indifferent listeners who were ready for the discussion and so persistently advocated their views. He even noticed that when he listened to the arguments of lawyers of the “government,” he was surprised by their confidence, their sincere belief in what they were saying and their ability to persuade others. He would like to see such prominent lawyers on the applicants’ side, not the side of the “government”, says Anna Kryvtsova.

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She said that for her, the greatest finding of the seminar was understanding that shifts and changes for the better in the system are possible with the help of individuals, same human rights fans.

“I understood this by communicating with colleagues from Belarus. Let positive changes take place with us so that we can feel it”, Anna Kryvtsova wished.

This seminar was held within the framework of the cooperation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Educational Human Rights House – Chernihiv and the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House (Vilnius, Lithuania) and was supported by the Human Rights House Foundation.

The training course “Standards of Human Rights in the Practice of Attorneys and Judges” is a unique educational program of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. The general objective of the course is to promote the observance and protection of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine, the implementation of international human rights standards in the national legal system through the strengthening of the professional capacity of practicing forensic lawyers.

More about the course at http://hrs-course.helsinki.org.ua/

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