Posted on 26.06.2019 12:23:45

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Hristijan Koneski 2015-03-24 14:06:50

The general public is skeptical regarding the lawyers. “Lawyers are driven by lucrative motives, and personal interest” – says a person who is asked to tell his opinion on the lawyers. These statements are jeopardizing the legal profession. How the Bar Associations can change the public perception on lawyers? Should they use media as their promoter? Or, should they provide an obligatory pro-bono help in order to be recognized as human rights guardian? The forum discussion should contain suggestions, proposals, opinions, advises etc.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-03-31 14:58:48

Pro-bono cases are always a good option to prove that you are willing to protect the human rights even without any remuneration. This might be a good start for changing the public opinion.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-03-31 14:58:48

Pro-bono cases are always a good option to prove that you are willing to protect the human rights even without any remuneration. This might be a good start for changing the public opinion.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-03-31 15:03:56

Last couple of months in BIH have been characterized by physical attacks on attorneys. In February 2015 there have been several bomb attacks on attorneys and their offices in the FBIH. On February 13, 2015 due to explosion of the hand grenade posted in front of the door to her attorney's office, Ms. Jasmina Koricic, attorney in Bihac was killed. Two weeks later the law enforcement agencies, thanks to DNA tracks found at the crime scene discovered possible perpetuator and arrested him. He was an unsatisfied party at one civil cases in which Ms. Koricic was representing his opposite party.Have the international standards on independence of lawyers been violated in these cases? Has government missed to conduct everything in its power to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad? Is there something that the Bar should/could do about it? Are there similar examples of attorneys being threatened, attacked in some other BRRLN countries? What kind of action is necessary to be taken in such situations? Were there any response from the governments?

Vana Kasapi 2015-04-20 15:30:27

The Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN) convened a conference for its Bar Presidents and leaders from the Civil Society sector in late March in Belgrade. This conference was an opportunity for the region’s bar leadership to meet and exchange experience and ideas about developing their bar’s capacity on how to better serve their members and how to lead their bars into the future . ABA ROLI has invited experts from Western European bars to discuss how to develop bar capacity to improve member services in key areas and to raise the standing of the bar as a voice for reform within the larger justice community. I would like to address a question to all the participants: How have you benefited from the conference? ... and Did it met your expectations? Please feel free to add any other comment regarding the Leadership Conference.

Tirana Legal Aid Society TLAS 2015-04-22 16:47:48

Tirana Legal Aid Society in Albania through years has used Strategic Litigation Cases as a tool to obtain important legal and social changes. Lately this year we are focused in challenging the culture of impunity through state officials and the problems that came from corruption, the lack of investigation of such cases, sometimes the lack of legal bases or the improper legal framework. How do you think we can use strategic litigation to address this problem? Kindly asked to share your opinions and expertise.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-04-24 15:56:50

Initial research on that issue would be good, for a start. Also, as we conducted a survey on impunity in war crimes cases in the region, maybe the methodology we used there could be helpful for you. Link to the publication is: http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/content/pdf/participant-papers/2010www/Action_to_Combat_Impunity_in_Serbia_-_Options_And_Obstacles.pdf As for the strategic litigation, currently, we are starting some of the cases of corruption in the state (Ministries) and this could be a good source for information, how the prosecutors react, how the case is ongoing, etc. Feel free to contact us with any further comment or question. Also, I will be in Tirana on the European Movement Regional Conference on 5th and 6th of May and we may discuss it in more details. I will be presenting some of the steps conducted within the chapter 23 of the EU negotiations. Keep in contact.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-04-24 15:59:05

And to add, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights - YUCOM pressed charges against the nn persons from the Ministry that attempted to allocate more than one million Euros to the organisations founded only few months before the Ministry call for proposals. We are still waiting for the reply from the Ministry.

Vana Kasapi 2015-05-13 09:06:05

Great response Milan & thanks for sharing your experience about strategic litigation. In this respect, Strategic Litigation can be used as a good tool to combat corruption and to push for legislative reform. Does anybody else from our network has experience with strategic Litigation? If yes, please i would kindly ask you to share your experience or success story if any, using strategic litigation as a good tool to obtain legal and social changes.

Theodoros Alexandridis 2015-05-14 20:21:03

Hi Anisa :) You're raising a number of very important issues here so allow me to focus on the two I consider most important. First, regarding fighting against impunity / corruption, I guess it's too early to talk about any success stories here in Albania. That said, I'd agree with Milan that the most promising approach seems to be one premised on research / data collection / corruption trial monitoring - in other words, an approach that would focus making the various institutions (prosecutor's office, courts) accountable for their work in this field. This would in turn require a veritable access to information campaign with a view to gathering as much data / information as possible. In short, I think that at this particular juncture, the main weapon we have at our disposal is the new law on the right to information. The second issue pertains to what is strategic litigation - you can find an interesting discussion on the merits and pitfalls of strategic litigation here http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/events/value-and-impact-strategic-litigation-fool-s-paradise-or-indispensable-weapon As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all cases have a "strategic litigation" component - in some cases we uncovered it only after started working on them. My point here is that such cases can come from where you least expect them and thus one has to keep his / her eyes (and ears!) open. That said, I am not suggesting that you should take up every case that comes your way hoping that it'll turn into a strategic litigation one. Rather, I think that even "humble" cases (e.g. the case of a person whose electricity supply was interrupted without the relevant procedure having been complied with, does present a strategic litigation dimension. Best, Theo

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-22 12:21:40

Thanks for the fruitful discussion on strategic litigation. I would like to share a video where Mr. Anton Nrecaj is sharing his experience on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC8ZXKjqCTo Have a look!

Hristijan Koneski 2016-02-09 13:02:58

I would like to share one more story regarding the strategic litigation. If you need some additional information, please contact me on intern@abaroli.mk Here is the link: http:%20%20brrln.org%20http%20record.php?id%20113&mv%2044

Milan Antonijevic 2015-04-24 15:56:50

Initial research on that issue would be good, for a start. Also, as we conducted a survey on impunity in war crimes cases in the region, maybe the methodology we used there could be helpful for you. Link to the publication is: http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/content/pdf/participant-papers/2010www/Action_to_Combat_Impunity_in_Serbia_-_Options_And_Obstacles.pdf As for the strategic litigation, currently, we are starting some of the cases of corruption in the state (Ministries) and this could be a good source for information, how the prosecutors react, how the case is ongoing, etc. Feel free to contact us with any further comment or question. Also, I will be in Tirana on the European Movement Regional Conference on 5th and 6th of May and we may discuss it in more details. I will be presenting some of the steps conducted within the chapter 23 of the EU negotiations. Keep in contact.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-04-24 15:59:05

And to add, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights - YUCOM pressed charges against the nn persons from the Ministry that attempted to allocate more than one million Euros to the organisations founded only few months before the Ministry call for proposals. We are still waiting for the reply from the Ministry.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-04-24 15:59:05

And to add, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights - YUCOM pressed charges against the nn persons from the Ministry that attempted to allocate more than one million Euros to the organisations founded only few months before the Ministry call for proposals. We are still waiting for the reply from the Ministry.

Vana Kasapi 2015-05-13 09:06:05

Great response Milan & thanks for sharing your experience about strategic litigation. In this respect, Strategic Litigation can be used as a good tool to combat corruption and to push for legislative reform. Does anybody else from our network has experience with strategic Litigation? If yes, please i would kindly ask you to share your experience or success story if any, using strategic litigation as a good tool to obtain legal and social changes.

Theodoros Alexandridis 2015-05-14 20:21:03

Hi Anisa :) You're raising a number of very important issues here so allow me to focus on the two I consider most important. First, regarding fighting against impunity / corruption, I guess it's too early to talk about any success stories here in Albania. That said, I'd agree with Milan that the most promising approach seems to be one premised on research / data collection / corruption trial monitoring - in other words, an approach that would focus making the various institutions (prosecutor's office, courts) accountable for their work in this field. This would in turn require a veritable access to information campaign with a view to gathering as much data / information as possible. In short, I think that at this particular juncture, the main weapon we have at our disposal is the new law on the right to information. The second issue pertains to what is strategic litigation - you can find an interesting discussion on the merits and pitfalls of strategic litigation here http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/events/value-and-impact-strategic-litigation-fool-s-paradise-or-indispensable-weapon As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all cases have a "strategic litigation" component - in some cases we uncovered it only after started working on them. My point here is that such cases can come from where you least expect them and thus one has to keep his / her eyes (and ears!) open. That said, I am not suggesting that you should take up every case that comes your way hoping that it'll turn into a strategic litigation one. Rather, I think that even "humble" cases (e.g. the case of a person whose electricity supply was interrupted without the relevant procedure having been complied with, does present a strategic litigation dimension. Best, Theo

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-22 12:21:40

Thanks for the fruitful discussion on strategic litigation. I would like to share a video where Mr. Anton Nrecaj is sharing his experience on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC8ZXKjqCTo Have a look!

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-22 12:21:40

just test

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-05-27 10:09:48

just testing

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-27 10:10:02

me too

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-05-27 10:09:48

just testing

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-27 10:10:02

me too

Hristijan Koneski 2015-05-27 10:10:02

me too

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 13:29:40

TEST

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:02:31

Hi!

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-03 14:05:53

BRRLN

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-03 14:06:01

BRRLN

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:06:36

Great, it works!

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:07:02

ops...

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-06-03 14:55:49

I post too!

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 14:10:02

haha

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:02:31

Hi!

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-03 14:05:53

BRRLN

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-03 14:05:53

BRRLN

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-03 14:06:01

BRRLN

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:06:36

Great, it works!

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:07:02

ops...

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-06-03 14:55:49

I post too!

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 14:07:02

ops...

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-06-03 14:55:49

I post too!

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 14:10:02

haha

Nikola Cacanoski 2015-06-03 14:55:49

I post too!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 15:37:36

Pretrial detention is used on a very large scale,often without real grounds for it and often it serves for prosecutor to get "good" plea bargain even without real will of the defendant for bargain

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 15:41:49

Greetings everybody. I hope that this topic will take a rich discussion.It is always of a high interest for defense lawyers . I hope all our member will take participation in the discussion and that we will exchange our ideas how to act in order to avoid the misuse of plea bargain.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 15:42:54

Sorry for that, I meant misuse of pretrial detention

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 15:47:12

Многу интересна поента од колегата Дељо. Јас би додал уште некои интересни поенти-од кои сметам дека очигледно законските решенија за притворот се ,,наклонети,, на обвинителот,системот,а малку водат сметка за граѓанските -човекови права,односно правата според Уставот и Законот за кривична постапка. Имено најчесто употребуваниот аргумент за определување на мерката притвор е основот-,,влијание на истрагата,попречување на истата,влијание на сведоците и сл,, а истрагата ја води според ЗКП обвинителот и ако тој е неажурен-споро и неефикасно истата ја води-со тоа директно влијае на овој основ,обвинетиот што подолго да остане во притвор.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:01:50

Very interesting topic by my colleague Deljo. I will add a few additional interesting points- I think that obviously the legal decisions of pretrial detention are bias in favor of the prosecution system, and there is a little account for the civil human rights, i.e the rights by Constitution and the CPC. Namely, the most used argument for deciding on whether to grant pretrial detention is the basis - " influence on the examination procedure, interrupting the procedure, influence on the witnesses and etc. " and the examination is done pursuant to the CPC and if the prosecutor is not efficient than the defendant will stay in detention longer.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:05:18

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF BORO TASEVSKI COMMENT ABOVE

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 15:47:31

Thanks Deljo for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries both on the problems of overusing pre-trial detention ... to get plea bargains or obtain statements. And possible strategies or solutions. Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 15:58:00

I think much has been said on the misuse of the pre-trial detention, with respect to Serbia, but we now expect to have the current state of play changed. In this respect, I draw attention to the ABA report on this. http://goo.gl/YkJdS2

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:01:09

Thank you Vladimir for making this point. This report among other things says: . Initial decisions to detain are, most often, in practice, made by the police, and police are not mandated to articulate a justification. The prosecutor’s decision is typically rubber stamped by the judge, who fails to review the justification independently, even when the prosecutor has failed to articulate a specific ground. The “Paragraph 4” justification for detention (an accused on release may cause a disturbance or distress to the public) is typically used as a “catch all” justification, without further explanation or fact specific argument.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:05:02

I would like to ask our colleagues how do they challenge poor justification of the decisions on ordering detention, and are these challenges successful?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:21:30

Hi Ermin.You can only try to challenge justification of such decisions but without real success.This is because they even do not look at the evidence for reasonable suspicion that detained person has committed the crime.

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 16:05:41

Во контекст на прашањето на определување мерка притвор поради влијание-попречување на истрагата,одбраната секогаш е хендикепирана бидеејки според ЗКП и одбраната има право да води своја истрага,да превзема определени истражни дејствија,па се поставува прашањето како одбраната да ја води својата истрага и да превзема определени дејствија во истрагата а заради подготовка на одбраната-во услови кога обвинетиот е во притвор ,па прашањето и опасноста за влијание врз истрагата и нејзино попречување- може исто така да се примени и врз самата мерка притвор ,бидеејки со неа директно се влијае-оневозможува одбраната и нејзината истрага.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:01

On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:40

[TRANSLATION] On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:05:51

More-less, we all now the problems, but the problem is how to make this changes. Maybe some training for PTD decision-makers, to rightfully asses the legal grounds when imposing this custodial measure, or how to use other alternatives to PTD, such as bail, especially when it comes to pledges.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:06:33

In region we have changed our criminal procedure codes.The provisions on pretrial detention,grounds for it did not changed a lot,but now the new role of pretrial judge is that he decides for pretrial detention without taking part in investigation. When there was investigate judge he knew the evidence and could make decision of if there are grounds for detention.Now, pretrial judge is even not asking the evidence to be presented in front of him.And the provision of art.165 stipulates that there has to be a reasonable suspicion person has committed a crime and detention necessary for criminal procedure to take place.How can a pretrial judge decide if there is reasonable suspicion if he does not look at the evidence?!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:11:32

Deljo, it does seem like the new Macedonian CPC does not provide for any assessment of the evidence and whether at the beginning stages of the investigation there is enough to hold someone in for the charges. In your opinion, are defendants staying in custody in the absence of sufficient evidence to support the charges.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:25:23

Yes Beth.I am not saying that defendants are not guilty or else.It is a meter of having enough evidence that the detained person is reasonably suspicions and there is a lack of explanation in the decisions for PTD so you can not effectively challenge it.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:31:15

There needs to be a mechanism to ensure there is enough evidence, agreed.... any ideas how this could be changed in Macedonia? It would be compelling if there were some innocent defendants who spent a long time in custody and were released due to lack of evidence. This may be a good story to present along with arguments that the law needs to be changed.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:07:14

Hi to everybody, The topic is very important and permanently is actual. the key issue is to have clear laws, good training and law enforcement who will enforce the procedures for pre-trial detention with integrity, just in the case when it is neccesery.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:08:04

Thank you for sharing the ABA ROLI DPAT. We participated in the assessment and drafting of the report, and all the stakeholders (attorneys, CSOs, even judges) reported wide use of pre-trial detention in Serbia. How about the use of alternatives to detention? I know Serbia is still facing challenges in that regard, and that detention is still the most common measure for securing the presence of an accused. What's the situation like in the Region?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:35:36

Ana, your comment is so true.... and I would agree that more or less the situation is similar in Macedonia as in Serbia. But since we have a new system of criminal procedure, the adversarial system, this means that we as defense lawyers should have more active role with regard to detention as a measure for securing the presence of the accused, because we have the possibility according to the Law, to have our own investigation in respect of collecting evidence, contacting witnesses, collecting written statements of witnesses and by doing so, we should always (when reasonable of course) object the detention as a measure because the Law provides other measures as well, for securing the presence of the accused which are less restrictive!

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:55:23

I completely agree. Defense attorneys have to be more pro-active, especially having in mind possibilities prescribed by the reformed criminal procedure legislation.

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:11:58

Dear colleague Deljo.... great topic! In order to be determined detention there must be a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. As grounds for detention according to the Criminal Law (in Macedonia, particularly) are the following: -person in hiding, -identity cannot be established, -flight risk, -danger to community, -danger of interfering with investigation, -person avoiding summons. In my opinion, the danger of interfering with investigation (tempering with witnesses) should be considered as very serious ground that must be supported by ,,real,, evidence and at the same time must be proven this ground by the prosecutor having in mind the fact that the investigation is run by the Prosecutor. This means that the accused person might have no idea who are the witnesses and therefore in such cases it is not possible for the accused to interfere with the investigation! The Law says that the detention decision must contain all legal grounds for detention, all facts supporting reasonable suspicion, elaborated reasons for each separate ground of detention and reasons why court believes less restrictive measures cannot be used. By having such provision in the Law, I believe lawyers must pay serious attention to the detention decision itself and always to ask for less restrictive measures. In relation to this is also the issue with the ,,bargain,, where the lawyer is playing the key role by knowing all strong and weak points of the case for the client to get the best advice and a proper defense.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:18:33

Exactly Ruzica.Law says that the judge has to give explanation for the grounds for his decision for PTD and how can he do it if he does not know the evidence,how can he give explanation on "reasonable suspicious" ground?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:44:50

Deljo, you are right. This is a great point and we all know how the things are done in practice. That's why I said in my comment (especially in reference with the interference with investigation) that such ground must be supported by ,,real evidence,, and proven enough by the prosecutor !

