Nine judges apprenticeship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights

Nine judges apprenticeship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights
Nine judges apprenticeship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights under the project "Support to the Supreme Judicial Council related to capacity building and improving the efficiency of the judicial system" implemented by the Supreme Judicial Council, funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014. What are the similarities and differences between their internship at the Registry and their work in Bulgarian courts and what their internship improves the judge's daily life, we learn from Galia Ruseva, Ivaylo Ivanov, Chavdar Dimitrov, Irina Ganeva and Vasil Panayotov.
How did you hear about the opportunity to participate in internship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights and what motivated you to apply?
Galia Ruseva: internship at the Registry of the ECHR is part of the project implemented with the support of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism aimed at raising the competitiveness of Bulgarian magistrates in applying the standards of the Strasbourg Court in the procedures for protecting human rights and freedoms. The project itself and the possibility of participation of Bulgarian magistrates as interns at the Registry of the ECtHR were made public on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council in the spring of 2013, when it started and recruitment of candidates for the first group of magistrates who had to go to practice the ECHR. The project has provided an exceptional opportunity for successful candidates to get acquainted with the functioning of the ECHR as an institution and practice of the Strasbourg Court on the interpretation and application of the principles of the Convention. This is what motivated me to apply for an internship project.
Ivaylo Ivanov: For this opportunity I learned of the notice published on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council. I handed the documents and after a selection by the Registry of the ECHR, including solving a written case study and interview, I was among the successful candidates. In terms of motivation for applying - I always wanted to see things from inside the "kitchen". The notion of Bulgarian magistrates, and general and Bulgarian lawyers for the Court is more or less abstract. Lack of clarity regarding the operation of this institution. Her image seems no clear outline. In fact, it turned out that the internal organization of the Strasbourg Court is far more understandable for Bulgarian judges than I had imagined. European Court of Human Rights is primarily Court, although international - with its internal rules on the allocation of work to judges and employees with its filing program limits the cases, etc.
What were your direct responsibilities at the Registry of the ECHR and how they differ from your work as a judge?
Chavdar Dimitrov: The direct our commitments resembled more the tasks of the judicial assistant in the Bulgarian judicial system and expressed generally in preparation reasoned written opinions after approval are made by the rapporteur of the registry of the court to sole judicial panel with jurisdiction to declare complaint against the Republic of Bulgaria manifestly unfounded. We participated in the preparation and opinions on legal proceedings in the format committee composition or enlarged. Furthermore, we were involved in drafting legal opinions on the application of the law and established case law in Bulgaria on issues crucial to cases against other Member States as well as in the development of English-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-English dictionary with the established legal terms of Convention and the jurisprudence of the ECtHR.
Ivaylo Ivanov: Our obligations at the Registry of the Court were mainly related to the preparation of draft judgments on the admissibility of complaints against the Republic of Bulgaria. Some of the cases entrusted to us revealed significant legal and factual complexity even at the level of national legislation and case law. Complaints Appeals, however, should be viewed through the prism of the eligibility criteria under the Convention. Trying to "run away" from its assessment of the national judge of the merits of the complaint and regularity of production laid down in national legal acts was, at least at the beginning of our work challenging. Like mixing of competences of national courts and the ECHR in fact often allowed by the applicants themselves or their legal representatives. Not accidentally, one of the most common grounds for inadmissibility of complaints is related to the classification as such by the so-called. "Chetvartoinstantsionen type". The ECHR is not a supranational Court of Cassation, which can cancel the decisions of national courts or prereshava already considered by them disputes and should Article 19 of the ECHR, which defines its competency in the following way: "... to ensure that the obligations undertaken by the High Contracting parties under the Convention and its Protocols. ".
Besides the work on the draft decisions on admissibility complaints we were commissioning and preparing reports on specific issues of Bulgarian legal theory and jurisprudence. Such reports are prepared by the various units of the Registry of the Court and used in the preparation of comparative legal studies in cases of particular importance, usually considered by the Grand Chamber of the Court. Preparing translations of complaints made in Bulgarian, but filed against other states - Parties. Usually this is the situation when Bulgarian citizens living abroad lodge a complaint against the state in which they live. We took part in preparing the brief English-Bulgarian glossary of basic concepts with which the Court treated in their decisions.
