Competition in Human Rights for Judges and Law Students

On April 24-26 the Swedish Helsinki Committee and the organisation Young Lawyers of Serbia arrange a trial game in the Western Balkans. Judges from high courts in the region and from the European Court in Strasbourg will participate in the panel of judges.

The third edition of the Moot Court will be held in Kotor, Montenegro. In the competition, teams from the law faculties in the region participate in a game where a fictitious case is run according to the procedures in the European Court.

Three judges from Strasbourg participate in this year’s edition of the trial games together with judges from high courts in the participating countries. In total 10 teams from Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia will participate in this year’s competition.

Marie Månson, Programme Director for the Western Balkans, visits this year’s edition of the trial games:

“The trial games are a big event in the Western Balkans. Students and universities have been very interested, as well as the judges of the European Court who early on announced that they wanted to participate.”

From Sweden Professor Ove Bring, former member of the board of the Swedish Helsinki Committee, Percy Bratt, lawyer and chairman of the Swedish Helsinki Committee and lawyer Elisabeth Jonsson, will participate. Their task is to be counsellors and clear out obscurities regarding competition rules, procedures and the fictitious case.

This is the third time the Helsinki Committee arranges the games, which are a unique education for law students in the Western Balkans. The trial games give the students, but also the local judges, increased knowledge regarding the European Convention and practical knowledge of rules and procedures in the European Court. Few law faculties in the Western Balkans have courses in international law, or specifically in the European Convention or the European Court. Above all there is a lack of practical exercises. Even among judges and law professors the practical knowledge of the European Convention and the European Court is relatively low.