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:19:27

good point! the next step is supporting the Rule of Law and integrity of the professionals, insisting for the reasonable arguments, instead of phrases.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:21:25

Ruzica, since the lawyers have a right to investigate the case - meaning contact witnesses and do their own independent investigation, there must be specific and credible evidence that the defendant will IMPROPERLY tamper or try to influence witnesses. Are judges routinely using this factor in their decision to detain without specific evidence?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:41:09

Beth, unfortunately, in the past this ground was used among the other grounds very often and the detention decision was rarely properly explained. I mentioned the possibility of the lawyers to investigate the case in their own way, as a chance or as a moving point for the lawyers according to the new CPC with regard to all cases that are settled by the new law, and as much as possible to use these legal possibilities for defending our clients.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:19:02

“Regional Meeting on promoting reforms in pre-trial detention” that was held on February 19, 2015, Pristina, Kosovo, determined as one of the problems that due to lack of institutional mechanisms and capacities for the implementation of alternatives, there is a need to strengthen such mechanisms and provide trainings for judges and prosecutors in the efficient application of pre-trial detention according to international standards, focusing primarily in ECtHR judgments/interpretation.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:22:05

Precisely, that is why the training on use of alternatives is important. Also, these wrongful decisions are often contrary to the Constitution and to the ECHR respectively.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:29:28

Vladmir, in your opinion are advocates asking for alternatives and also raising the ECHR and constitutional violations associated with improper imposition of detention?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:32:05

Yes, we seek! The problem is because the decisions on Constitutional violations are declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:21:39

Hi everybody and congratulation for this topic. That is very important for us in Montenegro. We have a progress but we still have many problems it this issue.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:22:22

Thank you Ruzica and Deljo. Would a training for judges, as recommended by the Regional Meeting Report, contribute to better protection of human rights of suspect/accused when faced with a possibility of ordering detention against them? Or we should think of something in addition to this measure?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:22:30

Hi everyone – this is a very interesting discussion which it’s great to be a part of. At Fair Trials International, we have long been campaigning for a reduction in the excessive and unjustified use of pre-trial detention in the EU and beyond. We published our report on the issue – Detained without Trial – in 2011, and we are currently leading a 10-country research project on pre-trial detention decision-making (in Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK). The findings of our research have illustrated many of the problems which you are also identifying in the Balkans region. Defence practitioners have limited ability to influence the decision-making process, as Judges seem to rubber-stamp the detention orders requested by prosecutors. The reasoning provided is very formalistic and does not demonstrate how the grounds for pre-trial detention are met with reference to the specific facts of the case in hand. Alternatives to detention are used insufficiently. Reviews of pre-trial detention do generally take place at regular intervals, but they are even more formalistic that the initial decision and rarely apply a higher standard of scrutiny (despite this being required by the ECHR jurisprudence). These problems result in very high percentage of pre-trial detainees in prison population in many EU Member States, with corresponding problems with prison conditions (as highlighted by the ECtHR in several recent cases involving Italy and Hungary, for example). We hope that our research will provide a unique evidence base to support our advocacy for legal reforms, both at the national but also at the EU level, where we are hoping to see new legislation setting out minimum standards for pre-trial detention decision-making in the next year or two.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:25:02

Our report, Detained without Trial is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/documents/DetentionWithoutTrialFullReport.pdf And more information on our research project is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/press/update-on-fair-trials-pre-trial-detention-project/

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:30:09

Thank you Libby for this! The situation would be better if we could use the EU mechanisms i.e. the infringement procedure when it comes to protection of minimum standards.

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:32:48

the regional research with the same topic and methodology could be useful project for the WBs, having in mind the sensitivity of the issue and limited sources for this.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:48:17

Agreed Trpe, but can you clarify what you mean by WB?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:49:43

We did discuss the use of this methodology in the WBs during the Pristina meeting in February, and would be happy to discuss further!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:28:20

Libby, thanks for the overview on the work FTI has done in this area. Maybe this legislation can also be cited to decision-makers here in terms of reforming criminal procedure codes to address this issue. Has FTI or any of its members developed successful strategies that advocates can implement in the courtroom. I remember one advocate took pictures of their client in custody to show the maltreatment he was receiving. Maybe there are other strategies lawyers can employ in the hearing to persuade the judge to order an alternative.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:37:09

I believe I mentioned this French case at the meeting in Pristina in February, where the lawyer and judge visited the client in detention which led to his release: http://www.thelocal.fr/20130627/french-judge-frees-inmate-over-wet-and-windy-cell

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:28:09

Thank you Libby for these useful comments. As I can see report from your organization, as well as of NGOs in the region following up on this issue, addresses violation of the Article 5 of the ECHR. There is already a number of decision against our countries in the region for violating rights of suspect/accused in criminal proceedings. Do our courts take in consideration these ECHR judgments when deciding upon request of a prosecutor on ordering detention, at all?

Gordan Kalajdziev 2015-06-03 16:31:05

Hi everybody. Great idea to discuss some controversial issues. The problem of the misuse of the detention is one of the rare issues that were/are discussed and analysed (unlike other important but neglected topics. However, it is still unresolved, showing again and again the same or similar anomalies. I do not agree that the problem lies in the Code of Criminal procedure, but in the values adopted by judges. Judges are more crime controll oriented, instead of due process!I hope that the new model of more adversarial procedure will change the old value system of judges. Released from the duty to investigate the case, they will probably become guardians of individuals liberty and security. In dubio pro libertate must became a real principle not just a rhetoric. Additionaly, no judge in Macedonia has been discharged for wrong or unnecessary detention, but many for releasing or determining house arrest instead detention.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:39:24

Hi Gordan,good to have you here. I fully agree that the problem does not lie in the CPC ,the law good,but we have to persuade somehow judges that they have to start thinking of how to use it.There are much more measures for presence of defendant and they always and I repeat,always decide if there was a request for detention ,to put the defendant in detention. I can hardly remember a decision that judge has opposed to the request for detention of the prosecutor.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:43:36

Gordan, thank you for your insight. It is very disturbing that judges were discharged for releasing or imposing house arrest. This sends a clear message to the judges to detain. It would be interesting to see the reasoning behind the decisions to discipline. This seems hugely problematic to me.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:31:58

I see that we have same problems in all region and we need regional approach. Firstly we need the training of judges and prosecutors but we need and developed a system for alternatives. In Montenegro that system is not developed and detention more use which sanctions.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:34:28

Maybe some of the conclusions from already mentioned regional meeting on fostering alternative measures could spur our discussion: 1) Changing judicial attitudes and promoting the use of alternatives to PTD: The group stated the problem as the overuse of pre-trial detention and the violation of the human rights of those people in detention. The group proposed the following advocacy actions to address this, focused on changing judicial attitudes and promoting alternatives: - Share findings of trial monitoring projects and use statistics and human stories with the judiciary authorities; - Sensitize judges and prosecutors about impact of their decisions and the conditions in detention facilities by highlighting concrete case examples from monitoring and arranging visits to detention centres etc. This will ensure that judges know where they are sending people to; - Training of judges and prosecutors as part of their continuous training on the use of alternatives to PTD. Representatives from the Albanian Helsinki Committee explained that they have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Magistrates School through which they provide training and that this is an example of good practice; - Strategic litigation focused on issues relating to Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights; - Build the alliances with different stakeholders, including state/non-state actors, the media, political decision-makers; - Use the political agenda, such as the EU accession process under which every state has been given ‘homework’ which may be put to good use in pushing certain priorities; and - Promotion of the findings of CPT reports.

Ana Desic 2015-06-03 16:36:48

Thank you for raising this issue! It is of crucial importance to human rights, as well as legal profession. We shouldn’t forget that human dignity of the defendant kept in detention is not equal to the dignity of the defendant released pending trial. I strongly agree with colleague Kalajdziev that solution lies in the implementation of the existing CPC provisions and alternatives to detention.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:42:13

Of course Ana we must concern for human dignity. If we have crowded in prisons in all country in region that is may be very bad for human dignity.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:44:44

Milan, there may also be an argument regarding the cost of pre-trial detention to the state.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:48:05

Beth - that is certainly an argument which resonates with EU Member States facing prison overcrowding challenges ie. that if you can reduce the excessive use of pre-trial detention - to make sure that only the people that really need to be detained are detailed - then you should be able to reduce overcrowding.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:53:44

I agree. We have many arguments but authorities them not understand. Fortunately accession to European Union our countries changes laws but still practice remains questionable.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:43:01

Thank you Gordan for your comment that no judge in Macedonia has been discharged for wrong or unnecessary detention, but many for releasing or determining house arrest instead detention. So, it seems to me that it is not only a problem of judges to turn to adversarial system, but that even those who have authority of monitoring, evaluating and taking disciplinary measures against judges have to change their way of understanding of legal institutes of protection of human rights of suspect/accused during pre-trial procedure.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:49:21

Ermin it is fact that in Macedonia some judges were discharged for releasing some defendants from PTD,but it is my personal opinion that this happened only because somebody wanted do "discipline" judges in Macedonia. The result is that now every time when prosecutor requests PTD judge decides to put defendant in detention.It should not prevent us from trying to find a way to work with judges in order to implement EU standards in this metter

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:46:19

I think that one of the challenges faced by lawyers and judges alike across the whole of the Council of Europe is that the ECtHR jurisprudence on pre-trial detention is pretty hard to navigate as it has developed over so many different cases. Fair Trials has produced an overview of the jurisprudence, both in the Detained without Trial report (pages 30-32) and also our Note of Advice on Applying for Release Pending Trial (pages 15-22) which is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/wp-content/uploads/Applying-for-Release-Pending-Trial-UK.pdf. Of course the challenge is that defence lawyers often do not have enough time during detention hearings to raise arguments of this nature.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:50:06

Precisely and as I stressed, the decision of the Constitutional court on PTD violations is declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:01:19

Thanks Vladmir for explaining... I asked this question in the stream above. Why do you think they only issue declaratory judgments... because decision on PTD is an interim measure...?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:11:32

Well, the legal nature of these decisions is declaratory and they do not reverse the PTD decisions of regular court. But, I think it is not the problem to challenge these PTD decisions on constitutional/ECHR grounds, as they are in most cases contrary to these standards.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:51:55

In all countries of the region there are functional judicial and prosecutorial training centers. In some of our countries we have attorneys academies. Would it be possible to include this topic in their curricula, in a form of a joint round table for attorneys, judges and prosecutors so they could jointly come up with proposals for a solutions to the problem. One of the issues could be, as Libby just said, to make judges and prosecutors more familiar with the ECHR jurisprudence.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:56:03

In Macedonia I am suspicious that it can work properly.This is because we have Academy for judges and public prosecutors. So they teach the judges and public prosecutors together and you can not expect result you wish form that.I think that separate training especially for the judges will give better result

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:01:50

As far as judicial training is concnerned, I am not convinced it is the solution. We can teach judges and prosecutors the regional standards, but if their preference is to order pre-trial detention (so as to avoid the risk of losing face/ media criticism etc) then they will continue to do so. I think the more interesting question is how we ensure that they apply those standards. I think rules (whether in the form of legislation or policy guidance) relating to the provision of reasoned decisions which not only specify the grounds upon which detention is ordered but also the specific reasons why those grounds apply to the case in question are absolutely key. This would need to be accompanied by a right to challenge any decision which does not comply with such requirements. Is this something which could be useful in the WBs?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:08:19

I agree that a policy guidance can help.But keep in mind that we are new in accusatory system,so there are not any decisions of higher court regarding this standards. I guess that judgments from abroad could be a solution

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:11:42

Yes Libby, I do agree with your idea as in the region there's need for more energic and immediate actions on PTD reforms. In Kosovo we' are already doing an extensive analyzing of relevant data about the PTD application, starting from police custodial arrest, prosecutor office, courts/judges and appeal court aiming to show to the very relevant judicial authorities the results of PTD application or misapplication in Kosovo. This would be an advocacy action aiming to change the practice in PTD application and consider more alternatives to PTD..

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:01:38

Hi to everyone, I'm really sorry I couldn't join you from the very beginning, but I congratulate the organizer for the idea ! Alban from KRCT - Kosovo

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 17:04:09

Alban, thank you for joining us at the forum.

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:07:19

Thanks Ermin, its my pleasure

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:08:44

Alban, thanks for joining and I am glad we got the technical issues sorted!

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 17:05:04

Thanks for very fruitful discussion. Maybe the wright answer to our dilemmas is simply to force judges to explain in their decisions for pre trial detention why the same effect can not be reached with other measures especially with home detention or bail in every particular case and for every particular accused person. Judges are concentrated in their decisions to explain the need of pre trial detention by explaining the bases for pre trial detention, but if we force them with the changes in CPC to explain why the same effect is no possible with home detention or bail we will at the same time force them to think more about this or other alternative measures.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:05:18

Please feel free to keep posting today and thereafter and we welcome additional ideas and suggestions for ways we can support reform in this area. Your comments have been very valuable and we will try to follow up on them. We plan to host other fora so if you have a topic that is of interest, please let us know. Thanks again for your participation and we hope to see you on another LIVE forum!! We will keep you posted!

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:09:32

Thank you Beth!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:12:29

Thanks Beth for moderating this forum.It was interesting and second part of the topic seems will be another topic .

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:14:18

Thanks a lot Elizabeth, I'm really sorry for my delay. I really hope we'd have another chance to discuss this and other important topics. My Bests to all of you

Gordan Kalajdziev 2015-06-03 17:10:04

In private conversations, judges admit that most of detention are ordered for practical reasons-to secure the attendance of accused, but not necessarily connected with fear of escape, but for other delay tricks

Genc Nimoni 2015-06-04 11:36:27

Hi to everyone! Sorry that I couldn’t enjoy the conversation yesterday but I informed Katerina that I haven’t chance to participate yesterday, so, I would try to contribute today. Firstly let me congratulate you for the topic.. I see that there are a lot of comments, so I’m glad for it. I will try to contribute about Kosova, the situation here with misuse of detention and it’s effect on Plea Bargaining. Plea Bargaining is a new criminal institute in Kosova which entered into a force in 2013 acceptable by new Criminal Procedure Code. Related with the first part, misuse of detention, we have interesting cases in Kosovo. I will focus in the fact that how this “measure” (detention) is applicable in Kosovo and how our organs - institutions (courts) apply that measure.. in general. Sometimes our bodies - institutions (courts and prosecutors) are not on their level of duty when they apply this measure. We have different cases against the law; cases when the court have been called to apply this measure and they didn’t, even there was a murder and the suspect accepted the guilty; and the other situation when the court applied this measure against important officials wrongly, just to implicate in crime those important figures of high profile and to degrade them. So in general, our bodies - institutions (prosecution and courts) must be more professional when they propose and apply this kind of measure on Criminal Procedure Code and to respect human rights firstly, national and international laws and convents during judicial processes. There is a lot of space for improvement.

Genc Nimoni 2015-06-04 11:37:45

Related with the effect on Plea Bargaining, The Plea Bargaining or Negotiated Pleas of Guilty as it is known in our Criminal Procedure Code is a new in our country. This institute begin to apply in 2013, when our new Criminal Procedure code, entered into a force. In fact I don’t have any statistics about that, I don’t know how this penal institute is applicable in our country because there is a lack of experience with it, but based on my colleagues’ information, there are just few cases in our country. I will search about it and I will write too.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-04 13:23:03

Genc, plea bargaining is new through the region and I think the results are mixed. One of our members Jordan Daci from Albania, will be making a study visit to Estonia to learn how they successfully introduced plea bargaining into their system. Estonia like the Balkans countries has a civil law tradition. I think it would be worthwhile if you share your information regarding Kosovo's experience with him. We are asking him to reach out to colleagues throughout BRRLN on problems they are experiencing with plea bargaining to help inform his Estonia visit.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-17 13:02:00

Thanks for the very interesting discussion. I really enjoined your comments.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 15:41:49

Greetings everybody. I hope that this topic will take a rich discussion.It is always of a high interest for defense lawyers . I hope all our member will take participation in the discussion and that we will exchange our ideas how to act in order to avoid the misuse of plea bargain.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 15:42:54

Sorry for that, I meant misuse of pretrial detention

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 15:47:12

Многу интересна поента од колегата Дељо. Јас би додал уште некои интересни поенти-од кои сметам дека очигледно законските решенија за притворот се ,,наклонети,, на обвинителот,системот,а малку водат сметка за граѓанските -човекови права,односно правата според Уставот и Законот за кривична постапка. Имено најчесто употребуваниот аргумент за определување на мерката притвор е основот-,,влијание на истрагата,попречување на истата,влијание на сведоците и сл,, а истрагата ја води според ЗКП обвинителот и ако тој е неажурен-споро и неефикасно истата ја води-со тоа директно влијае на овој основ,обвинетиот што подолго да остане во притвор.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:01:50

Very interesting topic by my colleague Deljo. I will add a few additional interesting points- I think that obviously the legal decisions of pretrial detention are bias in favor of the prosecution system, and there is a little account for the civil human rights, i.e the rights by Constitution and the CPC. Namely, the most used argument for deciding on whether to grant pretrial detention is the basis - " influence on the examination procedure, interrupting the procedure, influence on the witnesses and etc. " and the examination is done pursuant to the CPC and if the prosecutor is not efficient than the defendant will stay in detention longer.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:05:18

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF BORO TASEVSKI COMMENT ABOVE

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 15:47:31

Thanks Deljo for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries both on the problems of overusing pre-trial detention ... to get plea bargains or obtain statements. And possible strategies or solutions. Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 15:58:00

I think much has been said on the misuse of the pre-trial detention, with respect to Serbia, but we now expect to have the current state of play changed. In this respect, I draw attention to the ABA report on this. http://goo.gl/YkJdS2

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:01:09

Thank you Vladimir for making this point. This report among other things says: . Initial decisions to detain are, most often, in practice, made by the police, and police are not mandated to articulate a justification. The prosecutor’s decision is typically rubber stamped by the judge, who fails to review the justification independently, even when the prosecutor has failed to articulate a specific ground. The “Paragraph 4” justification for detention (an accused on release may cause a disturbance or distress to the public) is typically used as a “catch all” justification, without further explanation or fact specific argument.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:01:50

Very interesting topic by my colleague Deljo. I will add a few additional interesting points- I think that obviously the legal decisions of pretrial detention are bias in favor of the prosecution system, and there is a little account for the civil human rights, i.e the rights by Constitution and the CPC. Namely, the most used argument for deciding on whether to grant pretrial detention is the basis - " influence on the examination procedure, interrupting the procedure, influence on the witnesses and etc. " and the examination is done pursuant to the CPC and if the prosecutor is not efficient than the defendant will stay in detention longer.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:05:18

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF BORO TASEVSKI COMMENT ABOVE

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:05:02

I would like to ask our colleagues how do they challenge poor justification of the decisions on ordering detention, and are these challenges successful?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:21:30

Hi Ermin.You can only try to challenge justification of such decisions but without real success.This is because they even do not look at the evidence for reasonable suspicion that detained person has committed the crime.

