BRRLN Secretariat

BRRLN Secretariat is based in Skopje, Macedonia. BRRLN’s regional coordinators are based in Tirana, Albania covering Albania and Kosovo (Ms. Vana Kasapi) and Sarajevo, BiH covering BiH, Serbia and Macedonia (Mr. Ermin Sarajlija).

Elisabeth Givens (BRRLN Program Director) – After graduating from Boalt Hall, Berkeley School of Law, and Ms. Givens practiced in both criminal and civil courts in California. She worked as trial attorney for Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office where she tried numerous cases to jury and represented thousands of clients in criminal proceedings. She than practiced as civil litigator with the Los Angeles- based firm Hennelly and Grossfeld where she specialized in products liability and business torts before joining ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI). Before coming to Macedonia she worked for ROLI as criminal law specialist in Armenia on projects to strengthen the public defender system, develop strategic litigation and reform the criminal procedure code. She also taught Legal Writing and Trial Skills. Ms. Givens came to Macedonia where she managed the Defense Bar Program and taught basic trial skills and advanced topics in CLE. She is presently leading the Balkans Regional Rule of Law Program based in Skopje, Macedonia.

Contact details: e-mail:

                          Mobile: +389 77 638 793

Katerina Nikolova (BRRLN Field Financial Manager) is graduated economist at Faculty of Economics at St. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia. After graduation she has worked in different projects funded by UNHCR and USAID in Macedonia. She was part of the Macedonia Court Modernization Project/Judicial Reform Project and the Civil Society Project in Macedonia.

Contact details: e-mail:

                          Mobile: + 389 78 341 507

Ermin Sarajlija (BRRLN Regional Coordinator, BiH, Serbia and Macedonia) has almost 14 years of experience of working in and reforming the judicial system of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH). As the Acting Director of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Sarajevo (HRC) (1996-1999), he participated as BIH Research Coordinator in the "Justice, accountability and social reconstruction - the interview study on Bosnian judges and prosecutors", done in cooperation of the HRC and the International Legal Clinic for Human Rights of the University of California, Berkeley, and the HRC of the University of Sarajevo. As the National Professional Officer at the UNMIBH Judicial System Assessment Project, Sarajevo Team (1999-2000) he joined the first judicial post war country wide reform. Serving as the National Professional Officer at the UNMIBH International Police Task Force (IPTF), Human Rights Department, Human Rights Investigation Desk (HRID) (2000-2002) he advised law enforcement officers on International Human Rights Law and practice in the BIH legal system with a particular focus on criminal procedure, international standards for vetting of human rights violators from the state administration, as well as provided relevant training.

After returning to BIH from his master studies in the USA (2002-2003) at the university of Notre Dame (LLM, International Law of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law) he joined the OSCE BIH, Human Rights Department, the Rule of Law.  The same year he started working as the Supervising Staff Attorney at the USAID JSDP (2003-2008), Court Administration Reform - Component 2. He was engaged in improving court administration, thereby increasing efficiency and the quality of service to the public. Experience gained in USAID JSDP he used when worked in the Municipal Court of Sarajevo (2008-2009) as one of two first Court Administrators in the country. Using advanced managerial techniques he was assisting the court management in streamlining operations of court administration making it more efficient and contributing to elimination of delays in the proceedings. From 2009 till 2013 he joined USAID JSDP II as the Component 1 Leader/Senior Justice Sector Development Specialist. USAID JSDP II was designed to assist in building effective and credible justice system institutions that promote BIH accession into the European Union. He led Component 1 (Judicial Independence, Accountability and Effectiveness), under which USAID JSDP II worked with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BIH, ministries of justice at various levels in BIH, courts and prosecutor offices to help BIH continue its efforts to reform the judicial system. From September 2013 till June 2014 he worked as the Transitional Justice Specialist at the UNDP BIH Justice and Security Sector - Supporting the Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in BIH Project. From June till present he has worked at the ABA ROLI Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network program (BRRLN), three year project supported by the USAID, as the Regional Coordinator for BIH and Serbia.

Contact details: e-mail: ;,

                 Mobile: +387 61 486 751

 Denisa Fekollari, (Regional Coordinator Albania and Kosovo). After graduating from Law School of the University of Tirana, Denisa pursued her master studies in European Union Policy and Law.  After graduation she has worked in various European Union Rule of law and Police missions and projects and also for the US Department of State Exports Control and Border Security in Albania.  She was recently engaged with the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) as a Legal Advisor.  As of June 2015 she is working as a Regional Coordinator for Albania and Kosovo for ABA ROLI Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network

Contact details:

               Mobile: +00355 67 404 5456

Hristijan Koneski (BRRLN Legal Intern) graduated from the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Faculty of Law – “Justinianus Primus” - Skopje, receiving LL.B Bachelor of Law degree in of 2013. Currently, he is undertaking postgraduate studies at Faculty of Law, University of Strasburg & University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius (double degree) in the field of LLM Intellectual Property Law. He is fluent in English, Albanian, Serbian and German and has basic knowledge of Italian and Latin. His hobby is tennis.

Contact details: e-mail:

                 Mobile: +389 71 242 899

Ari Ruffer (BRRLN Legal Intern) is providing legal support for the program this summer. Ari finished his first year at Columbia Law School in New York in the spring. He received his B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University in 2013. His hobbies include cycling and traveling.

Contact details: e-mail:

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