Europeanisation of judicial culture in the Western Balkans discussed in Den Haag as part of regional MATRA research

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The Institute for Democracy (IDSCS) and Asser Institute co-organised an advocacy visit and promotional event from 20-23 June in the Hague, Netherlands. The purpose of the advocacy visit was to examine to which extent the features of the judicial culture in the Western Balkans diverge from more developed judicial systems such as the Dutch and how we should further address the challenges.

In the Hague, Zoran Nechev, Head of the Centre for EU integrations within IDSCS and the researchers at the project Fjoralba Caka, Lecturer of EU Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tirana and Senior Researcher at the ALTRI, Denis Preshova, Associate Researcher at the IDSCS and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus” in Skopje and Tanasije Marinković, full-time Professor at the Faculty of Law Belgrade and Associate at CEPRIS participated the advocacy visit were hosted by Narin Idriz, Senior Researcher at the Asser Institute.

The researchers met with Senior Research Associates Jan Marinus Wiersma (former MEP) and Tony van der Togt from the Clingendael Institute; Nienke Dekens, Senior Policy Officer migration, Rule of Law for the Western Balkans and Turkey, NPPP (Matra), Janneke Fokkema, Senior Policy Officer, and Jasper Vlaanderen, Policy Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; and the Helsinki Committee team working on the MATRA project Media Freedom in the Western Balkans Jouri Buhrer Tavanier, Programme Manager Integrity and Accountability NHC and Iris van Loon, Junior Programme Officer NHC and their project partner Nada Josimovic, Senior Programme Coordinator Free Press Unlimited. They have also visited the Council for the Judiciary where they met with Robert van der Laan, Deputy Head Strategy Department and Robert Hentzen, Head of Department Management; and the Training Centre for Judges (SSR) in Utrecht where they were welcomed by Remco van Tooren, Vice Chairman of the Board and Margreet Blaisse, Dean and Board member SSR.

On 21st of June, as part of the advocacy visit, Asser Institute together with IDSCS co-organised the promotional event Europeanisation of judicial culture in the Western Balkans. At the event the researchers presented their findings on the regional research on Judicial Culture and the Role of Judges in Developing the Law in North Macedonia, Albania and Serbia.

The visit is part of the project “Bridging the gap between formal processes and informal practices that shape judicial culture in the Western Balkan”, coordinated by IDSCS in cooperation with the Centre for judicial research CEPRIS, A.L.T.R.I and the Asser Institute (Centre for International and European Law) from the Netherlands. The project is supported by the Netherlands’ Fund for Regional Partnership – MATRA.

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