Katerina Nikolova 2015-06-03 16:05:18

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF BORO TASEVSKI COMMENT ABOVE

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 16:05:41

Во контекст на прашањето на определување мерка притвор поради влијание-попречување на истрагата,одбраната секогаш е хендикепирана бидеејки според ЗКП и одбраната има право да води своја истрага,да превзема определени истражни дејствија,па се поставува прашањето како одбраната да ја води својата истрага и да превзема определени дејствија во истрагата а заради подготовка на одбраната-во услови кога обвинетиот е во притвор ,па прашањето и опасноста за влијание врз истрагата и нејзино попречување- може исто така да се примени и врз самата мерка притвор ,бидеејки со неа директно се влијае-оневозможува одбраната и нејзината истрага.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:01

On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:40

[TRANSLATION] On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:05:51

More-less, we all now the problems, but the problem is how to make this changes. Maybe some training for PTD decision-makers, to rightfully asses the legal grounds when imposing this custodial measure, or how to use other alternatives to PTD, such as bail, especially when it comes to pledges.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:06:33

In region we have changed our criminal procedure codes.The provisions on pretrial detention,grounds for it did not changed a lot,but now the new role of pretrial judge is that he decides for pretrial detention without taking part in investigation. When there was investigate judge he knew the evidence and could make decision of if there are grounds for detention.Now, pretrial judge is even not asking the evidence to be presented in front of him.And the provision of art.165 stipulates that there has to be a reasonable suspicion person has committed a crime and detention necessary for criminal procedure to take place.How can a pretrial judge decide if there is reasonable suspicion if he does not look at the evidence?!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:11:32

Deljo, it does seem like the new Macedonian CPC does not provide for any assessment of the evidence and whether at the beginning stages of the investigation there is enough to hold someone in for the charges. In your opinion, are defendants staying in custody in the absence of sufficient evidence to support the charges.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:25:23

Yes Beth.I am not saying that defendants are not guilty or else.It is a meter of having enough evidence that the detained person is reasonably suspicions and there is a lack of explanation in the decisions for PTD so you can not effectively challenge it.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:31:15

There needs to be a mechanism to ensure there is enough evidence, agreed.... any ideas how this could be changed in Macedonia? It would be compelling if there were some innocent defendants who spent a long time in custody and were released due to lack of evidence. This may be a good story to present along with arguments that the law needs to be changed.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:07:14

Hi to everybody, The topic is very important and permanently is actual. the key issue is to have clear laws, good training and law enforcement who will enforce the procedures for pre-trial detention with integrity, just in the case when it is neccesery.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:08:04

Thank you for sharing the ABA ROLI DPAT. We participated in the assessment and drafting of the report, and all the stakeholders (attorneys, CSOs, even judges) reported wide use of pre-trial detention in Serbia. How about the use of alternatives to detention? I know Serbia is still facing challenges in that regard, and that detention is still the most common measure for securing the presence of an accused. What's the situation like in the Region?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:35:36

Ana, your comment is so true.... and I would agree that more or less the situation is similar in Macedonia as in Serbia. But since we have a new system of criminal procedure, the adversarial system, this means that we as defense lawyers should have more active role with regard to detention as a measure for securing the presence of the accused, because we have the possibility according to the Law, to have our own investigation in respect of collecting evidence, contacting witnesses, collecting written statements of witnesses and by doing so, we should always (when reasonable of course) object the detention as a measure because the Law provides other measures as well, for securing the presence of the accused which are less restrictive!

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:55:23

I completely agree. Defense attorneys have to be more pro-active, especially having in mind possibilities prescribed by the reformed criminal procedure legislation.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:11:32

Deljo, it does seem like the new Macedonian CPC does not provide for any assessment of the evidence and whether at the beginning stages of the investigation there is enough to hold someone in for the charges. In your opinion, are defendants staying in custody in the absence of sufficient evidence to support the charges.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:25:23

Yes Beth.I am not saying that defendants are not guilty or else.It is a meter of having enough evidence that the detained person is reasonably suspicions and there is a lack of explanation in the decisions for PTD so you can not effectively challenge it.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:31:15

There needs to be a mechanism to ensure there is enough evidence, agreed.... any ideas how this could be changed in Macedonia? It would be compelling if there were some innocent defendants who spent a long time in custody and were released due to lack of evidence. This may be a good story to present along with arguments that the law needs to be changed.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:11:58

Dear colleague Deljo.... great topic! In order to be determined detention there must be a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. As grounds for detention according to the Criminal Law (in Macedonia, particularly) are the following: -person in hiding, -identity cannot be established, -flight risk, -danger to community, -danger of interfering with investigation, -person avoiding summons. In my opinion, the danger of interfering with investigation (tempering with witnesses) should be considered as very serious ground that must be supported by ,,real,, evidence and at the same time must be proven this ground by the prosecutor having in mind the fact that the investigation is run by the Prosecutor. This means that the accused person might have no idea who are the witnesses and therefore in such cases it is not possible for the accused to interfere with the investigation! The Law says that the detention decision must contain all legal grounds for detention, all facts supporting reasonable suspicion, elaborated reasons for each separate ground of detention and reasons why court believes less restrictive measures cannot be used. By having such provision in the Law, I believe lawyers must pay serious attention to the detention decision itself and always to ask for less restrictive measures. In relation to this is also the issue with the ,,bargain,, where the lawyer is playing the key role by knowing all strong and weak points of the case for the client to get the best advice and a proper defense.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:18:33

Exactly Ruzica.Law says that the judge has to give explanation for the grounds for his decision for PTD and how can he do it if he does not know the evidence,how can he give explanation on "reasonable suspicious" ground?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:44:50

Deljo, you are right. This is a great point and we all know how the things are done in practice. That's why I said in my comment (especially in reference with the interference with investigation) that such ground must be supported by ,,real evidence,, and proven enough by the prosecutor !

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:19:27

good point! the next step is supporting the Rule of Law and integrity of the professionals, insisting for the reasonable arguments, instead of phrases.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:21:25

Ruzica, since the lawyers have a right to investigate the case - meaning contact witnesses and do their own independent investigation, there must be specific and credible evidence that the defendant will IMPROPERLY tamper or try to influence witnesses. Are judges routinely using this factor in their decision to detain without specific evidence?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:41:09

Beth, unfortunately, in the past this ground was used among the other grounds very often and the detention decision was rarely properly explained. I mentioned the possibility of the lawyers to investigate the case in their own way, as a chance or as a moving point for the lawyers according to the new CPC with regard to all cases that are settled by the new law, and as much as possible to use these legal possibilities for defending our clients.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:18:33

Exactly Ruzica.Law says that the judge has to give explanation for the grounds for his decision for PTD and how can he do it if he does not know the evidence,how can he give explanation on "reasonable suspicious" ground?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:44:50

Deljo, you are right. This is a great point and we all know how the things are done in practice. That's why I said in my comment (especially in reference with the interference with investigation) that such ground must be supported by ,,real evidence,, and proven enough by the prosecutor !

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:19:02

“Regional Meeting on promoting reforms in pre-trial detention” that was held on February 19, 2015, Pristina, Kosovo, determined as one of the problems that due to lack of institutional mechanisms and capacities for the implementation of alternatives, there is a need to strengthen such mechanisms and provide trainings for judges and prosecutors in the efficient application of pre-trial detention according to international standards, focusing primarily in ECtHR judgments/interpretation.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:22:05

Precisely, that is why the training on use of alternatives is important. Also, these wrongful decisions are often contrary to the Constitution and to the ECHR respectively.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:29:28

Vladmir, in your opinion are advocates asking for alternatives and also raising the ECHR and constitutional violations associated with improper imposition of detention?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:32:05

Yes, we seek! The problem is because the decisions on Constitutional violations are declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:19:27

good point! the next step is supporting the Rule of Law and integrity of the professionals, insisting for the reasonable arguments, instead of phrases.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:21:25

Ruzica, since the lawyers have a right to investigate the case - meaning contact witnesses and do their own independent investigation, there must be specific and credible evidence that the defendant will IMPROPERLY tamper or try to influence witnesses. Are judges routinely using this factor in their decision to detain without specific evidence?

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:41:09

Beth, unfortunately, in the past this ground was used among the other grounds very often and the detention decision was rarely properly explained. I mentioned the possibility of the lawyers to investigate the case in their own way, as a chance or as a moving point for the lawyers according to the new CPC with regard to all cases that are settled by the new law, and as much as possible to use these legal possibilities for defending our clients.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:21:30

Hi Ermin.You can only try to challenge justification of such decisions but without real success.This is because they even do not look at the evidence for reasonable suspicion that detained person has committed the crime.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:21:39

Hi everybody and congratulation for this topic. That is very important for us in Montenegro. We have a progress but we still have many problems it this issue.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:22:05

Precisely, that is why the training on use of alternatives is important. Also, these wrongful decisions are often contrary to the Constitution and to the ECHR respectively.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:29:28

Vladmir, in your opinion are advocates asking for alternatives and also raising the ECHR and constitutional violations associated with improper imposition of detention?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:32:05

Yes, we seek! The problem is because the decisions on Constitutional violations are declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:22:22

Thank you Ruzica and Deljo. Would a training for judges, as recommended by the Regional Meeting Report, contribute to better protection of human rights of suspect/accused when faced with a possibility of ordering detention against them? Or we should think of something in addition to this measure?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:22:30

Hi everyone – this is a very interesting discussion which it’s great to be a part of. At Fair Trials International, we have long been campaigning for a reduction in the excessive and unjustified use of pre-trial detention in the EU and beyond. We published our report on the issue – Detained without Trial – in 2011, and we are currently leading a 10-country research project on pre-trial detention decision-making (in Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK). The findings of our research have illustrated many of the problems which you are also identifying in the Balkans region. Defence practitioners have limited ability to influence the decision-making process, as Judges seem to rubber-stamp the detention orders requested by prosecutors. The reasoning provided is very formalistic and does not demonstrate how the grounds for pre-trial detention are met with reference to the specific facts of the case in hand. Alternatives to detention are used insufficiently. Reviews of pre-trial detention do generally take place at regular intervals, but they are even more formalistic that the initial decision and rarely apply a higher standard of scrutiny (despite this being required by the ECHR jurisprudence). These problems result in very high percentage of pre-trial detainees in prison population in many EU Member States, with corresponding problems with prison conditions (as highlighted by the ECtHR in several recent cases involving Italy and Hungary, for example). We hope that our research will provide a unique evidence base to support our advocacy for legal reforms, both at the national but also at the EU level, where we are hoping to see new legislation setting out minimum standards for pre-trial detention decision-making in the next year or two.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:25:02

Our report, Detained without Trial is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/documents/DetentionWithoutTrialFullReport.pdf And more information on our research project is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/press/update-on-fair-trials-pre-trial-detention-project/

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:30:09

Thank you Libby for this! The situation would be better if we could use the EU mechanisms i.e. the infringement procedure when it comes to protection of minimum standards.

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:32:48

the regional research with the same topic and methodology could be useful project for the WBs, having in mind the sensitivity of the issue and limited sources for this.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:48:17

Agreed Trpe, but can you clarify what you mean by WB?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:49:43

We did discuss the use of this methodology in the WBs during the Pristina meeting in February, and would be happy to discuss further!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:28:20

Libby, thanks for the overview on the work FTI has done in this area. Maybe this legislation can also be cited to decision-makers here in terms of reforming criminal procedure codes to address this issue. Has FTI or any of its members developed successful strategies that advocates can implement in the courtroom. I remember one advocate took pictures of their client in custody to show the maltreatment he was receiving. Maybe there are other strategies lawyers can employ in the hearing to persuade the judge to order an alternative.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:37:09

I believe I mentioned this French case at the meeting in Pristina in February, where the lawyer and judge visited the client in detention which led to his release: http://www.thelocal.fr/20130627/french-judge-frees-inmate-over-wet-and-windy-cell

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:25:02

Our report, Detained without Trial is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/documents/DetentionWithoutTrialFullReport.pdf And more information on our research project is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/press/update-on-fair-trials-pre-trial-detention-project/

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:30:09

Thank you Libby for this! The situation would be better if we could use the EU mechanisms i.e. the infringement procedure when it comes to protection of minimum standards.

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:32:48

the regional research with the same topic and methodology could be useful project for the WBs, having in mind the sensitivity of the issue and limited sources for this.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:48:17

Agreed Trpe, but can you clarify what you mean by WB?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:49:43

We did discuss the use of this methodology in the WBs during the Pristina meeting in February, and would be happy to discuss further!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:25:23

Yes Beth.I am not saying that defendants are not guilty or else.It is a meter of having enough evidence that the detained person is reasonably suspicions and there is a lack of explanation in the decisions for PTD so you can not effectively challenge it.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:31:15

There needs to be a mechanism to ensure there is enough evidence, agreed.... any ideas how this could be changed in Macedonia? It would be compelling if there were some innocent defendants who spent a long time in custody and were released due to lack of evidence. This may be a good story to present along with arguments that the law needs to be changed.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:01

On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-03 16:27:40

[TRANSLATION] On one hand one of the grounds for detention is the block of the investigation, and on the other hand the detained person has the right to participate in the defense investigation which is permitted under the Macedonian CPS, so the detained person is disabled to participate in his own investigation because of the detention. The defense is always handicapped.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:28:09

Thank you Libby for these useful comments. As I can see report from your organization, as well as of NGOs in the region following up on this issue, addresses violation of the Article 5 of the ECHR. There is already a number of decision against our countries in the region for violating rights of suspect/accused in criminal proceedings. Do our courts take in consideration these ECHR judgments when deciding upon request of a prosecutor on ordering detention, at all?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:28:20

Libby, thanks for the overview on the work FTI has done in this area. Maybe this legislation can also be cited to decision-makers here in terms of reforming criminal procedure codes to address this issue. Has FTI or any of its members developed successful strategies that advocates can implement in the courtroom. I remember one advocate took pictures of their client in custody to show the maltreatment he was receiving. Maybe there are other strategies lawyers can employ in the hearing to persuade the judge to order an alternative.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:37:09

I believe I mentioned this French case at the meeting in Pristina in February, where the lawyer and judge visited the client in detention which led to his release: http://www.thelocal.fr/20130627/french-judge-frees-inmate-over-wet-and-windy-cell

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:29:28

Vladmir, in your opinion are advocates asking for alternatives and also raising the ECHR and constitutional violations associated with improper imposition of detention?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:32:05

Yes, we seek! The problem is because the decisions on Constitutional violations are declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:30:09

Thank you Libby for this! The situation would be better if we could use the EU mechanisms i.e. the infringement procedure when it comes to protection of minimum standards.

Gordan Kalajdziev 2015-06-03 16:31:05

Hi everybody. Great idea to discuss some controversial issues. The problem of the misuse of the detention is one of the rare issues that were/are discussed and analysed (unlike other important but neglected topics. However, it is still unresolved, showing again and again the same or similar anomalies. I do not agree that the problem lies in the Code of Criminal procedure, but in the values adopted by judges. Judges are more crime controll oriented, instead of due process!I hope that the new model of more adversarial procedure will change the old value system of judges. Released from the duty to investigate the case, they will probably become guardians of individuals liberty and security. In dubio pro libertate must became a real principle not just a rhetoric. Additionaly, no judge in Macedonia has been discharged for wrong or unnecessary detention, but many for releasing or determining house arrest instead detention.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:39:24

Hi Gordan,good to have you here. I fully agree that the problem does not lie in the CPC ,the law good,but we have to persuade somehow judges that they have to start thinking of how to use it.There are much more measures for presence of defendant and they always and I repeat,always decide if there was a request for detention ,to put the defendant in detention. I can hardly remember a decision that judge has opposed to the request for detention of the prosecutor.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:43:36

Gordan, thank you for your insight. It is very disturbing that judges were discharged for releasing or imposing house arrest. This sends a clear message to the judges to detain. It would be interesting to see the reasoning behind the decisions to discipline. This seems hugely problematic to me.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:31:15

There needs to be a mechanism to ensure there is enough evidence, agreed.... any ideas how this could be changed in Macedonia? It would be compelling if there were some innocent defendants who spent a long time in custody and were released due to lack of evidence. This may be a good story to present along with arguments that the law needs to be changed.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:31:58

I see that we have same problems in all region and we need regional approach. Firstly we need the training of judges and prosecutors but we need and developed a system for alternatives. In Montenegro that system is not developed and detention more use which sanctions.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:32:05

Yes, we seek! The problem is because the decisions on Constitutional violations are declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Trpe Stojanovski 2015-06-03 16:32:48

the regional research with the same topic and methodology could be useful project for the WBs, having in mind the sensitivity of the issue and limited sources for this.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:48:17

Agreed Trpe, but can you clarify what you mean by WB?

