JUFREX supporting legal professionals in North Macedonia as local trainers on freedom of expression

Struga 17 - 21 May 2022
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JUFREX supporting legal professionals in North Macedonia as local trainers on freedom of expression

As part of the ongoing capacity building activities for legal professionals in North Macedonia, a training of trainers was conducted with judges, prosecutors and lawyers. It aimed to share and provide important knowledge and tools for enhancing their capacities as trainers in the field of freedom of expression and exchange on how to improve the application of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the judiciary system.

This 5-days training was organised within the joint EU/CoE action “Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media in North Macedonia (JUFREX)” which is supporting the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors and the Bar Association in North Macedonia in building its capacities and expanding the network of local legal professionals who are trained as future trainers on freedom of expression related topics, and thus support the efforts in achieving the European standards in the field.

An important resource tool in this field is the Handbook for Trainers on Freedom of Expression developed under the first phase of the action, and further updated and enriched during the second phase. The handbook provides best practices and key principles of freedom of expression, its limitations, balancing of the right to private life and the right to freedom of expression, positive obligations of the state and corresponding case studies and practical exercises.

During the last Training of Trainers (ToT), two international Council of Europe experts provided detailed presentations on key topics covered by the Handbook, focusing on the specific methodological aspects to be applied by the future trainers, thus ensuring sustainability of JUFREX action. The experts shared their extensive knowledge on the European standards and advised on how to improve the use the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in the domestic judicial practice.

The local expert engaged by the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors presented on the local aspects of the topics concerned, facilitated the training, and encouraged a fruitful discussion and exchange of opinions and experience among the participants.

The training was interactive, and participants were engaged in experience exchanging discussions and presentations of cases following various assignments that were given to them as part of the training.

This action is a part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II”, that enables the Beneficiaries to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, including where relevant within the framework of the EU enlargement process.