Judicial assistants from the appellate regions of Nis and Kragujevac attended one-day workshops on dealing with risks of undue influence effectively on 23 and 24 October respectively. More than 50 judicial assistants from central and southern Serbia are now equipped with skills to effectively counter risks of both internal and external pressures.
Two Council of Europe experts were joined by elected members of the High Judicial Council, who presented the competences of this institution in reporting and reacting to undue influences, especially those coming from the executive.
Several case studies from Council of Europe member states were discussed, including the European Court of Human Rights case law. Special attention was put on recognising and reacting to internal pressures, and on the media as a source of pressure on the one hand, and a possible tool for resisting it on the other.
The workshop in Kragujevac was opened by Mr Tobias Flessenkember, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, who thanked the High Judicial Council for their partnership and emphasised that the Council of Europe is at the disposal of the Serbian judiciary for any further expertise and/or technical assistance it may require.
The workshops are organised as part of the on-going Action on “Strengthening Legal Guarantees for Independent and Impartial Tribunals”, co-funded by the European Union and Council of Europe’s joint Horizontal Facility programme for the Western Balkans and Turkey, implemented by the Council of Europe.