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:49:43

We did discuss the use of this methodology in the WBs during the Pristina meeting in February, and would be happy to discuss further!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:34:28

Maybe some of the conclusions from already mentioned regional meeting on fostering alternative measures could spur our discussion: 1) Changing judicial attitudes and promoting the use of alternatives to PTD: The group stated the problem as the overuse of pre-trial detention and the violation of the human rights of those people in detention. The group proposed the following advocacy actions to address this, focused on changing judicial attitudes and promoting alternatives: - Share findings of trial monitoring projects and use statistics and human stories with the judiciary authorities; - Sensitize judges and prosecutors about impact of their decisions and the conditions in detention facilities by highlighting concrete case examples from monitoring and arranging visits to detention centres etc. This will ensure that judges know where they are sending people to; - Training of judges and prosecutors as part of their continuous training on the use of alternatives to PTD. Representatives from the Albanian Helsinki Committee explained that they have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Magistrates School through which they provide training and that this is an example of good practice; - Strategic litigation focused on issues relating to Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights; - Build the alliances with different stakeholders, including state/non-state actors, the media, political decision-makers; - Use the political agenda, such as the EU accession process under which every state has been given ‘homework’ which may be put to good use in pushing certain priorities; and - Promotion of the findings of CPT reports.

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:35:36

Ana, your comment is so true.... and I would agree that more or less the situation is similar in Macedonia as in Serbia. But since we have a new system of criminal procedure, the adversarial system, this means that we as defense lawyers should have more active role with regard to detention as a measure for securing the presence of the accused, because we have the possibility according to the Law, to have our own investigation in respect of collecting evidence, contacting witnesses, collecting written statements of witnesses and by doing so, we should always (when reasonable of course) object the detention as a measure because the Law provides other measures as well, for securing the presence of the accused which are less restrictive!

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:55:23

I completely agree. Defense attorneys have to be more pro-active, especially having in mind possibilities prescribed by the reformed criminal procedure legislation.

Ana Desic 2015-06-03 16:36:48

Thank you for raising this issue! It is of crucial importance to human rights, as well as legal profession. We shouldn’t forget that human dignity of the defendant kept in detention is not equal to the dignity of the defendant released pending trial. I strongly agree with colleague Kalajdziev that solution lies in the implementation of the existing CPC provisions and alternatives to detention.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:42:13

Of course Ana we must concern for human dignity. If we have crowded in prisons in all country in region that is may be very bad for human dignity.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:44:44

Milan, there may also be an argument regarding the cost of pre-trial detention to the state.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:48:05

Beth - that is certainly an argument which resonates with EU Member States facing prison overcrowding challenges ie. that if you can reduce the excessive use of pre-trial detention - to make sure that only the people that really need to be detained are detailed - then you should be able to reduce overcrowding.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:53:44

I agree. We have many arguments but authorities them not understand. Fortunately accession to European Union our countries changes laws but still practice remains questionable.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:37:09

I believe I mentioned this French case at the meeting in Pristina in February, where the lawyer and judge visited the client in detention which led to his release: http://www.thelocal.fr/20130627/french-judge-frees-inmate-over-wet-and-windy-cell

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:38:51

The recent EU Directive on the Right to Information - available here - includes Article 7(1) which obliges Member States to ensure that the defence has access to all materials necessary to challenge the lawfulness of arrest and detention. You can read the measure in full here - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:142:0001:0010:en:PDF

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:39:24

Hi Gordan,good to have you here. I fully agree that the problem does not lie in the CPC ,the law good,but we have to persuade somehow judges that they have to start thinking of how to use it.There are much more measures for presence of defendant and they always and I repeat,always decide if there was a request for detention ,to put the defendant in detention. I can hardly remember a decision that judge has opposed to the request for detention of the prosecutor.

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:41:09

Beth, unfortunately, in the past this ground was used among the other grounds very often and the detention decision was rarely properly explained. I mentioned the possibility of the lawyers to investigate the case in their own way, as a chance or as a moving point for the lawyers according to the new CPC with regard to all cases that are settled by the new law, and as much as possible to use these legal possibilities for defending our clients.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:42:13

Of course Ana we must concern for human dignity. If we have crowded in prisons in all country in region that is may be very bad for human dignity.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:44:44

Milan, there may also be an argument regarding the cost of pre-trial detention to the state.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:48:05

Beth - that is certainly an argument which resonates with EU Member States facing prison overcrowding challenges ie. that if you can reduce the excessive use of pre-trial detention - to make sure that only the people that really need to be detained are detailed - then you should be able to reduce overcrowding.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:53:44

I agree. We have many arguments but authorities them not understand. Fortunately accession to European Union our countries changes laws but still practice remains questionable.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:43:01

Thank you Gordan for your comment that no judge in Macedonia has been discharged for wrong or unnecessary detention, but many for releasing or determining house arrest instead detention. So, it seems to me that it is not only a problem of judges to turn to adversarial system, but that even those who have authority of monitoring, evaluating and taking disciplinary measures against judges have to change their way of understanding of legal institutes of protection of human rights of suspect/accused during pre-trial procedure.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:49:21

Ermin it is fact that in Macedonia some judges were discharged for releasing some defendants from PTD,but it is my personal opinion that this happened only because somebody wanted do "discipline" judges in Macedonia. The result is that now every time when prosecutor requests PTD judge decides to put defendant in detention.It should not prevent us from trying to find a way to work with judges in order to implement EU standards in this metter

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:43:36

Gordan, thank you for your insight. It is very disturbing that judges were discharged for releasing or imposing house arrest. This sends a clear message to the judges to detain. It would be interesting to see the reasoning behind the decisions to discipline. This seems hugely problematic to me.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:44:44

Milan, there may also be an argument regarding the cost of pre-trial detention to the state.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:48:05

Beth - that is certainly an argument which resonates with EU Member States facing prison overcrowding challenges ie. that if you can reduce the excessive use of pre-trial detention - to make sure that only the people that really need to be detained are detailed - then you should be able to reduce overcrowding.

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:53:44

I agree. We have many arguments but authorities them not understand. Fortunately accession to European Union our countries changes laws but still practice remains questionable.

Ruzica Nikolovska 2015-06-03 16:44:50

Deljo, you are right. This is a great point and we all know how the things are done in practice. That's why I said in my comment (especially in reference with the interference with investigation) that such ground must be supported by ,,real evidence,, and proven enough by the prosecutor !

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:46:19

I think that one of the challenges faced by lawyers and judges alike across the whole of the Council of Europe is that the ECtHR jurisprudence on pre-trial detention is pretty hard to navigate as it has developed over so many different cases. Fair Trials has produced an overview of the jurisprudence, both in the Detained without Trial report (pages 30-32) and also our Note of Advice on Applying for Release Pending Trial (pages 15-22) which is available here - http://www.fairtrials.org/wp-content/uploads/Applying-for-Release-Pending-Trial-UK.pdf. Of course the challenge is that defence lawyers often do not have enough time during detention hearings to raise arguments of this nature.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:50:06

Precisely and as I stressed, the decision of the Constitutional court on PTD violations is declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:01:19

Thanks Vladmir for explaining... I asked this question in the stream above. Why do you think they only issue declaratory judgments... because decision on PTD is an interim measure...?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:11:32

Well, the legal nature of these decisions is declaratory and they do not reverse the PTD decisions of regular court. But, I think it is not the problem to challenge these PTD decisions on constitutional/ECHR grounds, as they are in most cases contrary to these standards.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:48:05

Beth - that is certainly an argument which resonates with EU Member States facing prison overcrowding challenges ie. that if you can reduce the excessive use of pre-trial detention - to make sure that only the people that really need to be detained are detailed - then you should be able to reduce overcrowding.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:48:17

Agreed Trpe, but can you clarify what you mean by WB?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:49:21

Ermin it is fact that in Macedonia some judges were discharged for releasing some defendants from PTD,but it is my personal opinion that this happened only because somebody wanted do "discipline" judges in Macedonia. The result is that now every time when prosecutor requests PTD judge decides to put defendant in detention.It should not prevent us from trying to find a way to work with judges in order to implement EU standards in this metter

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 16:49:43

We did discuss the use of this methodology in the WBs during the Pristina meeting in February, and would be happy to discuss further!

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 16:50:06

Precisely and as I stressed, the decision of the Constitutional court on PTD violations is declaratory in nature.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:01:19

Thanks Vladmir for explaining... I asked this question in the stream above. Why do you think they only issue declaratory judgments... because decision on PTD is an interim measure...?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:11:32

Well, the legal nature of these decisions is declaratory and they do not reverse the PTD decisions of regular court. But, I think it is not the problem to challenge these PTD decisions on constitutional/ECHR grounds, as they are in most cases contrary to these standards.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 16:51:55

In all countries of the region there are functional judicial and prosecutorial training centers. In some of our countries we have attorneys academies. Would it be possible to include this topic in their curricula, in a form of a joint round table for attorneys, judges and prosecutors so they could jointly come up with proposals for a solutions to the problem. One of the issues could be, as Libby just said, to make judges and prosecutors more familiar with the ECHR jurisprudence.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:56:03

In Macedonia I am suspicious that it can work properly.This is because we have Academy for judges and public prosecutors. So they teach the judges and public prosecutors together and you can not expect result you wish form that.I think that separate training especially for the judges will give better result

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:01:50

As far as judicial training is concnerned, I am not convinced it is the solution. We can teach judges and prosecutors the regional standards, but if their preference is to order pre-trial detention (so as to avoid the risk of losing face/ media criticism etc) then they will continue to do so. I think the more interesting question is how we ensure that they apply those standards. I think rules (whether in the form of legislation or policy guidance) relating to the provision of reasoned decisions which not only specify the grounds upon which detention is ordered but also the specific reasons why those grounds apply to the case in question are absolutely key. This would need to be accompanied by a right to challenge any decision which does not comply with such requirements. Is this something which could be useful in the WBs?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:08:19

I agree that a policy guidance can help.But keep in mind that we are new in accusatory system,so there are not any decisions of higher court regarding this standards. I guess that judgments from abroad could be a solution

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:11:42

Yes Libby, I do agree with your idea as in the region there's need for more energic and immediate actions on PTD reforms. In Kosovo we' are already doing an extensive analyzing of relevant data about the PTD application, starting from police custodial arrest, prosecutor office, courts/judges and appeal court aiming to show to the very relevant judicial authorities the results of PTD application or misapplication in Kosovo. This would be an advocacy action aiming to change the practice in PTD application and consider more alternatives to PTD..

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Milan Radovic 2015-06-03 16:53:44

I agree. We have many arguments but authorities them not understand. Fortunately accession to European Union our countries changes laws but still practice remains questionable.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-03 16:55:23

I completely agree. Defense attorneys have to be more pro-active, especially having in mind possibilities prescribed by the reformed criminal procedure legislation.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 16:56:00

Vladmir, so the Constitutional court decisions just state a violation has occurred in their decisions without providing reasoning that you can use to argue why a violation has occurred in your specific case.

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 16:56:03

In Macedonia I am suspicious that it can work properly.This is because we have Academy for judges and public prosecutors. So they teach the judges and public prosecutors together and you can not expect result you wish form that.I think that separate training especially for the judges will give better result

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:01:50

As far as judicial training is concnerned, I am not convinced it is the solution. We can teach judges and prosecutors the regional standards, but if their preference is to order pre-trial detention (so as to avoid the risk of losing face/ media criticism etc) then they will continue to do so. I think the more interesting question is how we ensure that they apply those standards. I think rules (whether in the form of legislation or policy guidance) relating to the provision of reasoned decisions which not only specify the grounds upon which detention is ordered but also the specific reasons why those grounds apply to the case in question are absolutely key. This would need to be accompanied by a right to challenge any decision which does not comply with such requirements. Is this something which could be useful in the WBs?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:08:19

I agree that a policy guidance can help.But keep in mind that we are new in accusatory system,so there are not any decisions of higher court regarding this standards. I guess that judgments from abroad could be a solution

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:11:42

Yes Libby, I do agree with your idea as in the region there's need for more energic and immediate actions on PTD reforms. In Kosovo we' are already doing an extensive analyzing of relevant data about the PTD application, starting from police custodial arrest, prosecutor office, courts/judges and appeal court aiming to show to the very relevant judicial authorities the results of PTD application or misapplication in Kosovo. This would be an advocacy action aiming to change the practice in PTD application and consider more alternatives to PTD..

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:01:19

Thanks Vladmir for explaining... I asked this question in the stream above. Why do you think they only issue declaratory judgments... because decision on PTD is an interim measure...?

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:11:32

Well, the legal nature of these decisions is declaratory and they do not reverse the PTD decisions of regular court. But, I think it is not the problem to challenge these PTD decisions on constitutional/ECHR grounds, as they are in most cases contrary to these standards.

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:01:38

Hi to everyone, I'm really sorry I couldn't join you from the very beginning, but I congratulate the organizer for the idea ! Alban from KRCT - Kosovo

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:01:50

As far as judicial training is concnerned, I am not convinced it is the solution. We can teach judges and prosecutors the regional standards, but if their preference is to order pre-trial detention (so as to avoid the risk of losing face/ media criticism etc) then they will continue to do so. I think the more interesting question is how we ensure that they apply those standards. I think rules (whether in the form of legislation or policy guidance) relating to the provision of reasoned decisions which not only specify the grounds upon which detention is ordered but also the specific reasons why those grounds apply to the case in question are absolutely key. This would need to be accompanied by a right to challenge any decision which does not comply with such requirements. Is this something which could be useful in the WBs?

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:08:19

I agree that a policy guidance can help.But keep in mind that we are new in accusatory system,so there are not any decisions of higher court regarding this standards. I guess that judgments from abroad could be a solution

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:11:42

Yes Libby, I do agree with your idea as in the region there's need for more energic and immediate actions on PTD reforms. In Kosovo we' are already doing an extensive analyzing of relevant data about the PTD application, starting from police custodial arrest, prosecutor office, courts/judges and appeal court aiming to show to the very relevant judicial authorities the results of PTD application or misapplication in Kosovo. This would be an advocacy action aiming to change the practice in PTD application and consider more alternatives to PTD..

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-03 17:04:09

Alban, thank you for joining us at the forum.

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:07:19

Thanks Ermin, its my pleasure

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:08:44

Alban, thanks for joining and I am glad we got the technical issues sorted!

Boro Tasevski 2015-06-03 17:05:04

Thanks for very fruitful discussion. Maybe the wright answer to our dilemmas is simply to force judges to explain in their decisions for pre trial detention why the same effect can not be reached with other measures especially with home detention or bail in every particular case and for every particular accused person. Judges are concentrated in their decisions to explain the need of pre trial detention by explaining the bases for pre trial detention, but if we force them with the changes in CPC to explain why the same effect is no possible with home detention or bail we will at the same time force them to think more about this or other alternative measures.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:05:18

Please feel free to keep posting today and thereafter and we welcome additional ideas and suggestions for ways we can support reform in this area. Your comments have been very valuable and we will try to follow up on them. We plan to host other fora so if you have a topic that is of interest, please let us know. Thanks again for your participation and we hope to see you on another LIVE forum!! We will keep you posted!

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:09:32

Thank you Beth!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:12:29

Thanks Beth for moderating this forum.It was interesting and second part of the topic seems will be another topic .

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:14:18

Thanks a lot Elizabeth, I'm really sorry for my delay. I really hope we'd have another chance to discuss this and other important topics. My Bests to all of you

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:07:19

Thanks Ermin, its my pleasure

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:08:44

Alban, thanks for joining and I am glad we got the technical issues sorted!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:08:19

I agree that a policy guidance can help.But keep in mind that we are new in accusatory system,so there are not any decisions of higher court regarding this standards. I guess that judgments from abroad could be a solution

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-03 17:08:44

Alban, thanks for joining and I am glad we got the technical issues sorted!

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 17:09:32

Thank you Beth!

Gordan Kalajdziev 2015-06-03 17:10:04

In private conversations, judges admit that most of detention are ordered for practical reasons-to secure the attendance of accused, but not necessarily connected with fear of escape, but for other delay tricks

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:11:32

Well, the legal nature of these decisions is declaratory and they do not reverse the PTD decisions of regular court. But, I think it is not the problem to challenge these PTD decisions on constitutional/ECHR grounds, as they are in most cases contrary to these standards.

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:11:42

Yes Libby, I do agree with your idea as in the region there's need for more energic and immediate actions on PTD reforms. In Kosovo we' are already doing an extensive analyzing of relevant data about the PTD application, starting from police custodial arrest, prosecutor office, courts/judges and appeal court aiming to show to the very relevant judicial authorities the results of PTD application or misapplication in Kosovo. This would be an advocacy action aiming to change the practice in PTD application and consider more alternatives to PTD..

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Deljo Kadiev 2015-06-03 17:12:29

Thanks Beth for moderating this forum.It was interesting and second part of the topic seems will be another topic .

Alban Muriqi 2015-06-03 17:14:18

Thanks a lot Elizabeth, I'm really sorry for my delay. I really hope we'd have another chance to discuss this and other important topics. My Bests to all of you

Vladimir Hrle 2015-06-03 17:24:30

They provide reasoning, strictly formally, this decision cannot per se reverse the PTD decision of the regular court and often comes belated, as the Constitutional court is overloaded with other cases.

