Project Title: Project Title: NGOs and the Judiciary – Watchdog Activities, Interactions, Collaboration, Communication
Duration: January 2015. – June 2016.
Donor: International Visegrad Fund and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea
Partners: CEELI Institute (Czech Republic), VIS IURIS (Slovakia), Albanian Helsinki Committee (Albania), Coalition of Civil Associations “All for fair trials” (Macedonia)
About the project: The general topic addressed by the project NGOs and the Judiciary is watch dog activities, cooperation, interaction, communication and relations between NGOs and judiciary with special focus on civic monitoring of the judiciary.
The aim of the project is to gather and share good practices in area of cooperation between NGOs and judiciary, especially civic monitoring of judiciary, with focus on Western Balkans countries. We observe that NGOs are getting more and more involved in various activities related to judiciary (also cooperation projects) and many of these activities are various forms of monitoring. We find it extremely inspiring and useful to discover how this issue is addressed in other countries. The project can be divided into three phases – research, study visit in Poland combined with a meeting of all partners and workshops in Western Balkans.
Possible civic activities include: monitoring of the judiciary by NGOs (of courts’ activities, communication with citizens, judges appointments), trial observations (court watch), strategic litigation, involvement of NGOs in court trials, amicus curiae, trainings and workshops for judges organized by expert NGOs, collaboration of NGOs with judges associations, NGOs as organizations educating citizens in about the judiciary.
All these activities play vital role in shaping civil society, strengthening rule of law and democracy. Firstly, citizens via NGO control the judiciary via various forms of monitoring. Secondly, by getting involved in trials and educational projects, NGOs empower the Judiciary, help with building professional capacity of judges and support activity of courts.