NGO’s AS JUDICIAL WATCHDOGS: A NEW REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

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NGO’s AS JUDICIAL WATCHDOGS: A NEW REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATIONSimageedit_23_9001199763

The CEELI Institute is gratified to have participated in the preparation of a landmark effort to promote and define the role of NGOs in monitoring court proceedings and the function of the judiciary. The final project report, NGOs and the Judiciary: Watchdog Activities, Interactions, Collaboration, and Communication, was recently published by the Warsaw based Polish NGO, the Institute for Law and Society (INPRIS). The publication represents the culmination of a two-year effort, funded by the International Visegrad Fund  and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The CEELI Institute was one of six key NGOs contributing to this effort, along with counterparts in Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia.

The report establishes key recommendations and good practice guidance for civil society organizations that are engaged in monitoring of the judiciary and judicial function. The recommendations have general applicability well outside the context of Central and Eastern Europe, and are models for NGO watchdog activities, and for NGO interaction with the judiciary. The recommendations emphasize the important role that NGOs and civil society play in assuring the transparent and effective operation of the judiciary, the need for cooperative engagement by NGOs and courts in the process of judicial monitoring, the role of NGOs in judicial training and education, and the need for NGOs to engage in shaping and informing public debate and discourse on the operation and reform of the judiciary.

The full report is available on the INPRIS website:

http://www.inpris.pl/en/whats-going-on-at-inpris/article/t/publikacja-inpris-organizacje-obywatelskie-a-sadownictwo/.

The report is also available for download on the CEELI Institute website: http://ceeliinstitute.org/annual-reports/

Publication on NGOs and the Judiciary

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The CEELI Institute supported the creation of a new publication, “NGOs and the Judiciary – Watchdog Activities, Interactions, Collaboration, Communication” which has been developed under the leadership of the Polish Institute for Law and Society (INPRIS) and in cooperation with five partner organizations from V4 and Balkan countries, including: the CEELI Institute,  Albanian Helsinki Committee (Albania), VIA IURIS (Slovakia), Coalition of Civil Associations “All for fair trials” (Macedonia), and Yucom (Serbia).

The publication is the result of  collaborative work involving all partner organizations. It has been updated on the basis of research conducted by partners in their home countries, as well as the outcomes of the meeting of all organizations in Warsaw in 2015.

Part I of the publication summarizes general recommendations, as well as specific recommendations addressed to the judiciary and to NGOs. Every recommendation is followed by a number of best practice examples that serve as sources of inspiration for improving legal framework and building better relationships between NGOs and the judiciary. Part II contains excerpts from country reports drafted by all partner organizations. Finally, Part II includes annexes with the recommendations translated into Albanian, Macedonian and Serbian.

The present publication was prepared in the framework of the project “NGOs and the Judiciary – Watchdog Activities, Interactions, Collaboration, Communication”, which was supported by the Visegrad Fund (www.visegradfund.org) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (www.mofa.go.kr).

Download (PDF, 889KB)

CEELI Institute Annual Meeting 2016 Wrap-Up

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VOL_2832The Villa Grébovka was packed with friends and colleagues from around the world for the Institute’s Annual Meeting on June 26th-28th, 2016. Board members, faculty, donors, former CEELI alums, and many more friends and colleagues came together in Prague for an opportunity to review our efforts over the past year, and to look ahead to programs for the coming year. This year’s meeting focused particularly on the ongoing challenges involved in delivering assistance in environments that are experiencing deliberate repression of civil society. Attention was given not just to the problems, but to possible solutions, including examination of effective strategies for delivering development assistance and supporting civil society in the face of hostile environments and government repression.

We were particularly delighted this year to welcome the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, the Hon. Andrew Schapiro, to speak about the embassy’s on-going efforts to promote anti-corruption initiatives in the Czech Republic. Ambassador Schapiro praised the Institute’s continued efforts across the spectrum of its programming and fielded some excellent questions on the perception of the US government’s efforts in Prague and across the rest of the country.

The Annual Meeting was rounded out with panels that highlighted current CEELI projects, including overviews of the Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe, and of our on-going anti-corruption courses. Two themed panels addressed Civil Society Organization in Crisis: Strategies for Support and Strategic Lawyering: The Role of Lawyers in Responding to Active Repression of Civil Society and Human Rights. As per usual, the panels proved to be the highlight of the meeting as the Institute welcomed an incredibly impressive array of speakers including Alina L. Romanowski, the U.S. State Department’s Coordinator for Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, Nadia Diuk, Vice President, National Endowment for Democracy, recently released political prisoner and human rights lawyer Rasul Jafarov from Azerbaijan, and Nicola Macbean, Executive Director of The Rights Practice in London.

The event wound down with a cocktail reception at the Villa Grebovka where guests and panelists continued discussions on pertinent issues raised throughout the day. CEELI Institute staff is ever grateful and humbled by the turn-out and support from friends and colleagues from around the globe and are already looking forward to next year’s program!

Promoting Good Practices for Terrorism Adjudication in the Balkans

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Group shot CT 1606In June, the CEELI Institute continued its efforts on a multi-year program to engage judges handling complex cases involving issues of terrorism and national security, including the increasingly serious threats posed in Europe by the transit of foreign terrorist fighters. The program, which aims to promote understanding and use of relevant international “good practices” for judges on these matters, including particularly the Global Counter-terrorism Forum’s (GCTF) Hague Memorandum Good Practices for the Judiciary in Adjudicating Terrorism Offenses, convened a group of 21 judges from the Western Balkans for a 3-day session form June 15-17. Judges from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, as well as prosecutors from Macedonia, were present at the session which elaborated on key good practices and adjudication techniques that were deemed most important to the region during a planning meeting held in February of this year.

The project is implemented in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, based in Malta, and is funded by the US Department of State.

Joining us for this the June session was a “deep bench” of experts including the Hon. John Tunheim, Chief Judge of the US District Court for Minnesota, and a counter-terrorism adjudication expert with years of experience working in the Balkans; Judge Rene Elkerbout, Presiding Judge, District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands (who handled one of the Netherlands groundbreaking foreign fighter cases); Rajko Kozmelj, Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism Initiative Chair at The Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU, and Mike Mullaney (remotely from Washington, DC), Counter-terrorism Section Chief, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice.

The interactive program benefited from the vast and differing experiences among faculty and participants alike. The international experts from Europe and the United States created a thorough depiction of counter-terrorism adjudication across different legal systems that helped participants gain a solid understanding of relevant best practices and how to incorporate them into their future work.

We look forward to further sessions of this project, both for Balkan judges, and for those from the Middle East and North Africa.

Job Opening: Junior Accountant

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Position: JUNIOR ACCOUNTANT
Salary: 22,500 CZK

Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Estimated Start Date: August 2016
Applications considered on a rolling basis

The CEELI Institut, o.p.s. is a Czech non-governmental, non-profit organization. Our mission is to promote the Rule of Law in countries in transition through the delivery of post-graduate educational programs for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, and other legal professionals. We are searching for a new colleague, who will assist to our Head Accountant.

The Junior Accountant (part-time) will be responsible for accrual accounting of petty cash, making cash transactions, booking received invoices, administering asset inventory, and providing support to the Institute’s Head Accountant. Duties will include but are not limited to:

• Accrual accounting of petty cash and bank account transactions
• Payment of invoices and other cash transactions
• Booking of received invoices
• Administration of assets inventory
• Assisting the Head Accountant and the Finance and Administration Manager – providing help with other accrual accounting tasks, project accounting and reporting to donors and partner organizations

We offer
• Part-time position (30 hours / week) in international environment
• Flexible, informal and open-minded work culture in an organization which is respected in the international community of legal professionals
• Opportunity to meet interesting professionals from the around world
• Competitive salary
• Sick days
• Estimated Start Date: August 2016
• One-year contract with possible extension

We require
• Minimum middle school diploma
• Knowledge of Czech financial accounting
• Knowledge of Czech tax law
• Fluency in Czech and English required
• No criminal record
• Detailed focus
• Team player
• Energetic and enthusiastic person with a good sense of humor
• Works well under pressure and tight deadlines
• Good knowledge of PC work and knowledge of accounting software Pohoda
• Experience with accounting in a non-profit organization (advantage, but not necessary)
• Experience with accounting of projects financed from grants (advantage, but not necessary)

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and CV in English and Czech language to mwerenycka@ceeli-inst.org.
Applicants invited for interview will be asked for Criminal Record Check no older than 3 months.