Libby McVeigh 2015-06-03 18:19:19

Thanks Alban. I'd be really keen to hear more about your findings and planned advocacy actions!

Genc Nimoni 2015-06-04 11:36:27

Hi to everyone! Sorry that I couldn’t enjoy the conversation yesterday but I informed Katerina that I haven’t chance to participate yesterday, so, I would try to contribute today. Firstly let me congratulate you for the topic.. I see that there are a lot of comments, so I’m glad for it. I will try to contribute about Kosova, the situation here with misuse of detention and it’s effect on Plea Bargaining. Plea Bargaining is a new criminal institute in Kosova which entered into a force in 2013 acceptable by new Criminal Procedure Code. Related with the first part, misuse of detention, we have interesting cases in Kosovo. I will focus in the fact that how this “measure” (detention) is applicable in Kosovo and how our organs - institutions (courts) apply that measure.. in general. Sometimes our bodies - institutions (courts and prosecutors) are not on their level of duty when they apply this measure. We have different cases against the law; cases when the court have been called to apply this measure and they didn’t, even there was a murder and the suspect accepted the guilty; and the other situation when the court applied this measure against important officials wrongly, just to implicate in crime those important figures of high profile and to degrade them. So in general, our bodies - institutions (prosecution and courts) must be more professional when they propose and apply this kind of measure on Criminal Procedure Code and to respect human rights firstly, national and international laws and convents during judicial processes. There is a lot of space for improvement.

Genc Nimoni 2015-06-04 11:37:45

Related with the effect on Plea Bargaining, The Plea Bargaining or Negotiated Pleas of Guilty as it is known in our Criminal Procedure Code is a new in our country. This institute begin to apply in 2013, when our new Criminal Procedure code, entered into a force. In fact I don’t have any statistics about that, I don’t know how this penal institute is applicable in our country because there is a lack of experience with it, but based on my colleagues’ information, there are just few cases in our country. I will search about it and I will write too.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-04 13:23:03

Genc, plea bargaining is new through the region and I think the results are mixed. One of our members Jordan Daci from Albania, will be making a study visit to Estonia to learn how they successfully introduced plea bargaining into their system. Estonia like the Balkans countries has a civil law tradition. I think it would be worthwhile if you share your information regarding Kosovo's experience with him. We are asking him to reach out to colleagues throughout BRRLN on problems they are experiencing with plea bargaining to help inform his Estonia visit.

Genc Nimoni 2015-06-04 11:37:45

Related with the effect on Plea Bargaining, The Plea Bargaining or Negotiated Pleas of Guilty as it is known in our Criminal Procedure Code is a new in our country. This institute begin to apply in 2013, when our new Criminal Procedure code, entered into a force. In fact I don’t have any statistics about that, I don’t know how this penal institute is applicable in our country because there is a lack of experience with it, but based on my colleagues’ information, there are just few cases in our country. I will search about it and I will write too.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-04 13:23:03

Genc, plea bargaining is new through the region and I think the results are mixed. One of our members Jordan Daci from Albania, will be making a study visit to Estonia to learn how they successfully introduced plea bargaining into their system. Estonia like the Balkans countries has a civil law tradition. I think it would be worthwhile if you share your information regarding Kosovo's experience with him. We are asking him to reach out to colleagues throughout BRRLN on problems they are experiencing with plea bargaining to help inform his Estonia visit.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-04 13:23:03

Genc, plea bargaining is new through the region and I think the results are mixed. One of our members Jordan Daci from Albania, will be making a study visit to Estonia to learn how they successfully introduced plea bargaining into their system. Estonia like the Balkans countries has a civil law tradition. I think it would be worthwhile if you share your information regarding Kosovo's experience with him. We are asking him to reach out to colleagues throughout BRRLN on problems they are experiencing with plea bargaining to help inform his Estonia visit.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-17 13:02:00

Thanks for the very interesting discussion. I really enjoined your comments.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 14:58:05

Attorneys in BiH, including myself, are utilizing the Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH, and are getting access to information when it comes to the institutions of minor safety significance in BiH. However, when it comes to institutions such as the Ministry of Defence, which is in possession of the war archives, they refuse to grant access to those documents and evidence on the grounds that such documents and evidence are designated with a confidentiality watermark, i.e. "secret" or "top secret" or else "confidential" or "highly confidential". Certainly, under these rules, the prosecutor has free access to this evidence which violates the principle of "equality of arms". Even I had a problem where the Ministry of Defence refused to act even on the request of the presiding judge to allow the defence access to wartime archives of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why we threatened to file a criminal charge against the Minister, and only then they delivered the documents to the Court, but not to us – the defence. The defence received the documents from the Court, which was generally detrimental to the defence because we may have never used some of the evidence. Lately, a particular problem is that the State Prosecution, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, it refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH, by which the defence is treated as a third party and not as an equal side in the process, a party which has all the rights in accordance with the Law, the EU Convention and the decisions of the Strasbourg Court, to have access to all documents in the possession of the Prosecution and the Court.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:02:50

Thanks Vasvija for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries both on the problems of access to evidence in relation to the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as of the FOIA, and possible solutions/experiences. Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:13:07

Do in countries other than in BIH the Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH treats the defense as a third party and not as an equal side in the process. Does a prosecutor have an easier access to documents relevant for the case than the defense attorney?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:14:36

Freedom of Access evidences is also ruined in civil cases....for example we also utilizing Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH when we ask evidences from Ministry of finance - tax administration, answer is always same....we will give evidences only if court asks, and we are losing necessary time.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:20:11

one lawyer proposed developing a manual for all government agencies on FOIA and training them on their obligations under the law. During a recent visit to Belgrade, we learned that the FOIA commissioner in Serbia has been very effective in getting the law enforced... maybe there are lessons to be learned there.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:23:07

I agree, trainings are necessary, however, there has to be inner pressure from the head of the institution. We have developed manual in YUCOM and we could share it, although it was published quite some time ago.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:36:24

Thanks Milan we would love to get a copy of the manual. What if there were sanctions available against the agency?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:36:26

I don't agree:) If something is ruled by law, why do we need to teach government bodies to apply law

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:34:29

Serbian Commissioner has been very active in this regards, together with the civil society. However, institutions vested with public powers (most of all, Security Information Agency, Ministry of Defense, etc) deny FOIA requests based on the reasoning that exposing the data could threaten national security and jeopardize the criminal investigations. Some of these cases resulted in the ECHR judgments (see Youth Initiative for Human Rights v Serbia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-120955#{"itemid":["001-120955"]})

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:41:31

Ana thank you for your comment. Has anything changed with the FOIA or its practical implementation as a result of the mentioned ECHR decision?

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:17:16

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:19:32

I am reffering to you regarding today subject. My name is Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI Attorney At law from Macedonia, and recently had a similar issue in front of the Criminal Court Skopje. According to CPC it is clearly stated that Court Verdicts shall be published in 2 two days term. Our request was rejected based on explanation by the Judge that the Court Verdict is not finalised and executive.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-17 16:19:57

Since Macedonian CPC came into force journalists are facing with a serious new challenge: how to report on court proceedings without violating a number of provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law greatly restricts the access of journalists to information from the investigation and trials, which was not the case before.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:20:33

We utilise FoIA for reaching some of the documents in civil cases we represent against institutions/state and the situation is the same, we can't get data and there also inequality of arms is in place.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:23:25

Milan, we were recently in Belgrade and learned that the Public Information Commissioner is pretty effective in getting agencies to comply with FOIA.... but it sounds like you have had a different experience. Where have you been having problems?

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:49:33

Problems are not lying at the office of the Commissioner, but more on the government that has to forceibly implement some of its decisions, when state institutions and public companies are not opening all the data. Also, problem lies in exemptions to the second instance procedure. It is proscribed in the Law that one cant file a complaint to the Commissioner against highest state institutions if they do not reply to the FOIA request. It these cases citizens have to go directly to the court procedure in order to get these informations.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:21:38

Are defense attorneys/attorneys in civil cases referred in other countries to the courts rather than being given requested information directly? Do you receive requested information timely, under legal deadlines? Are these deadlines too long when an attorney needs to react promptly i.e. in detention cases? Should those laws be changed? How could the BRRLN be of assistance?

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:21:46

Also, the CPC regarding the term of 2 two days for publishing is not respected from the Courts, thus the verdicts are usully published with a delay of more that ten months, or we are not even able to approuch the web site of the courts

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:21:55

When it comes to civil cases, the same goes for Macedonia. When we (TI-Macedonia) try to utilize this tool to obtain information by the Public Revenue Office, they often refuse to give the requested information explaining that they're not allowed to do that due to the public interest.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:24:19

That doesn't seem to make sense. What do you do in that case?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:38:44

We appeal to the Commission for protection of the right to free access to public information. Recently we received a response by the Public Revenue Office to our request for information about the number of controls they've made at certain private sector company for which we suspect that is committing tax evasion (information gotten by whistleblower). Their answer was that they possess that information, but they've concluded that it's a tax secret and therefore they can't give it to us.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:51:57

how frustrating... aren't all tax issues secrets? is the commission on public information helpful when requests are denied?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:27:25

In BIH the Ombudsperson is responsible for handling review process were public authority denies access to information. Is it the same in other countries? Do you have an effective remedy for these situations?

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:30:07

Thank you Ermin for the comment. I was also wondering about the solution in the region countries so we can compare it with the situation in BiH

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:38:42

Vasvija I would like to use your post to ask other colleagues if they also have an experience that a prosecutor, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information?

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:29:45

In one of the cases we lead against the city of Belgrade, we could not get the information who authorized/paid for the fence surrounding Roma settlement during the Univerziada in 2009. The fence later on fell on a Roma that we represent. We are still leading the case for obtaining data before the Commissioner for FOIA.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:31:32

Are you litigating in court? Does the Public Information officer help with that? Seems like such a long time.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:29:29

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. He was the foreign editor of The Post for six years in which the paper's international staff won many awards, including two Pulitzer prizes. As The Post’s managing editor, the paper’s second-ranking editor, Bennett helped supervise 800 journalists. The Post won ten Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. Between 2011-13, while on the Duke faculty, he was the managing editor of FRONTLINE, the public affairs television series broadcast on PBS. PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government. Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests. A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two." The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system. Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:31:12

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. He was the foreign editor of The Post for six years in which the paper's international staff won many awards, including two Pulitzer prizes. As The Post’s managing editor, the paper’s second-ranking editor, Bennett helped supervise 800 journalists. The Post won ten Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. Between 2011-13, while on the Duke faculty, he was the managing editor of FRONTLINE, the public affairs television series broadcast on PBS. PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government. Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests. A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two." The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system. Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:33:07

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. His bio can be found here: http://sanford.duke.edu/people/faculty/bennett-philip

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:33:56

PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:34:14

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:07

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:27

CONTINUED: A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two."

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:03

CONTINUED: The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:41

CONTINUED: Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:38:17

Do you share the same experience in your countries that the Prosecutors are wildly misusing the the Law on Freedom of Access to Information by non disclosing evidence during the investigation in criminal cases despite the Directive of the European Parliament?

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:40:57

Good afternoon, I am Jemima and work for Fair Trials, an organisation promoting the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings. I am following this discussion with a lot of interest. As the EU has developed a Directive on the Right to Information, which in art. 7 requires the Member State to ensure that the defendant has access to all material evidence/documents in the possession of the competent authorities, to safeguard the right to equality of arms. So at least in theory evidence should be provided to the defence party if necessary for defence. We are seeing that that this is not always provided and we are working with local lawyers and initiatives that this right and thus the evidence is provided in practice, too.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:46:41

I'm glad that such organisation exists, it is really important to safeguard the right to equality of arms.

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:54:14

The work on this issue in Spain by the lawyer's association we work closely with is described in a bit more detail here: http://www.fairtrials.org/press/guest-post-when-police-stations-are-not-european-territory/. You might find it interesting.

Laurie Sherman 2015-06-17 16:46:14

This is Laurie Sherman at the OSCE in Belgrade. We tried to get a participant from the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance to join the conversation but unfortunately they were too busy. I wanted to give people the website address for the Commissioner's 2014 annual report, which shows the extent to which the Serbian freedom of information law has been used and the difficulties encountered. http://www.poverenik.rs/images/stories/dokumentacija-nova/izvestajiPoverenika/2015/summary.pdf

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:52:54

Have any of our colleagues have an experience that the public authority was held liable for any damage caused to them (or to others) by denying them access to information?

Laurie Sherman 2015-06-17 16:56:39

From the Serbian Commissioner's report -- The fines imposed by the Commissioner in enforcement procedures secured an inflow of RSD 2,060,000 to the budget, while the outstanding amount of RSD 2,480,000 owing in fines could not be collected forcibly because the competent court in Belgrade declines jurisdiction in these cases, while all other courts in Serbia accept jurisdiction.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 17:10:34

Thank you Laurie, so it seems that remedy mechanisms of the FOIA in Serbia has at least some effect. But still, as Ana and other colleagues from the region pointed out, state agencies use the same excuses to deny access to information to lawyers. Despite the decisions of the ECHR a problem still exists. Some prosecutors knowing about this situation refer attorneys to the FOIA even they have to provide them with an access to the information from their cases under the CCP. It is not easy for lawyers either in civil or in criminal proceedings to provide for/defend interest/human rights of their clients. Trainings of the lawyers are envisioned by some of the international organizations. Opinions are divided when about providing trainings to the state institutions that have to provide information under the FOIA. It seems that there is a lot of job to be done to improve the situation. We are open to any proposals, solutions how the BRRLN could assist in this matter. With this we would like to thank you for participating at the forum today. We encourage you to continue posting topics of your interest. Best regards from the BRRLN team.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 17:18:38

Thank BRLN team for inviting us to panel discussion, it was helpful to hear other countries experiences on this theme, best regards!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:02:50

Thanks Vasvija for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries both on the problems of access to evidence in relation to the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as of the FOIA, and possible solutions/experiences. Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:13:07

Do in countries other than in BIH the Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH treats the defense as a third party and not as an equal side in the process. Does a prosecutor have an easier access to documents relevant for the case than the defense attorney?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:14:36

Freedom of Access evidences is also ruined in civil cases....for example we also utilizing Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH when we ask evidences from Ministry of finance - tax administration, answer is always same....we will give evidences only if court asks, and we are losing necessary time.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:20:11

one lawyer proposed developing a manual for all government agencies on FOIA and training them on their obligations under the law. During a recent visit to Belgrade, we learned that the FOIA commissioner in Serbia has been very effective in getting the law enforced... maybe there are lessons to be learned there.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:23:07

I agree, trainings are necessary, however, there has to be inner pressure from the head of the institution. We have developed manual in YUCOM and we could share it, although it was published quite some time ago.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:36:24

Thanks Milan we would love to get a copy of the manual. What if there were sanctions available against the agency?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:36:26

I don't agree:) If something is ruled by law, why do we need to teach government bodies to apply law

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:34:29

Serbian Commissioner has been very active in this regards, together with the civil society. However, institutions vested with public powers (most of all, Security Information Agency, Ministry of Defense, etc) deny FOIA requests based on the reasoning that exposing the data could threaten national security and jeopardize the criminal investigations. Some of these cases resulted in the ECHR judgments (see Youth Initiative for Human Rights v Serbia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-120955#{"itemid":["001-120955"]})

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:41:31

Ana thank you for your comment. Has anything changed with the FOIA or its practical implementation as a result of the mentioned ECHR decision?

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:17:16

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:19:32

I am reffering to you regarding today subject. My name is Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI Attorney At law from Macedonia, and recently had a similar issue in front of the Criminal Court Skopje. According to CPC it is clearly stated that Court Verdicts shall be published in 2 two days term. Our request was rejected based on explanation by the Judge that the Court Verdict is not finalised and executive.

Hristijan Koneski 2015-06-17 16:19:57

Since Macedonian CPC came into force journalists are facing with a serious new challenge: how to report on court proceedings without violating a number of provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law greatly restricts the access of journalists to information from the investigation and trials, which was not the case before.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:20:11

one lawyer proposed developing a manual for all government agencies on FOIA and training them on their obligations under the law. During a recent visit to Belgrade, we learned that the FOIA commissioner in Serbia has been very effective in getting the law enforced... maybe there are lessons to be learned there.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:23:07

I agree, trainings are necessary, however, there has to be inner pressure from the head of the institution. We have developed manual in YUCOM and we could share it, although it was published quite some time ago.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:36:24

Thanks Milan we would love to get a copy of the manual. What if there were sanctions available against the agency?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:36:26

I don't agree:) If something is ruled by law, why do we need to teach government bodies to apply law

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:34:29

Serbian Commissioner has been very active in this regards, together with the civil society. However, institutions vested with public powers (most of all, Security Information Agency, Ministry of Defense, etc) deny FOIA requests based on the reasoning that exposing the data could threaten national security and jeopardize the criminal investigations. Some of these cases resulted in the ECHR judgments (see Youth Initiative for Human Rights v Serbia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-120955#{"itemid":["001-120955"]})

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:41:31

Ana thank you for your comment. Has anything changed with the FOIA or its practical implementation as a result of the mentioned ECHR decision?

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:20:33

We utilise FoIA for reaching some of the documents in civil cases we represent against institutions/state and the situation is the same, we can't get data and there also inequality of arms is in place.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:23:25

Milan, we were recently in Belgrade and learned that the Public Information Commissioner is pretty effective in getting agencies to comply with FOIA.... but it sounds like you have had a different experience. Where have you been having problems?

