“How to detect breakdowns of the rule of law? Citizen’s court watch program” training

Protection of Right without Borders NGO organized a training on “How to detect breakdowns of the rule of law? Citizen’s court watch
program” on April 28-29, 2016 in Sevan.The training was conducted by Poland’s judicial supervision foundation experts Stanislaw Burdziej  and Bartosz pilitowski.Participants from Armenia, as well as from Georgia participated in the training.Participants represented the following organizations Article 42 of the Constitution NGO, Campus lions club Tbilisi, NGO Women centre, Ijevan CYC, Women’s Community Council NGO, Youth movement Davittiunni at Georgian Patriarchate,WRCA women resurs center, Helsinki committee of Armenia, Spitak Helsinki Group Human Rights NGO, World Vision Armenia, Rights information center NGO.

The trainers shared Poland’s best experience on civic oversight over courts, as well as the court oversight methodology elaborated by them.

The experts highlighted, that unlike the trail monitoring which aims at implementing a court’s case in other court from the beginning of the case to its termination, the judicial monitoring is a larger concept and aims not to track the termination of a concrete court’s case, but the court’s functioning in general.

According to the experts, one of the aims of the foundation is to conduct a monitoring with citizens, during which individuals, in accordance with their language ability, obtain sufficient information on right components, court structures of fair trial.

The acquired knowledge will enable the training participants to ensure the accountability of judicial system.

The judicial monitoring is aimed to verify the main criteria for the maintenance of the right to fair trail, particularly right to access the court, equality before the court, conducting fair and transparent/public judicial hearings by the impartial court within the deadlines set by the law. The latter enables to verify the compliance of building conditions with the needs of society all members, as well as court facilities, office and other departments’ work.

“How to detect rule of law gaps” handbook elaborated by the experts was presented to the training participants.

During the training, the training participants were involved in practical team works by presenting the court structures, number of court cases, court’s overload of their own countries, as well as the best practice of judicial monitoring so far implemented. Base on SWOT methodology used in the handbook, the teams also assessed their strong and weak points taking into consideration the country characteristics.

The code of conducts, sampling method, monitoring and their experiments tools, data presentation and management, online data submission, system tailored, final report elaboration, data submission and analysis of experts were presented to the training participants.

Within the period of June 1 to August 31, the training representatives from Armenia and Georgia will be engaged in judicial monitoring procedures conducting in their own countries, the outcomes of which will be presented by the reports elaborated in Armenian and Georgian, the long term aim of which is to support the implementation of the positive changes in Armenian and Georgian justice system.

The training was conducted within the “Building evidence-based advocacy for the rule of law and good governance in EaP countries” project in partnership with Visegard international foundation.