Environment and Human Rights: first HELP online course ever launched for Serbian professionals

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© Council of Europe

© Council of Europe

On 29 September 2021, a group of 21 Serbian misdemeanour and trainee judges attended the first ever seminar-course launch on Environment and Human Rights. The event was organised in cooperation with the Judicial Academy of the Republic of Serbia.

In his opening remarks, Sonja Vidanovic expressed, on behalf of the Judicial Academy, her satisfaction with the continuous cooperation with the Council of Europe in the filed of human rights training. Eva Pastrana, Head of the Justice and Human Rights Division, noted that the Serbian Judicial Academy is the first one to implement this course and illustrated the recent achievements under the HELP Programme. Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, emphasise the importance of the environmental protection and congratulated participants who are making an important step by taking the HELP course.

The launch event included a session on the European Court of Human Rights and the environment, provided by Natalia Kobylarz, Senior Lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights and author of the HELP course.

Moreover, the course tutor, Mirjana Drenovak-Ivanovic, introduced the course, and its adaptation to the Serbian legislation and practice. Participants were informed about the course format and content.

The free HELP online course addresses the legal frameworks and practical approaches that will support legal practitioners and others in understanding the connections between human rights and the environment, in particular how to apply a human-rights based approach to environmental protection.

Following the event, participants will take the online course through the HELP e-learning platform as translated into Serbian and adapted to the local context and legislation.

The course is launched within the scope of the action “Strengthening the effective legal remedies to human violations in Serbia in cooperation with the regional action “HELP in the Western Balkans” as part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”, implemented by the Council of Europe.

The HELP online course on Environment and human rights is also available in English in a self-learning format on the HELP e-learning platform to any legal professional interested in the topic. Those who complete it in self-learning mode can obtain an electronic ‘Statement of accomplishment’.