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:49:33

Problems are not lying at the office of the Commissioner, but more on the government that has to forceibly implement some of its decisions, when state institutions and public companies are not opening all the data. Also, problem lies in exemptions to the second instance procedure. It is proscribed in the Law that one cant file a complaint to the Commissioner against highest state institutions if they do not reply to the FOIA request. It these cases citizens have to go directly to the court procedure in order to get these informations.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:21:38

Are defense attorneys/attorneys in civil cases referred in other countries to the courts rather than being given requested information directly? Do you receive requested information timely, under legal deadlines? Are these deadlines too long when an attorney needs to react promptly i.e. in detention cases? Should those laws be changed? How could the BRRLN be of assistance?

Biljana PANOVA VIDESKI 2015-06-17 16:21:46

Also, the CPC regarding the term of 2 two days for publishing is not respected from the Courts, thus the verdicts are usully published with a delay of more that ten months, or we are not even able to approuch the web site of the courts

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:21:55

When it comes to civil cases, the same goes for Macedonia. When we (TI-Macedonia) try to utilize this tool to obtain information by the Public Revenue Office, they often refuse to give the requested information explaining that they're not allowed to do that due to the public interest.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:24:19

That doesn't seem to make sense. What do you do in that case?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:38:44

We appeal to the Commission for protection of the right to free access to public information. Recently we received a response by the Public Revenue Office to our request for information about the number of controls they've made at certain private sector company for which we suspect that is committing tax evasion (information gotten by whistleblower). Their answer was that they possess that information, but they've concluded that it's a tax secret and therefore they can't give it to us.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:51:57

how frustrating... aren't all tax issues secrets? is the commission on public information helpful when requests are denied?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:27:25

In BIH the Ombudsperson is responsible for handling review process were public authority denies access to information. Is it the same in other countries? Do you have an effective remedy for these situations?

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:30:07

Thank you Ermin for the comment. I was also wondering about the solution in the region countries so we can compare it with the situation in BiH

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:38:42

Vasvija I would like to use your post to ask other colleagues if they also have an experience that a prosecutor, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information?

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:29:45

In one of the cases we lead against the city of Belgrade, we could not get the information who authorized/paid for the fence surrounding Roma settlement during the Univerziada in 2009. The fence later on fell on a Roma that we represent. We are still leading the case for obtaining data before the Commissioner for FOIA.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:31:32

Are you litigating in court? Does the Public Information officer help with that? Seems like such a long time.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:23:07

I agree, trainings are necessary, however, there has to be inner pressure from the head of the institution. We have developed manual in YUCOM and we could share it, although it was published quite some time ago.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:36:24

Thanks Milan we would love to get a copy of the manual. What if there were sanctions available against the agency?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:36:26

I don't agree:) If something is ruled by law, why do we need to teach government bodies to apply law

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:23:25

Milan, we were recently in Belgrade and learned that the Public Information Commissioner is pretty effective in getting agencies to comply with FOIA.... but it sounds like you have had a different experience. Where have you been having problems?

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:49:33

Problems are not lying at the office of the Commissioner, but more on the government that has to forceibly implement some of its decisions, when state institutions and public companies are not opening all the data. Also, problem lies in exemptions to the second instance procedure. It is proscribed in the Law that one cant file a complaint to the Commissioner against highest state institutions if they do not reply to the FOIA request. It these cases citizens have to go directly to the court procedure in order to get these informations.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:24:19

That doesn't seem to make sense. What do you do in that case?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:38:44

We appeal to the Commission for protection of the right to free access to public information. Recently we received a response by the Public Revenue Office to our request for information about the number of controls they've made at certain private sector company for which we suspect that is committing tax evasion (information gotten by whistleblower). Their answer was that they possess that information, but they've concluded that it's a tax secret and therefore they can't give it to us.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:51:57

how frustrating... aren't all tax issues secrets? is the commission on public information helpful when requests are denied?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:27:25

In BIH the Ombudsperson is responsible for handling review process were public authority denies access to information. Is it the same in other countries? Do you have an effective remedy for these situations?

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:30:07

Thank you Ermin for the comment. I was also wondering about the solution in the region countries so we can compare it with the situation in BiH

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:38:42

Vasvija I would like to use your post to ask other colleagues if they also have an experience that a prosecutor, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information?

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:29:29

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. He was the foreign editor of The Post for six years in which the paper's international staff won many awards, including two Pulitzer prizes. As The Post’s managing editor, the paper’s second-ranking editor, Bennett helped supervise 800 journalists. The Post won ten Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. Between 2011-13, while on the Duke faculty, he was the managing editor of FRONTLINE, the public affairs television series broadcast on PBS. PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government. Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests. A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two." The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system. Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-17 16:29:45

In one of the cases we lead against the city of Belgrade, we could not get the information who authorized/paid for the fence surrounding Roma settlement during the Univerziada in 2009. The fence later on fell on a Roma that we represent. We are still leading the case for obtaining data before the Commissioner for FOIA.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:31:32

Are you litigating in court? Does the Public Information officer help with that? Seems like such a long time.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:30:07

Thank you Ermin for the comment. I was also wondering about the solution in the region countries so we can compare it with the situation in BiH

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:38:42

Vasvija I would like to use your post to ask other colleagues if they also have an experience that a prosecutor, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information?

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:31:12

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. He was the foreign editor of The Post for six years in which the paper's international staff won many awards, including two Pulitzer prizes. As The Post’s managing editor, the paper’s second-ranking editor, Bennett helped supervise 800 journalists. The Post won ten Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. Between 2011-13, while on the Duke faculty, he was the managing editor of FRONTLINE, the public affairs television series broadcast on PBS. PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government. Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests. A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two." The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system. Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:31:32

Are you litigating in court? Does the Public Information officer help with that? Seems like such a long time.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:33:07

Thank you everyone for the discussion so far. I wanted to share a post written by Professor Philip Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Journalism at Duke University, who is not able to join us live today but has generously agreed to share his insights on the FOIA process in the United States. Throughout his career, Professor Bennett has worked extensively with the American FOIA process throughout his distinguished career. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. His bio can be found here: http://sanford.duke.edu/people/faculty/bennett-philip

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:33:56

PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:34:14

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:07

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:27

CONTINUED: A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two."

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:03

CONTINUED: The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:41

CONTINUED: Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:33:56

PROFESSOR PHILIP BENNETT’S COMMENTS: Since the late 1960s, the Freedom of Information Act has been an important tool for obtaining public information that government agencies would not otherwise make available. Although any member of the public can make FOI requests, journalists often incorporate FOIA into their reporting. Over the years, FOIA requests have generated valuable scoops and news stories, on topics ranging from government spending and deliberations about health and environmental standards to the identities of terrorism suspects held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, every aspiring investigative journalist should know how to use and manage requests under FOIA as part of her or his toolbox for reporting on the government.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:34:14

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:34:14

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:34:29

Serbian Commissioner has been very active in this regards, together with the civil society. However, institutions vested with public powers (most of all, Security Information Agency, Ministry of Defense, etc) deny FOIA requests based on the reasoning that exposing the data could threaten national security and jeopardize the criminal investigations. Some of these cases resulted in the ECHR judgments (see Youth Initiative for Human Rights v Serbia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-120955#{"itemid":["001-120955"]})

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:41:31

Ana thank you for your comment. Has anything changed with the FOIA or its practical implementation as a result of the mentioned ECHR decision?

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:07

CONTINUED: Despite the promise of FOIA, however, its usefulness for journalists has been mixed. The problems reside mostly in the long delays in answering requests and the inconsistency in ruling on whether to disclose information. The shortcomings are especially acute in the area of national security reporting, where reviewers can use broad exemption powers to keep classified information secret -- even routine information that is decades old. Deadlines in the law for responding are frequently broken. If you examine FOIA response data for agencies, you'll see very few close to responding as the law intended. And there are no serious penalties for a federal agency that falls behind. Currently, there is a record backlog of 159,000 pending requests.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:35:27

CONTINUED: A journalism colleague told me of his experience regarding a document that was described in a memoir by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates: "As a requester, you have very little recourse to delays. Agencies write letters saying “sorry” — and nothing happens. I have a simple request out to CIA for something that was described in the first memoir of Bob Gates. I said: if he was allowed to publish it, I want to see the document. It should not have been hard to locate. After a year passed, the CIA wrote me saying, “We still haven’t got to your request, sorry. We expect to get to it in six months.” After six months, nothing. I think by this fall, it will be year two."

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:03

CONTINUED: The Obama Administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history. It has taken steps to improve the FOIA process. In March 2011 the Department of Justice launched a website, foia.gov, to track performance. The administration created the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives to mediate disputes over FOIA requests. But the system continues to labor under a growing backlog, long waits and rising costs, especially burdensome to individual journalists or small news organizations. Many researchers say there is a lot of arbitrariness in the FOIA system. If you call and push the offices, you will get better performance than if you wait -- not an ideal system.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:36:24

Thanks Milan we would love to get a copy of the manual. What if there were sanctions available against the agency?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 16:36:26

I don't agree:) If something is ruled by law, why do we need to teach government bodies to apply law

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Ari Ruffer 2015-06-17 16:36:41

CONTINUED: Three suggestions for reform: Create and enforce sanctions for agencies that miss deadlines regularly for responding; establish a standard under which documents automatically become public after a certain period if agencies have not acted; review the funding and support for FOIA offices, recognizing their central role in democracy, making government transparent and more accountable to citizens.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:38:17

Do you share the same experience in your countries that the Prosecutors are wildly misusing the the Law on Freedom of Access to Information by non disclosing evidence during the investigation in criminal cases despite the Directive of the European Parliament?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:38:42

Vasvija I would like to use your post to ask other colleagues if they also have an experience that a prosecutor, instead of fulfilling its obligation of disclosure of evidence and documents, which stipulates from the Criminal Procedure Code, refers to the Law on Freedom of Access to Information?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 16:38:44

We appeal to the Commission for protection of the right to free access to public information. Recently we received a response by the Public Revenue Office to our request for information about the number of controls they've made at certain private sector company for which we suspect that is committing tax evasion (information gotten by whistleblower). Their answer was that they possess that information, but they've concluded that it's a tax secret and therefore they can't give it to us.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:51:57

how frustrating... aren't all tax issues secrets? is the commission on public information helpful when requests are denied?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:40:57

Good afternoon, I am Jemima and work for Fair Trials, an organisation promoting the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings. I am following this discussion with a lot of interest. As the EU has developed a Directive on the Right to Information, which in art. 7 requires the Member State to ensure that the defendant has access to all material evidence/documents in the possession of the competent authorities, to safeguard the right to equality of arms. So at least in theory evidence should be provided to the defence party if necessary for defence. We are seeing that that this is not always provided and we are working with local lawyers and initiatives that this right and thus the evidence is provided in practice, too.

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:46:41

I'm glad that such organisation exists, it is really important to safeguard the right to equality of arms.

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:54:14

The work on this issue in Spain by the lawyer's association we work closely with is described in a bit more detail here: http://www.fairtrials.org/press/guest-post-when-police-stations-are-not-european-territory/. You might find it interesting.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:41:31

Ana thank you for your comment. Has anything changed with the FOIA or its practical implementation as a result of the mentioned ECHR decision?

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Laurie Sherman 2015-06-17 16:46:14

This is Laurie Sherman at the OSCE in Belgrade. We tried to get a participant from the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance to join the conversation but unfortunately they were too busy. I wanted to give people the website address for the Commissioner's 2014 annual report, which shows the extent to which the Serbian freedom of information law has been used and the difficulties encountered. http://www.poverenik.rs/images/stories/dokumentacija-nova/izvestajiPoverenika/2015/summary.pdf

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:52:54

Have any of our colleagues have an experience that the public authority was held liable for any damage caused to them (or to others) by denying them access to information?

Vasvija Vidovic 2015-06-17 16:46:41

I'm glad that such organisation exists, it is really important to safeguard the right to equality of arms.

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:54:14

The work on this issue in Spain by the lawyer's association we work closely with is described in a bit more detail here: http://www.fairtrials.org/press/guest-post-when-police-stations-are-not-european-territory/. You might find it interesting.

Ana Toskic 2015-06-17 16:51:42

Not much, the same institutions use the same excuses. However, most of the other institutions/authorities are well trained in responding to FOIA requests. The situation is similar to one explained by Ms Vujovic - with higher significance of a case, the more difficult is to get the information.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-06-17 16:51:57

how frustrating... aren't all tax issues secrets? is the commission on public information helpful when requests are denied?

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 16:52:54

Have any of our colleagues have an experience that the public authority was held liable for any damage caused to them (or to others) by denying them access to information?

Jemima Hartshorn Hartshorn 2015-06-17 16:54:14

The work on this issue in Spain by the lawyer's association we work closely with is described in a bit more detail here: http://www.fairtrials.org/press/guest-post-when-police-stations-are-not-european-territory/. You might find it interesting.

Laurie Sherman 2015-06-17 16:56:39

From the Serbian Commissioner's report -- The fines imposed by the Commissioner in enforcement procedures secured an inflow of RSD 2,060,000 to the budget, while the outstanding amount of RSD 2,480,000 owing in fines could not be collected forcibly because the competent court in Belgrade declines jurisdiction in these cases, while all other courts in Serbia accept jurisdiction.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 17:10:34

Thank you Laurie, so it seems that remedy mechanisms of the FOIA in Serbia has at least some effect. But still, as Ana and other colleagues from the region pointed out, state agencies use the same excuses to deny access to information to lawyers. Despite the decisions of the ECHR a problem still exists. Some prosecutors knowing about this situation refer attorneys to the FOIA even they have to provide them with an access to the information from their cases under the CCP. It is not easy for lawyers either in civil or in criminal proceedings to provide for/defend interest/human rights of their clients. Trainings of the lawyers are envisioned by some of the international organizations. Opinions are divided when about providing trainings to the state institutions that have to provide information under the FOIA. It seems that there is a lot of job to be done to improve the situation. We are open to any proposals, solutions how the BRRLN could assist in this matter. With this we would like to thank you for participating at the forum today. We encourage you to continue posting topics of your interest. Best regards from the BRRLN team.

Petar Todorovski 2015-06-17 17:00:21

In situation like this the Commission tend to confirm the decision by the PRO. Regarding the tax secrecy, we didn't request the data gathered during the control by the PRO, which is a tax secret. We requested only the number of controls made by them, as we wanted to know if the PRO controls them at all. They should have given us that information.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-06-17 17:10:34

Thank you Laurie, so it seems that remedy mechanisms of the FOIA in Serbia has at least some effect. But still, as Ana and other colleagues from the region pointed out, state agencies use the same excuses to deny access to information to lawyers. Despite the decisions of the ECHR a problem still exists. Some prosecutors knowing about this situation refer attorneys to the FOIA even they have to provide them with an access to the information from their cases under the CCP. It is not easy for lawyers either in civil or in criminal proceedings to provide for/defend interest/human rights of their clients. Trainings of the lawyers are envisioned by some of the international organizations. Opinions are divided when about providing trainings to the state institutions that have to provide information under the FOIA. It seems that there is a lot of job to be done to improve the situation. We are open to any proposals, solutions how the BRRLN could assist in this matter. With this we would like to thank you for participating at the forum today. We encourage you to continue posting topics of your interest. Best regards from the BRRLN team.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-06-17 17:18:38

Thank BRLN team for inviting us to panel discussion, it was helpful to hear other countries experiences on this theme, best regards!

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:46:05

There has to be a communication between civil society and lawyers on one side with state institution on the other side, not all the issues could be solved only with sanctions against institutions, there has to be the training component.

Milan Antonijevic 2015-06-20 11:49:33

Problems are not lying at the office of the Commissioner, but more on the government that has to forceibly implement some of its decisions, when state institutions and public companies are not opening all the data. Also, problem lies in exemptions to the second instance procedure. It is proscribed in the Law that one cant file a complaint to the Commissioner against highest state institutions if they do not reply to the FOIA request. It these cases citizens have to go directly to the court procedure in order to get these informations.

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 16:02:47

In January 2013, in the Republic of Kosovo, the New Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, have entered into force with some innovations in the chapters of criminal offenses and criminal institutes, also with new deadlines in procedural actions. The new procedural deadlines have been made in order to increase the efficiency of institutions in solving cases, and to proceed faster with criminal offenses. Among other things, new deadlines were related to dismissal of criminal charges, schedule of initial and secondary hearings from the moment of filing the indictment to the deadline of the completion of the main trial. Regarding the dismissal of criminal charges, the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo has planned to have a 30 days term of dismissed criminal charges from the date of their admission (article 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). According to the New Procedure Code, the schedule of the initial hearing now it is done within 30 days from the date of filing the indictment, while at the cases of detention on remand it is done within 15 days from the moment of filing the indictment. The secondary hearing or review, shall be scheduled during the initial hearing by the presiding judge or the single trial judge, no less than thirty (30) days after the initial review, and no more than forty (40) days after the initial review. (Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). The presiding judge or the single trial judge schedule a hearing if it is necessary to evaluate the defendant's objections about the evidence no more than three weeks from the secondary review. (Article 255: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). Otherwise, if there is no need to schedule a hearing about the evidence after the secondary review, it shall be scheduled a main trail no more than three weeks. The deadlines are also foreseen for the duration and completion of a main trail. According to the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo, the main trail must be completed within 90 days in cases when the case is judged by a single trial judge, unless the single trial judge issues a reasoned decision to extend the time for the main trail because of the proceedings of the evidence , foreseen by the code. (article 314 paragraph: 1.1; http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). If the main trial is held by a trial panel, the main trail must be completed within one hundred twenty (120) days, unless the trial panel issues a reasoned decision to extend the time for the main trail (Article 314, paragraph 1.2). Kosovo Law Institute has monitored the observance of the 30 days term for filing indictment, to which has published statistics, while now the Institute has started to monitor also the legal terms for scheduling and completion of judicial hearings. During the monitoring of corruption cases and analyzing of prosecutorial legal acts of prosecutions, KLI has identified a number of cases of non-respecting the legal deadlines defined by legal provisions, namely with the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo. In Article 82 of Criminal Procedure Code, it is clearly defined the 30-day deadline in case of dismissing criminal charges. Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo :Article 82: The State Prosecutor shall issue a decision dismissing a criminal report received from the police or another source within thirty (30) days if it is evident from the report that: 1.1. there is no reasonable suspicion that a criminal offence has been committed; 1.2. the period of statutory limitation for criminal prosecution has expired; 1.3. the criminal offence is covered by an amnesty or pardon; 1.4. the suspect is protected by immunity and a waiver is not possible or not granted by the appropriate authority; or 1.5. there are other circumstances that preclude prosecution. For the period November 4, 2013 – December 31, 2014, KLI has identified a total of 41 such cases of violation of the legal deadline in all BPs (Basic Prosecutions) and SPRK (Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo). The reasons for the violation of legal deadlines are different. From the interviews conducted with the Chief Prosecutors of BPs and SPRK, the violation of legal deadlines was justified in most cases with the load of prosecutions with cases and with the inability of prosecutions to respect these legal deadlines due to objective reasons.

