The National Institute of Justice held the Third Session of the Human Rights Forum and Closing Press Conference on the projects it implements, funded under the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 -2021

On 5 April 2024 at the Astoria Grand Hotel, the National Institute of Justice held the third edition of the Human Rights Forum under the motto “From Knowledge to Skills”.

“It is not enough to acquire knowledge, you have to find an application for it”. With these words of Goethe, the Director of the Institute, Miglena Tacheva, opened the forum and outlined the road traveled to build a culture of judicial training based on the formation and development of knowledge, skills and competencies at all levels in the judiciary. “The practical manuals developed under the project “Modern learning environment for judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates and other legal professionals” are a key step in a complex process of modernising judicial training and introducing a competency-based approach.” Today, we present “10 ready-made manuals for all levels of the judiciary, which will be published in electronic format and on paper in 14 books by 30 November 2024. 7 scientific editors and 96 authors – judicial trainers, judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates and experts – have joined this ambitious project. Over 10,000 pages of written material was produced in less than 1 year.”

The Deputy Minister of Justice Ms. Yulia Kovacheva expressed her firm belief that the developed resources will ensure the sustainability of the project results and will contribute to the full deployment of the training activities.

Her words were supported by the representative of the Norwegian Courts Administration, Ms. Nieke van de Berg, who highly appreciated the work of the Institute and the excellent cooperation between the two institutions.

Judge Rositsa Toncheva from the Varna Court of Appeal, one of the authors of the manual on non-legal skills, stressed the importance of issues related to judicial management, organizational efficiency and judicial accountability for the protection of the rule of law.

Mr. Rumen Nenkov, scientific editor of three manuals in criminal cases for judges , emphasized the role of the National Institute of Justice as a “pillar of judicial reform” whose main goal is “training and enlightenment.”

Prof. Dr. Plamen Panayotov, scientific editor of the manual on criminal substantive law for judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates, emphasized the contribution of all authors, their dedication and commitment to the process.

Mr. Blagovest Punev, scientific editor of the textbooks for civil law judges, emphasized the impressive volume of theoretical and practical information synthesized in the resources under his supervision.

Judge Yulia Raeva of the Supreme Administrative Court, one of the authors of the Guide to the Activity of the Administrative Judge, spoke about the fruitful cooperation in the working process.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekaterina Salkova, scientific editor of Criminal Procedure Law for Prosecutors noted that “beyond any doubt, these manuals will be useful to the entire legal community.”

Investigator Rumyana Tozova from the National Investigation Service who participated in the authors’ team of the Investigator’s Guide presented highlights of the joint work with the scientific editor Prof. Dr. Vesselin Vuchkov.

The Norwegian judge Jussi Pederson, provided a brief overview of training resources in Norway, focusing on 3 main characteristics: concise, accessible and practice-oriented.

At the end of the forum, the leaders of the two projects, implemented by NIJ and funded under the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021 – Silviya Dimitrova and Svetla Valeva, presented the results of their implementation.

The project “Modern learning environment for judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrataes and other legal professionals” presented a short film summarizing the achievements: 2215 participants, 48 trainings; Human Rights Forum with 3 communities (justice for children, judicial ethics; protection of fundamental rights); 13 functioning shared learning spaces; elaborated modern NIJ website; 2 training resources translated and 10 manuals produced. These are just some of the results marking the transition from knowledge to skills.

The head of the project “Prevention and Counteraction of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence” presented the findings of the trainings on current issues of domestic and gender-based violence in complementary training formats; focused on the pilot implementation of HELP’s e-learning course on “Violence against Women and Domestic Violence”; the organized public discussion focused on the implementation of the specialized public impact programs aimed at perpetrators of domestic violence and the possibilities of the probation. 625 participants have been trained under the project, exceeding almost twice the target of 300 trainees. An important highlight of the project results is the fruitful interaction and support received from the Synergy Network”.

Thanks were expressed to the Ministry of Justice as Programme Operator, the Norwegian Courts Administration, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Norwegian Correctional Service, the scientific editors and the judicial trainers – judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates, experts, as well as the NIJ team.

© 2024 - Национален институт по правосъдието, проект НФМ6