On March 29, 2022, the final conference “Advancing Judicial Reform – How to Restore Citizens’ Trust in the Judicial System?” was held as part of the project “For Justice – Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for Judicial Reform in 2021” implemented by the blueprint group of civil society organizations for judicial reform.
The event sparked a debate between judicial institutions and civil society organizations to identify the necessary measures to restore citizens’ trust in the justice system ahead of the start of the process of drafting a new strategic document for reforms in this area.
Participants were representatives of judicial institutions, judges, lawyers, public prosecutors, representatives of civil society organizations, representatives of projects working to support reforms, as well as representatives of embassies that support the reform process.
The first panel discussed the role and responsibilities of special judicial institutions and legal professions in judicial reform processes with emphasis on the participation of special judicial institutions and professional organizations of lawyers in the planning and implementation of reforms, the capacities of judicial institutions and the responsibilities of each from the institutions, in accordance with the constitutional and legal competencies, the strengthening of the independence of the judiciary as a precondition for full respect of the principle of the rule of law.
In the second panel, representatives of civil society organizations discussed the need for substantial reforms in areas such as the fight against corruption, the prevention of discrimination, environmental protection and gender-based violence processing.
The conference also presented the key findings and conclusions of the Shadow Report on the Implementation of the 2021 Judicial Reform Strategy prepared by the Blueprint Group.
Members of the Blueprint Judicial Reform Group are the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association, the Institute for European Policy, the Institute for Human Rights, the Coalition All for Fair Trials, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, the Center for Legal Research and Analysis and the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia.
—————————————————31 March 2022