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 16:03:27

In January 2013, in the Republic of Kosovo, the New Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, have entered into force with some innovations in the chapters of criminal offenses and criminal institutes, also with new deadlines in procedural actions. The new procedural deadlines have been made in order to increase the efficiency of institutions in solving cases, and to proceed faster with criminal offenses. Among other things, new deadlines were related to dismissal of criminal charges, schedule of initial and secondary hearings from the moment of filing the indictment to the deadline of the completion of the main trial. Regarding the dismissal of criminal charges, the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo has planned to have a 30 days term of dismissed criminal charges from the date of their admission (article 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). According to the New Procedure Code, the schedule of the initial hearing now it is done within 30 days from the date of filing the indictment, while at the cases of detention on remand it is done within 15 days from the moment of filing the indictment. The secondary hearing or review, shall be scheduled during the initial hearing by the presiding judge or the single trial judge, no less than thirty (30) days after the initial review, and no more than forty (40) days after the initial review. (Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). The presiding judge or the single trial judge schedule a hearing if it is necessary to evaluate the defendant's objections about the evidence no more than three weeks from the secondary review. (Article 255: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). Otherwise, if there is no need to schedule a hearing about the evidence after the secondary review, it shall be scheduled a main trail no more than three weeks. The deadlines are also foreseen for the duration and completion of a main trail. According to the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo, the main trail must be completed within 90 days in cases when the case is judged by a single trial judge, unless the single trial judge issues a reasoned decision to extend the time for the main trail because of the proceedings of the evidence , foreseen by the code. (article 314 paragraph: 1.1; http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). If the main trial is held by a trial panel, the main trail must be completed within one hundred twenty (120) days, unless the trial panel issues a reasoned decision to extend the time for the main trail (Article 314, paragraph 1.2). Kosovo Law Institute has monitored the observance of the 30 days term for filing indictment, to which has published statistics, while now the Institute has started to monitor also the legal terms for scheduling and completion of judicial hearings. During the monitoring of corruption cases and analyzing of prosecutorial legal acts of prosecutions, KLI has identified a number of cases of non-respecting the legal deadlines defined by legal provisions, namely with the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo. In Article 82 of Criminal Procedure Code, it is clearly defined the 30-day deadline in case of dismissing criminal charges. Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo :Article 82: The State Prosecutor shall issue a decision dismissing a criminal report received from the police or another source within thirty (30) days if it is evident from the report that: 1.1. there is no reasonable suspicion that a criminal offence has been committed; 1.2. the period of statutory limitation for criminal prosecution has expired; 1.3. the criminal offence is covered by an amnesty or pardon; 1.4. the suspect is protected by immunity and a waiver is not possible or not granted by the appropriate authority; or 1.5. there are other circumstances that preclude prosecution. For the period November 4, 2013 – December 31, 2014, KLI has identified a total of 41 such cases of violation of the legal deadline in all BPs (Basic Prosecutions) and SPRK (Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo). The reasons for the violation of legal deadlines are different. From the interviews conducted with the Chief Prosecutors of BPs and SPRK, the violation of legal deadlines was justified in most cases with the load of prosecutions with cases and with the inability of prosecutions to respect these legal deadlines due to objective reasons.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-07-02 16:14:44

Thanks Ganc for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries on the problems of Unreasonable Delays in Trials: Issues in the Criminal Procedure Codes and in Practice, and possible solutions/experiences. Has any of our colleagues identified cases of violation of the legal deadline by prosecutors as well? Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:05

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:06

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:10

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-07-02 16:59:05

BIH CCP Article 225 Completion of Investigation Para (2) says that "If the investigation has not been completed within six (6) months after the order on its conducting has been issued, the Collegium of the Prosecutor’s Office shall undertake necessary measures in order to complete the investigation". Do other CCPs in the region have the same safe guard in regard with lasting of the investigation?

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 20:00:09

Ermin, what about the criminal offences/criminal report when the report is accepted from prosecutor? Prosecutor decides about this report, to accept or to dismiss. If the report is accepted, they start investigation, but if the report is not accepted, theh dismiss it. Do you have any deadline about first step of prosecutor, like in Kosovo that if the report is not based with evidence, they dismiss/reject it within 30 days? What about Bosnia &H.?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-07-02 17:17:14

Articles 323 and 324 of the Albanian CPC provide that the preliminary investigation is carried out for a period of 3 months. The prosecutor may prolong the time period of investigations up to three months. Further prolongation, each of them not more than three months, may be done by the prosecutor in case of complex investigations or when it is objectively impossible to terminate them within the prolonged time period. The time period of the preliminary investigations may not exceed 2 years. Only in exceptional circumstances the time limit may be prolonged beyond these two years, upon the approval of General Prosecutor.

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 16:04:45

In January 2013, in the Republic of Kosovo, the New Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, have entered into force with some innovations in the chapters of criminal offenses and criminal institutes, also with new deadlines in procedural actions. The new procedural deadlines have been made in order to increase the efficiency of institutions in solving cases, and to proceed faster with criminal offenses. Among other things, new deadlines were related to dismissal of criminal charges, schedule of initial and secondary hearings from the moment of filing the indictment to the deadline of the completion of the main trial. Regarding the dismissal of criminal charges, the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo has planned to have a 30 days term of dismissed criminal charges from the date of their admission (article 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). According to the New Procedure Code, the schedule of the initial hearing now it is done within 30 days from the date of filing the indictment, while at the cases of detention on remand it is done within 15 days from the moment of filing the indictment. The secondary hearing or review, shall be scheduled during the initial hearing by the presiding judge or the single trial judge, no less than thirty (30) days after the initial review, and no more than forty (40) days after the initial review. (Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). The presiding judge or the single trial judge schedule a hearing if it is necessary to evaluate the defendant's objections about the evidence no more than three weeks from the secondary review. (Article 255: http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/Criminal%20Procedure%20Code.pdf). Otherwise, if there is no need to schedule a hearing about the evidence after the secondary review, it shall be scheduled a main trail no more than three weeks.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-07-02 16:14:44

Thanks Ganc for starting this conversation... we look forward to hearing from members from other countries on the problems of Unreasonable Delays in Trials: Issues in the Criminal Procedure Codes and in Practice, and possible solutions/experiences. Has any of our colleagues identified cases of violation of the legal deadline by prosecutors as well? Please don't forget to periodically hit the REFRESH button to get the latest comments.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:05

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:06

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-07-02 16:33:10

Genc, thanks for the summary of Kosovo law.... What has happened when the deadlines are not respected? Are the cases dismissed? Is there any consequence?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-07-02 16:59:05

BIH CCP Article 225 Completion of Investigation Para (2) says that "If the investigation has not been completed within six (6) months after the order on its conducting has been issued, the Collegium of the Prosecutor’s Office shall undertake necessary measures in order to complete the investigation". Do other CCPs in the region have the same safe guard in regard with lasting of the investigation?

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 20:00:09

Ermin, what about the criminal offences/criminal report when the report is accepted from prosecutor? Prosecutor decides about this report, to accept or to dismiss. If the report is accepted, they start investigation, but if the report is not accepted, theh dismiss it. Do you have any deadline about first step of prosecutor, like in Kosovo that if the report is not based with evidence, they dismiss/reject it within 30 days? What about Bosnia &H.?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-07-02 17:17:14

Articles 323 and 324 of the Albanian CPC provide that the preliminary investigation is carried out for a period of 3 months. The prosecutor may prolong the time period of investigations up to three months. Further prolongation, each of them not more than three months, may be done by the prosecutor in case of complex investigations or when it is objectively impossible to terminate them within the prolonged time period. The time period of the preliminary investigations may not exceed 2 years. Only in exceptional circumstances the time limit may be prolonged beyond these two years, upon the approval of General Prosecutor.

Genc Nimoni 2015-07-02 20:00:09

Ermin, what about the criminal offences/criminal report when the report is accepted from prosecutor? Prosecutor decides about this report, to accept or to dismiss. If the report is accepted, they start investigation, but if the report is not accepted, theh dismiss it. Do you have any deadline about first step of prosecutor, like in Kosovo that if the report is not based with evidence, they dismiss/reject it within 30 days? What about Bosnia &H.?

Hristijan Koneski 2015-09-10 13:02:44

On behalf of BRRLN I would like to start this FORUM chat and congratulate you all. I hope you'll find your place at this forum and share your experiences from the workshops in Ohrid. Once again, you all were great and thanks a lot for your hard work towards this training.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:04:43

Greetings everybody. The topic of today’s discussion is: Adult Teaching Methodologies and Training Needs in the Region. The incentive for this topic came from a Train of Trainers event organized by BRRLN some of us attended two weeks ago where the lecturers combined interactive teaching with ex cathedra and practical skills. What we hope to hear today is training experiences for adults and training needs in your countries for the community of lawyers.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:09:24

Dear everybody, we still didn't manage to organize not even one seminar in Serbia, but we did aranged preliminar termins for 9th november in Bar Assosiation Čačak and 23rd November in Belgrade. I'll be pleased to hear some experiences from others who did already organized seminars.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:32:24

Veljko, will trainers in Cacak and in Belgrade be members of Serbia Bar team from Ohrid?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:46:27

Dear Ermin, yes, it'll be the same team from Ohrid.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:52:14

Do you plan to analyze their presentations so you could inform the Bar how to improve SBAR Academy curriculum, and methodology of passing on the knowledge from lecturers to course participants?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:11:54

Nothing has happened in Albania yet, but we will start with it soon.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:13

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:25

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:43

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:57

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:04

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:08

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:13:18

Hi colleagues! as Kloida is writing I think we have so much to discuss regarding this topic. The interactive method is more useful for adults, in this case for lawyers. Regarding he training needs as we have noted in Ohrid , is necessary to all our countries to build a sustained and continued structure for this issue.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:25:52

what exactly do you mean? How can it be in practice? the same like in Ohrid?

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:32:44

yes, the Ocrida Tot, its a very interesing and diferent way to learn and assimilate the topic

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:14:02

Hello everybody. Lawyer chamber of FBIH until now did not organise this kind of training.. But, we hope, that we will have these kings of Training in the future.. We think that the education of layers is very usefull, because the laws in countries in region change much fater than leaves on the trees..

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:16:06

Anto... since fall is coming. I think your comment is very appropriate. What topics do you think advocates would be interested in?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:18:55

I think the most interesting topics for lawyers would be applications and understanding the law of European union, its laws and regulations, and most important the application of the Convention of human right and right of refugees, wich is currently, I think a very big problem of the whole union, especially countries in the region of B&H

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:22:52

Great. We hope we can support developing more training on these topics for advocates in BiH.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:22:55

Anto, BiH team from Ohrid is preparing their schedule of lectures they plan to give to their colleagues in BiH. As soon as we receive it we will forward it to the FBIH Bar and to you and Nedzad. We hope that the FBAR will use experiences from their lectures for drafting of its own curricula and course methodologies for the future Attorneys Academy.

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:31:46

Thank you for the notice, we will sure do our best, and use the experience from colleges who attended seminar in Ohrid, and is the methodologies fo our future AA

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:14:50

Hi Kloida and dear colleg,s the topic you choise its very interesin Topic and need very much discusions

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:21:11

let's discuss than ;)

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:45

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:57

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:30:35

i think the practise in Ocrida help us so much in this direction and assimilate more fast than teory

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:16:27

Hello everyone. Our first seminar is scheduled at the end of October. Based on the Training Center curricula (at Kosova Bar Assosiation) the topics provided are too broad and generalized. There is a need for more specific topics for trainings, therefore I hope they make changes and amend the training curricula.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:20:11

aren't you doing only the detention and the arrest?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:25:22

Are we supposed to have only the detention and the arrest as a topic, or we can have other topic/s as well?

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:48:51

in my knowledge only the detention and arrest, but you can contact Beth for that

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:20:30

Fisnik, it would be great if members of the training center could come to your training to see a more specific curriculum. what do you think?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:23:20

Yes I think some of them will be present Beth.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:42

Super!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:18:28

In your countries how do you organize continuing legal education? Which methodology is better ex-cathedra or interactive?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:19:57

We prefer interactive methods..

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:22:25

How is it for the moment?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:29:08

Findings from the BRRLN assessment said that courses provided for attorneys in the region were mostly ex catedra and without developing particular skills necessary to lawyers when applying the CCP. I would like to remind us on some points of Prof. Barbara Baron when about developing skills component as a part of a course for attorneys: To create a skills course, the teacher/creator must consider the following conceptual issues. What skill do I want to teach? How much time do I have to teach it? Is the skill I want to teach “teachable” to the individual and the group? What area of law should that skill cover? What hypothetical situation can be the best vehicle to teach the skill under the applicable law? How much time will I need to teach that skill within the context and confines of a classroom setting?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:21:08

Based on the conversation we had with other lawyers, including a state prosecutor as well, a training on Direct and Cross Examination is necessary!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:23:57

I agree completely, and I would add that as we started with the detention and the arrest, we should continue with all the concepts of CPC

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:23:28

Dear colleagues and Kloida, in Republika Srpska Bar Association, we also still dind't organize any kind of training, but together with other participants from Ohrid, we will try to implement new knowledges what we learned in Ohrid.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:24:43

Also my opinion that better way of learning is interactive.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:00

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:12

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:25

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:40

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:31:06

In last two years, we in Serbia have organized many interactive seminars and we had worked on few topics from our CPC. For instance we have worked on topics such as direkt examination, cross examination, plea barging. Also we have organized few trial simulations. We have in plan to continiue organizing seminars with the same topics, because many lawyers are interested in these topics. After Macedonia meetings we will set new topics about Articles 5 and 6 of Human Convention which will be realized in November.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:35:48

In Albania it is part of the lawyer's continuing legal education, but so far nothing has been done. We will start with it soon

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:38:35

It may be helpful to exchange with BAS regarding their work here... in terms of organizing the lectures or their approach.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:43:50

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:44:04

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:56:26

Dear Veljko thank you very much for your invitation. I would love to, because it sounds very interesting and definitely very useful once Albania will start implementing it after the new law amendments are approved

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:34:14

Dear Colleagues, I have an important business lunch with clients, It was very usefull exchanging opinions and experiences regarding our today theme, and I hope we will have more Themes like this one in the future... Best regards!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:37:14

Thank you for your participation Anto. Your comments were very helpful

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:44:40

sorry Kloida,u are a lawer or a diplomats :P

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:58:21

both of them Emiljano

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:08:27

Our next meeting is in Vlore, Mili :)

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:35:21

Greetings, everyone. Within our E-learning program, we are planning to combine live training with the on-line ones. We will coordinate with the Serbian Bar Association to have on-line sessions organised wither prior or after the live training take place. In addition to that, in all the training we organise, we tend to include interactive sessions - simulations, practical exercises, etc.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:42:40

Dear Ana, Partners Serbia experience n the CLE could be more than useful for efforts of our Bars in the region. What would be your advise to them from the point of view researching needs of the target group we want to train? What was the response from lawyers in Serbia to your questionnaires? You were probably using and satisfaction survey after trainings were conducted so they could inform you about eventual changes in course methodology?

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:53:49

Ermin, many thanks for this question. Yes, it is crucial for a successful training to be tailored to interests and needs of the target group. What we did is organised a round of general panel discussions on (then) new CPC where attorneys could express their main concerns and raise questions they found the most challenging. Most of the comments we received stated that lawyers here (Serbia, but I guess it goes for the region in general) need more practical training. So we organised series of trial advocacy training (about 20 of them), on direct and cross examination. Now, as Veljko mentioned, we are planning a series of plea bargaining negotiation skills training. In all the training we use satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms, where we ask participants to rate the training and nominate new topics. Also, at our E-learning page (http://www.partners-serbia.org/en/elearning/) we have a short introductory survey where we ask participants to select the most important topic for them, when it comes to future training. Of course, it goes without saying that we are at disposal to all the bars for all the assistance we can provide in organisation of similar training programs.

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:38:00

In Albania some NGO with support of USAID have organized some seminars for lawyers in different parts of juridical lecture. I think that in Albania we can start with two seminars one in Tirana and Second in Vlora. The most interested will be CPC, pretrial detention and reasonable suspicion.

