Back Council of Europe HELP Course on Access to Justice for Women launched to empower Judges and Prosecutors from the Western Balkans

Western Balkans (online) 17 April 2024
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Imprimer en PDF
Illustration: Council of Europe

Illustration: Council of Europe

In a significant step towards enhancing gender-sensitive legal practices  and strengthening the capacity of judges and prosecutors in addressing gender bias in the judiciary in the Western Balkans, the regional  HELP course on Access to Justice for Women was launched with the support of the EU and Council of Europe.  

The online course, tailored for judges and prosecutors from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo*, aims to equip legal professionals with the necessary tools to address the unique challenges women face within the justice system. Organised by Council of Europe in collaboration with judicial bodies across the region, within a pioneering Mentoring Programme for Legal Professionals on Women’s Access to Justice,  this initiative underscores a collective commitment to ensuring gender equality/equal access to justice for all in the Western Balkans region.

The Council of Europe HELP course on Access to Justice for Women (HELP WAJ) offers comprehensive and practical training modules covering a wide range of topics, including international and European human rights standards, gender-sensitive adjudication, and strategies for combating gender stereotypes within the legal system. Through the tutored tailor-made exercises, case studies, and discussions, participants will gain practical insights and skills essential for enforcing gender-responsive justice.

Speaking at  the event, organisers, tutors and representatives of the judicial training institutes in the region expressed optimism about the positive impact the course will have on legal professionals, ultimately leading to more gender inclusive and non-discriminatory  judicial practices. The words of European Court of Human Rights  former judge Helena Jäderblom  "Justice is not a passive concept; it requires active engagement and commitment to ensure that the rights of all individuals are protected and respected" were used to illustrate the need for ongoing collaboration and dialogue among judges and prosecutors to advance gender equality in order to ensure meaningful access to justice for women across the region.

By empowering legal professionals with the knowledge and skills to uphold women's rights, the HELP WAJ contributes to building a gender responsive justice chain as a guarantee for equal access to justice for women and men.

This  HELP course regional launch is part of the regional action  “Women’s Access to Justice in the Western Balkans”, implemented under European Union and Council of Europe joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye - Phase III which is enabling the Western Balkans Beneficiaries and Türkiye to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, which is also a priority for the EU enlargement process.



* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

* Ky përkufizim është pa paragjykim ndaj qëndrimeve për statusin, dhe është në përputhje me Rezolutën e Këshillit të Sigurimit të Kombeve të Bashkuara 1244/1999 dhe Opinionin e GJND-së mbi shpalljen e pavarësisë së Kosovës.