Episode Two

Maintaining Access to Justice Part 1: Criminal Courts

The introduction of emergency legislation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been immediate, understandable, and effective. But often it has been drafted and delivered without allowing for judicial oversight. What is the role of the judiciary in ensuring emergency legislation does not impinge on the rights of the citizen? How can the judiciary ensure that domestic safeguards are upheld and international standards are followed? In this episode, we discuss these issues with Judge José Igreja Matos, President of the European Association of Judges, and hear about court challenges to emergency legislation in the Czech Republic from Dr. Jan Grinc, Professor at Charles University. Judge Katica Artuković from Bosnia Herzegovina also provides an on-the-ground view from the bench during the pandemic, and we shine a spotlight on the Brijuni Statement on Judicial Independence, a regional statement that highlights many of the principles examined in this episode.


[1:14] Interview with the Right Honourable Justice Bernard McCloskey

The Right Honourable Lord Justice McCloskey has served as a High Court Judge in Northern Ireland since 2008, and currently serves as the Lord Justice of Appeal, Northern Ireland and Privy Councillor since August 2019. He has also served as the President of the Northern Ireland Judicial Review Court (Sept. 2017 – Sept. 2019), President of the UK Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber (Oct. 2013 – Oct. 2017), Chairman of The Northern Ireland Law Commission (2009 – 2012), Judge-In-Residence at Queen’s University (Belfast 2010 – 2013), Former Deputy Chairman of the Boundary Commission of Northern Ireland, and Judge of the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal. Judge McCloskey is a member of numerous organizations and has penned several publications. He has written over 800 judgments in the High Court, Court of Appeal, English High Court and UK Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) spanning a broad range of subjects.

[17:15} Interview with Ilze Tralmaka, Fair Trials, about Defense Rights during the Pandemic.

Ilze Tralmaka is a Legal and Policy Officer at Fair Trials specializing in the right to a fair trial, specifically defense rights in criminal proceedings. She is currently working on defense rights in remote justice procedures, evidentiary standards, and strategic litigation on EU criminal law. Before joining Fair Trials she worked as a Senior Legal Adviser to the Latvian Parliament representing the Parliament before the Constitutional Court of Latvia. She has previously worked for the national human rights institution (Ombudsman) in Latvia specializing in civil and political rights.