How internship enrich your knowledge about the application of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the ECHR?
Galia Ruseva: During our internship at the Registry had the opportunity to engage in various specialized modular courses in basic texts of the Convention. We met with the leading judgments of the Court in Strasbourg in these texts. These decisions formulate principles, and give specific content to the relevant provisions of the Convention and its Protocols. We were able to trace how these principled positions carried over into concrete facts and to explain why the ECHR decisions that sometimes we seem "strange" fact based on established and tested principles that have their own logic and take account of a number of political, social , cultural and others. public relations. So I think the experience we gained during this experience is extremely valuable and useful.
Chavdar Dimitrov: Undoubtedly work in the registry of the ECHR is recognized internationally format to promote the activities of the Court and raise the expertise of lawyers from the Member States. In this respect, this service is approved by the Council of Europe and the ECHR format giving positive results for a number of Member States for decades and is guaranteed the best form to enrich professional knowledge in the application of the Convention and the ECtHR case law.
Irina Ganeva: Apart from the direct work that was given to me, I was involved in a number of trainings on the case on the Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Each of them was extremely useful because it was led by lawyers working at the Court, which required us to get acquainted with the materials, which were held workshops and thus all participants are actively involved in the discussions. Getting acquainted with the case law of the ECHR handed down on complaints against other countries and exchanging information with fellow judges from those countries broadened their knowledge and their national laws and judicial procedures.
Do you consider that the acquired knowledge will be useful in your daily work as a judge?
Chavdar Dimitrov: This is undeniable. The Council of Europe and later ECHR are created in postwar Europe, precisely in order to restore and consolidate the rule of law after its discrediting in the two world wars. We are part of the same Europe and ensuring the rule of law is a fundamental objective of our daily professional activities. Any decision of the ECHR, not only against our own country, but also against each of the other member states shall establish or approve legal standards that are binding on us and whose disregard ensure future sanctions against our country. In this sense, the main goal of Bulgarian magistrates is carrying out justice in line with the ECHR case law. As an administrative judge may indicate that one of the latest solutions and cited the work of my colleagues is now pilot judgment Neshkov and others. against Bulgaria, given last year, which have to apply in their daily work SMRDA.
Irina Ganeva: When I was leaving Strasbourg, part of the ECHR colleagues asked me whether will henceforth apply the Convention in their direct work as a judge. My answer was that actually judges in Bulgaria apply daily the Convention because it is a system of principles enshrined in national legislation and ensure that individuals access to the courts, equal rights and the rule of law. The knowledge gained during the one-year internship in Strasbourg, giving me the opportunity to join national laws with those of the Convention and to interpret them in the light of ECtHR case law. In this sense, yes, the Court in Strasbourg is applicable in the work of each judge
Vasil Panayotov: Yes, as a significant part of the Court's concerns procedural violations that perform in their daily work in handling cases in the meetings. Many of the principles derived from the text of the Convention contained in our procedural laws - such as basic principles in the Civil Procedure Code - Chapter Two. In fact, in every hearing and consideration of each case, the judges applied consciously or not the Convention.
How would you share acquired during the internship knowledge with fellow judges?
Galia Ruseva: I already had the opportunity to help colleagues from the court in which work on their pending cases. Furthermore, recently launched Magistrates online forum for human rights, in which all judges who made internship at the Registry of the ECHR, are moderators. Through this public platform we hope to have the opportunity to introduce a wider range of colleagues our views on issues that concern them in their daily work.
Ivaylo Ivanov: This can be done in different ways. Starting from informal conversations with colleagues from the Ruse District Court on matters of principle concerning the application of the ECHR, such conduct almost daily through organized local seminars to training for magistrates throughout the country, organized by the National Institute of Justice. I believe extremely useful in this regard would be and online forum for information exchange between Bulgarian magistrates in the field of human rights and the ECtHR case law.

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Nine judges apprenticeship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights Nine judges apprenticeship at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights