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01 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 22364)  

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Title Workshop on ''The role of national human rights structures in case of non execution of domestic judgments'' (year 2) 
Description Staff members of eligible NHRSs will discuss with peers coming from other NHRSs.
A thematic handbook in English, French and Russian will be published following the workshop and will be disseminated for the use of NHRSs and other human rights actors. 
Status Completed 
Date 24/03/2009 - 26/03/2009 
Location Padova, Italy
Countries CoE Members: Albania / Armenia / Azerbaijan / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Croatia / Georgia / Republic of Moldova / Montenegro / Russian Federation / ''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'' / Turkey / Ukraine
Others: Kosovo*
  Joint Programme Activity - Peer project
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Peer project - Setting up an active network of independent non-judicial Human Rights Structures in the Council of Europe member States which are not members of the European Union    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2008/DGHL/JP/1765   Assisting National Human Rights Structures (NHRSs)
Expected Result 1.2 - The staff of the National Human Rights Structures have enhanced their knowledge of European standards of human rights protection, and have extended their awareness of possibilities of action.
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Human Rights
Line of Action ⇒ I.2 – Protecting and promoting Human Rights through the other CoE institutions and mechanisms
Programme ☆ I.2.1  Commissioner for Human Rights

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Workshop (excl. training) 
Directorate Human Rights and Legal Affairs 
CoE Contact FREYMANN, Delphine   email
Partners University of Padua - University or Institute
Last Modified 23/04/2009 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 22364) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The Joint European Union – Council of Europe Programme “Setting up an active network of independent non judicial human rights structures”, or “Peer-to-Peer Project”, aims to empower national human rights structures (NHRSs, i.e. ombudsmen and national institutions) to help prevent or find solutions to human rights violations more effectively at domestic level. Through a series of workshops, where international legal norms are explained and participants discuss their respective experiences to implement these norms, specialised staff members of the national structures can strengthen their own human rights competences and increase their awareness of the possibilities for action at domestic level and for co-operation with international mechanisms.
The 2nd workshop in 2009 of the “Peer to Peer Project” was organised on “The role of NHRSs in case of non execution of domestic judgments”, on 24-26 March in Padua (Italy). The topic was chosen by the Office of the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights in consultation with the network of NHRSs for the following reasons: The lack of proper enforcement of judicial decisions severely affects the efficiency of the State structures, frustrates the citizens’ legitimate expectations and their confidence in the judicial system, the rule of law as well as the effective implementation of human rights in general. This topic therefore lays in the heart of the competencies of ombudsmen and national human rights institutions. 
Output/Results The workshop informed participants of Council of Europe standards and practices on the relevant aspects of the topic. Each presentation was followed by discussions among the NHRS experts on the involvement of their structures in aiding best their own States to ensure that binding judgments of their courts, as well as ensuing judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, are effectively executed. Following an introductory session, each of the three working sessions of the workshop was dedicated to a specific aspect of the non – execution, namely:
• 1. Non execution of domestic court judgments delivered against public entities or against private persons or entities but where public authorities fail to ensure execution;
• 2. Non execution of domestic court judgments that annul a decision taken by public authorities and oblige them to make new one;
• 3. The existence of effective remedies in case of non execution of domestic judgments by public authorities.
The discussions, which took place after each expert’s presentation, showed that this theme is of particular interest to NHRSs. In particular, there were two relevant outputs which made this event quite useful both to NHRSs and to CoE experts:
• a. Experience sharing: This was not an academic meeting going into the last details but a practice oriented one. The discussions were oriented by the speakers towards what NHRSs do and can do in addressing the topic. In addition, NHRSs were made fully aware of the process within the CoE to ensure the execution of the judgments of the Organisation’s Court (including those that are a consequence of a state’s non execution of its domestic court decisions), of the main practical aspects and concerns related to this phase of the ECHR mechanism and of the opportunities for NHRSs to intervene in this phase. The paramount importance for the NHRSs and the CoE to exchange relevant information in a timely manner appeared as essential and good use of the Regular Selective Information Flow (RSIF) issued by the NHRS Unit was encouraged.
• b. Transferring domestic knowledge to the international level: through this workshop the Council of Europe speakers gathered relevant information about existing national practices and legislation, as well as solutions that can later be brought to and implemented on at CoE C.M. level. As the European (ie ECtHR) level is nowadays not in a position to offer solutions to the non-execution within a satisfying time span because of the number of cases brought before it, solving this issue at national level looks like the main way ahead. In this context NHRSs could contribute a lot. 
Conclusions/Follow Up Joining efforts: workshop’s discussion revealed that there is room for joint initiatives and solutions from the side of NHRSs, with the support of the CoE Secretariat and Office of the Commissioner, on the issue of non-execution of domestic judgments. At individual case level, while NHRSs can usually issue only recommendations, they have full access to the facts of the case (including third parties) which is already a first step towards a more transparent and efficient administration. The lack of legally binding value of NHRSs acts should not prevent NHRSs to recommend to the administration, as a sort of “shadow decision”, the best solution on the specific case.

However, NHRSs should not only work on individual cases but also act on a strategic level to change the behaviour of the administration. They may wish, inter alia:
• recommend the establishment of institutions such as the bureaus for remedies established in Greece;
• disseminate information to applicants on the options for seeking remedy;
• spot out legal shortcomings and suggest changes of legislation;
• make use at best of the Council of Europe mechanisms;
• support the work of the Committee of Ministers concerning the execution of judgments;
• turn best practice for specific cases into systemic changes.

As for all P2P workshops, a debriefing paper, containing information for NHRSs who have participated and for those who have not, will be issued in English and Russian and disseminated amongst NHRS and other relevant actors. 
Participants Participants from NHRSs from CoE member States and other institutions. 
Consultants/Experts Ms Vasileia PELEKOU, Deputy and Legal Advisor to the Permanent Representative of Greece to the Council of Europe;
Ms Orsolya JENEY, independent expert, Hungary. 
CoE Secretariat Mr Christos GIAKOUMOPOULOS, Director, Directorate of Monitoring, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, Council of Europe;
Mr Mikhail LOBOV, Head of Legal Division, Registry of the European Court of Human Rights;

Mr Markus JAEGER, Deputy to the Director, Head of the National Human Rights Structures Unit, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights;

Local partners and organisers:
Prof. Marco MASCIA, Director of the Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples of the University of Padua;
Mr Stefano VALENTI, P2P Project Manager, Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights and the Rights of People, University of Padua;
Ms Cinzia CLEMENTE, P2P Asst. Project Manager, Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights and the Rights of People, University of Padua.
Total No. Participants 32 
Last Modified


  * All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.  
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