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Bridging the gap between formal processes and informal practices that shape judicial culture in the Western Balkan

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The underlying objective of this project is to complement the European Commission’s process of vertical judicial Europeanization with an internal, horizontal, initiative that would combine an academic and practical approach in detecting and noting the main shortcomings of our judicial culture, and through consultations with international and regional experts, outline recommendations for future steps in the Europeanization of judicial culture. Taking into consideration that changes in judicial culture occur incrementally and, above all, through education and training process, the recommendations resulting from this project will be aimed to be incorporated in the process of judicial training.

Therefore, the judicial institutions (academies for judges and prosecutors, judicial councils), government institutions dealing with EU integration of the Western Balkan countries, the general and expert public, as well as the European Commission (DG NEAR, DG JUST) are the targets of this project.

The project is coordinated by the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje (IDSCS) from North Macedonia, in cooperation with T.M.C. Asser Instituut from the Netherlands, the Judicial Research Center (CEPRIS) from Serbia, and the Albanian Legal and Territorial Research Initiative (ALTRI), and supported by the Dutch Fund for Regional Partnership (NFRP)/Matra. The project will be carried out and have impact in Skopje (North Macedonia), Belgrade (Serbia) and Tirana (Albania).

In the following two years, the project team will carry out eight activities in the countries concerned, including 1) kick-off conference in Skopje; 2) comprehensive study on judicial culture; 3) expert workshops in Skopje, Belgrade and Tirana; 4) final conference; 5) promotional activities including op-eds, infographics, and podcasts; 6) study visit in Brussels; 7) study visit in The Hague; and 8) incorporation of the judicial culture aspects in judicial training.

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