Support to the Ombudsperson Office and the Constitutional Court of Montenegro in applying European human rights standards
The main partners and beneficiaries of the Project were the Ombudsperson, staff and experts of the Ombudsperson’s Office, judges and legal advisors of the Constitutional Court.
The main objective was to contribute to improve the protection of human rights in Montenegro, through the strengthening of the capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office and the Constitutional Court to apply European human rights standards in their daily work.
The following outputs were delivered and results achieved:
- the capacities of the staff of the Ombudsperson’s Office to process anti-discrimination cases has been significantly enhanced, with increased knowledge of European human rights standards and ECtHR case law as well as concrete guidelines developed for resolving the complaints on discrimination from various grounds;
- the capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office to carry out its responsibilities as National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture has improved, with practical trainings of the NPM staff. Exchange of experiences with colleagues from more advanced NPM institutions from Council of Europe countries improved their abilities to make concrete recommendations and follow-up of cases of human rights violations as well as conduct on-site monitoring visits to places of deprivation of liberty.
- the Ombudsperson’s office in Montenegro adopted its own internal procedures for processing anti-discrimination and torture/ill-treatment monitoring visits and reports, which allowed them to significantly increase their efficiency in terms of timelines and quality of reports;
- the capacity of the Constitutional Court judges and advisors to deal with individual applications has been strengthened through targeted trainings on specific ECHR articles with ECtHR judges and lawyers, exchange of experiences with constitutional courts from Council of Europe countries and introduction of modern electronic case management and filtering system;
- support was provided during the process of drafting of a new law on Constitutional court to observe the Council of Europe and Venice Commission standards – which all eventually led to the decision of the ECtHR to proclaim the constitutional complaint in Montenegro as an effective legal remedy in November 2015.
Immediate follow up of the project has been ensured through PREDIM project (link) and the Horizontal Facility framework, intending to capitalize on the SOCCER results in terms of beneficial cooperation with national institutions with human rights protection mandate as well as judiciary towards successful application of ECtHR case law on national level.