Promoting Judicial Independence in Central and Eastern Europe

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cj-mac-cro-clAs part of our continuing engagement with the judiciaries from across the Central and East European region, the CEELI Institute recently co-sponsored an event, in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Macedonia addressing the ongoing challenges to judicial independence across the region—both within and without the EU. The program, held in late October, at Lake Ohrid, drew over 70 participants, including judges from Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia and Slovenia. The event provided a critically important platform for judges to exchange views and experiences in how best to respond to increasing external pressures on the judiciary. Particular attention was devoted to how judges can most effectively cope with pressures from the media, from the government and from external political sources, without compromising their integrity. For judiciaries still emerging from communist past, these issues have never been fully resolved. Judges in the region must continue to grapple with balancing their accountability and independence. This event was also generously supported by the US Embassy in Skopje and by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL).

Supporting Judges on the Front Lines in Combating Terrorism

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group-shot-malta_nov-director-thinks-conflicted-copy-2016-11-21In October, the CEELI Institute continued its ongoing efforts to support judges in countries on the front lines in the fight against terrorism, with support from the US Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau. This latest program brought together judges from the Middle East and North Africa–specifically, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon–along with judicial counterparts from the US and Germany for the intensive three day exchange on useful practices for judges faced with adjudicating cases involving terrorism and national security issues. Our program curriculum again followed the format we developed for previous trainings provided to judges and prosecutors in the Western Balkans, relying on The Hague Memorandum on Good Practices for the Judiciary in Adjudicating Terrorism Offenses, a Good Practice document based on relevant international guidance and developed under the auspices of the 30-nation Global Counter Terrorism Forum (see www.thegctf.org).

The October program was organized in Malta, in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (www.theiij.org). Judges from the United States and Germany with specialized experience in counter-terrorism adjudication facilitated highly interactive participant exchanges, using real case studies, Socratic tools and hypothetical problems. We were gratified by the enthusiastic response and intense level of participant participation in the program. Participants were eager to share their experiences, ask questions of one another, and explore ways in which they could implement effective changes in their countries’ counter-terrorism adjudication practices. As this program continues, CEELI looks to build on the relationships it has established in working with these first two groups of judges in the MENA and Balkan regions. Additional workshops will be held in 2017 for judges from both regions – updated and improved with feedback from the previous sessions. In addition, a non-state-specific case management tool/checklist is already in the preliminary stages of development with the idea being to create a universally applicable tool for judges who will be overseeing complicated terrorism cases in the future.

Mission: Siberia – Discussion and exhibition

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mission-siberia

The Embassy of the Republic of Lithuanian together with the CEELI Institute in Prague would like to invite you to the presentation of a Lithuanian youth project “Mission: Siberia”. The presentation of the project will be made by two participants of Mission Siberia 2016 Karolina Tamašauskaite and Simonas Jazavitas.

Presentation will be followed by a discussion “Why is it important to know your history?”, panelists include:

Sergei Lukashevski, the director of the Sakharov Museum and Public Center in Moscow

Neela Winkelmann, Managing Director of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience

Štěpán Černoušek from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and head of the www.gulag.cz project.

Introductions by Christopher Lehmann, Executive Director of the CEELI Institute, and H. E. Edvilas Raudonikis, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania.

Those attending the event will have the opportunity to visit a photography exhibition showcasing ten years of Mission Siberia expeditions to the different parts of ex-Soviet Union.

Working language – English.

RSVP vaida.nemeckova@urm.lt

T: 257 210 122

Tunisia: Workshop on Corruption in Tax Administration 

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2016-11-03-at-12-05-25The CEELI Institute has returned to Tunisia on November 2-3 to organize another workshop in cooperation with the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Agency (INLUCC), this time focused on detecting and investigating corruption in the tax area. Close to forty participants from the INLUCC and a range of other government bodies, including government auditors, tax departments, accountants, lawyers and judges met to discuss the issue in Tunis.

The session was led by veteran Canadian prosecutor John Pearson, together with Tunisian magistrate Mohamed Ayadi.