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:39:10

hello everyone! i thin the needs of lawers,in my locality i think are : 1.more training in the domestic procesual law 2.about the case law of HRC 3.more authority infront of judge,becouse the advocate have fear by judgs,not becouse the advocate ar'nt professional but the judge dont knows the cross examination

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 16:39:54

Hello everyone, I spoke with lawyers in Bitola-Macedonia, and they are interested in training in the direction of "equality of arms" between the prosecutor and defense attorney during the proceedings in court, according to new CPC. Мy question is how to organize interactive sessions-simulations, or practical exercises on this topic?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:05

Daniel, This is a great topic... We were thinking of doing the next topic in CPC which would be Pre trial Investigation and Discovery and would cover some of these issues. Maybe the lawyers in Serbia have worked on this. I think we could also try to develop some interesting training on this topic for Macedonia. Let's discuss!

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:59:19

Daniel, are the prosecutors interested in participating? We have experience in organising mock trials, but we mostly included defense attorneys. Prosecutors are usually not that eager to participate. Anyhow, if you want to organise a simulation, especially on equality of arms, you should always have an interesting case, and an neutral individual as a "judge".

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 17:11:46

Ana thank you, that is great idea for next simulation

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:40:10

It's important to mention that cointinued legal education ex catedra or interactive method should be implementet also for judges in BiH, because it's useless to insist on remarks violation on article 5. ECFHR, if judges are not educated in that way....that's real problem in Bosnia and Heryegovina.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:50:22

Usually judges are trained at the judicial training centers or in judicial academies that develop their own curricula. Is anybody aware that existing attorneys academia in the region tried to coordinate with those JTCs to put their programs in compliance with each other? It would be necessary to do it, as Branislav pointed out, from material point of view (implementation of the laws) and methodological point of view (if the courses would be ex catedra or interactive), so theu have the same level of knowledge and skill level.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:55

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:57

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:40:19

Last week we had a seminar on Negotiated Pleas of Guilty and the agreement.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:44:50

Fisnik, can you say something more about this. Are you already implementing negotiations on plea? Was this an interactive Seminar?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:54:46

The training focused on the negotiated pleas of guilty and the content of the agreement. It was given by a state prosecutor with extensive experience. We have discussed relevant provisions of CPC on this issue,the roles of the parties involved in this process and the current practice in the country. A hypothetical case was provided to all participants at the training which had an opportunity to share their views and experience.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 17:00:47

It sounds great, a follow on might be the same topic from a defense lawyer's perspective

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:00:07

Denisa , in my practices prosecutors using this more than us. But they start in my Basic Court in Ferizaj can say yes .

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:41:25

I would suggest a training about evidences. In Albanian CPC it is not really explained what can be considered as an evidence

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:54:02

this is good idea Kloida. In some cases in Albania, they interpret the denounce like evidence

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

good topic as well!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:53:07

I would be very interested to know if the private recordings ( from mobiles for example) can be considered as evidences?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 17:01:36

Same problem in BiH...valuable idea!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:45:12

Would it be helpful for the Bar Chambers to send surveys to lawyers regarding training needs? I think Kosovo already does this ... and I am wondering if other bars do the same and if it would be helpful?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:58:48

Yes, the survey is in process here...

Katerina Nikolova 2015-09-30 17:10:11

Fisnik, maybe you can share Kosovo experience of how you do the survey and the outcomes

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:47:19

I will have a tanning but i don't no date yet , a Criminal Offences in procurement procedure !

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:48:31

Are you giving the training? It sounds like a great topic! Will it be interactive?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:53:26

yes i will , and my idea is , i go show many cases i that have in practicks, in time when i work on procurement, after with lawyer we will discusst does those cases are or not a criminal Offences i

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:58:13

that sounds like a very interesting way to discuss the topic. Also to hear from the lawyer-participants about their cases. Do you do this on your own or through the Bar Chamber?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:49:08

In Kosovo i mean Bar this year we preparing a agenda four 2015 what we are going to do. What kind of topic we are going to have

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:50:00

you mean 2016?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

Kloida we have for 2015 tanning program witch our bar association will organized they are training in those topics Criminal, Civil , Constitution,International, Administrative. Commercial , professional ethics and special courses it is kind of book four 2015

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:01:49

It sounds great. Lot's of success!

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 17:03:17

It was useful to hear such a great comments from colleagues from region, I hope so that we will soon have oportunity for another topic at forum. Best regards!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:07:25

Thank you very much everybody for being part of this forum. It was such a great experience exchange. Hope to hear and see you in other topics. p.s. please feel free to leave comments even after the closure of the live session .

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:10:34

All the best. cheerz!

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 17:20:56

great topic my friend

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:09:24

Dear everybody, we still didn't manage to organize not even one seminar in Serbia, but we did aranged preliminar termins for 9th november in Bar Assosiation Čačak and 23rd November in Belgrade. I'll be pleased to hear some experiences from others who did already organized seminars.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:32:24

Veljko, will trainers in Cacak and in Belgrade be members of Serbia Bar team from Ohrid?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:46:27

Dear Ermin, yes, it'll be the same team from Ohrid.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:52:14

Do you plan to analyze their presentations so you could inform the Bar how to improve SBAR Academy curriculum, and methodology of passing on the knowledge from lecturers to course participants?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:11:54

Nothing has happened in Albania yet, but we will start with it soon.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:13

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:25

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:43

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:57

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:04

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:08

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:13:18

Hi colleagues! as Kloida is writing I think we have so much to discuss regarding this topic. The interactive method is more useful for adults, in this case for lawyers. Regarding he training needs as we have noted in Ohrid , is necessary to all our countries to build a sustained and continued structure for this issue.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:25:52

what exactly do you mean? How can it be in practice? the same like in Ohrid?

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:32:44

yes, the Ocrida Tot, its a very interesing and diferent way to learn and assimilate the topic

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:14:02

Hello everybody. Lawyer chamber of FBIH until now did not organise this kind of training.. But, we hope, that we will have these kings of Training in the future.. We think that the education of layers is very usefull, because the laws in countries in region change much fater than leaves on the trees..

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:16:06

Anto... since fall is coming. I think your comment is very appropriate. What topics do you think advocates would be interested in?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:18:55

I think the most interesting topics for lawyers would be applications and understanding the law of European union, its laws and regulations, and most important the application of the Convention of human right and right of refugees, wich is currently, I think a very big problem of the whole union, especially countries in the region of B&H

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:22:52

Great. We hope we can support developing more training on these topics for advocates in BiH.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:22:55

Anto, BiH team from Ohrid is preparing their schedule of lectures they plan to give to their colleagues in BiH. As soon as we receive it we will forward it to the FBIH Bar and to you and Nedzad. We hope that the FBAR will use experiences from their lectures for drafting of its own curricula and course methodologies for the future Attorneys Academy.

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:31:46

Thank you for the notice, we will sure do our best, and use the experience from colleges who attended seminar in Ohrid, and is the methodologies fo our future AA

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:14:50

Hi Kloida and dear colleg,s the topic you choise its very interesin Topic and need very much discusions

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:21:11

let's discuss than ;)

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:45

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:57

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:30:35

i think the practise in Ocrida help us so much in this direction and assimilate more fast than teory

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:16:06

Anto... since fall is coming. I think your comment is very appropriate. What topics do you think advocates would be interested in?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:18:55

I think the most interesting topics for lawyers would be applications and understanding the law of European union, its laws and regulations, and most important the application of the Convention of human right and right of refugees, wich is currently, I think a very big problem of the whole union, especially countries in the region of B&H

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:22:52

Great. We hope we can support developing more training on these topics for advocates in BiH.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:16:27

Hello everyone. Our first seminar is scheduled at the end of October. Based on the Training Center curricula (at Kosova Bar Assosiation) the topics provided are too broad and generalized. There is a need for more specific topics for trainings, therefore I hope they make changes and amend the training curricula.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:20:11

aren't you doing only the detention and the arrest?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:25:22

Are we supposed to have only the detention and the arrest as a topic, or we can have other topic/s as well?

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:48:51

in my knowledge only the detention and arrest, but you can contact Beth for that

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:20:30

Fisnik, it would be great if members of the training center could come to your training to see a more specific curriculum. what do you think?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:23:20

Yes I think some of them will be present Beth.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:42

Super!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:13

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:25

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:43

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:17:57

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:04

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:18:08

We look forward to seeing your schedule and observing your lectures if we can!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:18:28

In your countries how do you organize continuing legal education? Which methodology is better ex-cathedra or interactive?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:19:57

We prefer interactive methods..

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:22:25

How is it for the moment?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:29:08

Findings from the BRRLN assessment said that courses provided for attorneys in the region were mostly ex catedra and without developing particular skills necessary to lawyers when applying the CCP. I would like to remind us on some points of Prof. Barbara Baron when about developing skills component as a part of a course for attorneys: To create a skills course, the teacher/creator must consider the following conceptual issues. What skill do I want to teach? How much time do I have to teach it? Is the skill I want to teach “teachable” to the individual and the group? What area of law should that skill cover? What hypothetical situation can be the best vehicle to teach the skill under the applicable law? How much time will I need to teach that skill within the context and confines of a classroom setting?

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:18:55

I think the most interesting topics for lawyers would be applications and understanding the law of European union, its laws and regulations, and most important the application of the Convention of human right and right of refugees, wich is currently, I think a very big problem of the whole union, especially countries in the region of B&H

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:22:52

Great. We hope we can support developing more training on these topics for advocates in BiH.

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:19:57

We prefer interactive methods..

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:22:25

How is it for the moment?

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:29:08

Findings from the BRRLN assessment said that courses provided for attorneys in the region were mostly ex catedra and without developing particular skills necessary to lawyers when applying the CCP. I would like to remind us on some points of Prof. Barbara Baron when about developing skills component as a part of a course for attorneys: To create a skills course, the teacher/creator must consider the following conceptual issues. What skill do I want to teach? How much time do I have to teach it? Is the skill I want to teach “teachable” to the individual and the group? What area of law should that skill cover? What hypothetical situation can be the best vehicle to teach the skill under the applicable law? How much time will I need to teach that skill within the context and confines of a classroom setting?

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:20:11

aren't you doing only the detention and the arrest?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:25:22

Are we supposed to have only the detention and the arrest as a topic, or we can have other topic/s as well?

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:48:51

in my knowledge only the detention and arrest, but you can contact Beth for that

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:20:30

Fisnik, it would be great if members of the training center could come to your training to see a more specific curriculum. what do you think?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:23:20

Yes I think some of them will be present Beth.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:42

Super!

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:21:08

Based on the conversation we had with other lawyers, including a state prosecutor as well, a training on Direct and Cross Examination is necessary!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:23:57

I agree completely, and I would add that as we started with the detention and the arrest, we should continue with all the concepts of CPC

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:21:11

let's discuss than ;)

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:45

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:57

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:30:35

i think the practise in Ocrida help us so much in this direction and assimilate more fast than teory

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:22:25

How is it for the moment?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:22:52

Great. We hope we can support developing more training on these topics for advocates in BiH.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:22:55

Anto, BiH team from Ohrid is preparing their schedule of lectures they plan to give to their colleagues in BiH. As soon as we receive it we will forward it to the FBIH Bar and to you and Nedzad. We hope that the FBAR will use experiences from their lectures for drafting of its own curricula and course methodologies for the future Attorneys Academy.

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:31:46

Thank you for the notice, we will sure do our best, and use the experience from colleges who attended seminar in Ohrid, and is the methodologies fo our future AA

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:23:20

Yes I think some of them will be present Beth.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:42

Super!

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:23:28

Dear colleagues and Kloida, in Republika Srpska Bar Association, we also still dind't organize any kind of training, but together with other participants from Ohrid, we will try to implement new knowledges what we learned in Ohrid.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:23:57

I agree completely, and I would add that as we started with the detention and the arrest, we should continue with all the concepts of CPC

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:24:43

Also my opinion that better way of learning is interactive.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:25:22

Are we supposed to have only the detention and the arrest as a topic, or we can have other topic/s as well?

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:48:51

in my knowledge only the detention and arrest, but you can contact Beth for that

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:25:52

what exactly do you mean? How can it be in practice? the same like in Ohrid?

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:32:44

yes, the Ocrida Tot, its a very interesing and diferent way to learn and assimilate the topic

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:45

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:28:57

i think need more training and more experience from europe practise skills and the most important is to insert in our law school this skills

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:30:35

i think the practise in Ocrida help us so much in this direction and assimilate more fast than teory

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:29:08

Findings from the BRRLN assessment said that courses provided for attorneys in the region were mostly ex catedra and without developing particular skills necessary to lawyers when applying the CCP. I would like to remind us on some points of Prof. Barbara Baron when about developing skills component as a part of a course for attorneys: To create a skills course, the teacher/creator must consider the following conceptual issues. What skill do I want to teach? How much time do I have to teach it? Is the skill I want to teach “teachable” to the individual and the group? What area of law should that skill cover? What hypothetical situation can be the best vehicle to teach the skill under the applicable law? How much time will I need to teach that skill within the context and confines of a classroom setting?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:00

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:12

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:30:25

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:42:02

hi

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:25

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:30:35

i think the practise in Ocrida help us so much in this direction and assimilate more fast than teory

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:30:40

What would be some of the needs new and experienced lawyers have in the region? Fisnik mentioned direct and cross examination. Any other ideas?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:31:06

In last two years, we in Serbia have organized many interactive seminars and we had worked on few topics from our CPC. For instance we have worked on topics such as direkt examination, cross examination, plea barging. Also we have organized few trial simulations. We have in plan to continiue organizing seminars with the same topics, because many lawyers are interested in these topics. After Macedonia meetings we will set new topics about Articles 5 and 6 of Human Convention which will be realized in November.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:35:48

In Albania it is part of the lawyer's continuing legal education, but so far nothing has been done. We will start with it soon

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:38:35

It may be helpful to exchange with BAS regarding their work here... in terms of organizing the lectures or their approach.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:43:50

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:44:04

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:56:26

Dear Veljko thank you very much for your invitation. I would love to, because it sounds very interesting and definitely very useful once Albania will start implementing it after the new law amendments are approved

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:31:46

Thank you for the notice, we will sure do our best, and use the experience from colleges who attended seminar in Ohrid, and is the methodologies fo our future AA

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:32:24

Veljko, will trainers in Cacak and in Belgrade be members of Serbia Bar team from Ohrid?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:46:27

Dear Ermin, yes, it'll be the same team from Ohrid.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:52:14

Do you plan to analyze their presentations so you could inform the Bar how to improve SBAR Academy curriculum, and methodology of passing on the knowledge from lecturers to course participants?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 16:32:44

yes, the Ocrida Tot, its a very interesing and diferent way to learn and assimilate the topic

Anto Petrušić 2015-09-30 16:34:14

Dear Colleagues, I have an important business lunch with clients, It was very usefull exchanging opinions and experiences regarding our today theme, and I hope we will have more Themes like this one in the future... Best regards!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:37:14

Thank you for your participation Anto. Your comments were very helpful

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:44:40

sorry Kloida,u are a lawer or a diplomats :P

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:58:21

both of them Emiljano

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:08:27

Our next meeting is in Vlore, Mili :)

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:35:21

Greetings, everyone. Within our E-learning program, we are planning to combine live training with the on-line ones. We will coordinate with the Serbian Bar Association to have on-line sessions organised wither prior or after the live training take place. In addition to that, in all the training we organise, we tend to include interactive sessions - simulations, practical exercises, etc.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:42:40

Dear Ana, Partners Serbia experience n the CLE could be more than useful for efforts of our Bars in the region. What would be your advise to them from the point of view researching needs of the target group we want to train? What was the response from lawyers in Serbia to your questionnaires? You were probably using and satisfaction survey after trainings were conducted so they could inform you about eventual changes in course methodology?

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:53:49

Ermin, many thanks for this question. Yes, it is crucial for a successful training to be tailored to interests and needs of the target group. What we did is organised a round of general panel discussions on (then) new CPC where attorneys could express their main concerns and raise questions they found the most challenging. Most of the comments we received stated that lawyers here (Serbia, but I guess it goes for the region in general) need more practical training. So we organised series of trial advocacy training (about 20 of them), on direct and cross examination. Now, as Veljko mentioned, we are planning a series of plea bargaining negotiation skills training. In all the training we use satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms, where we ask participants to rate the training and nominate new topics. Also, at our E-learning page (http://www.partners-serbia.org/en/elearning/) we have a short introductory survey where we ask participants to select the most important topic for them, when it comes to future training. Of course, it goes without saying that we are at disposal to all the bars for all the assistance we can provide in organisation of similar training programs.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:35:48

In Albania it is part of the lawyer's continuing legal education, but so far nothing has been done. We will start with it soon

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:38:35

It may be helpful to exchange with BAS regarding their work here... in terms of organizing the lectures or their approach.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:43:50

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:44:04

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:56:26

Dear Veljko thank you very much for your invitation. I would love to, because it sounds very interesting and definitely very useful once Albania will start implementing it after the new law amendments are approved

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:37:14

Thank you for your participation Anto. Your comments were very helpful

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:44:40

sorry Kloida,u are a lawer or a diplomats :P

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:58:21

both of them Emiljano

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:08:27

Our next meeting is in Vlore, Mili :)

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:38:00

In Albania some NGO with support of USAID have organized some seminars for lawyers in different parts of juridical lecture. I think that in Albania we can start with two seminars one in Tirana and Second in Vlora. The most interested will be CPC, pretrial detention and reasonable suspicion.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:38:35

It may be helpful to exchange with BAS regarding their work here... in terms of organizing the lectures or their approach.

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:39:10

hello everyone! i thin the needs of lawers,in my locality i think are : 1.more training in the domestic procesual law 2.about the case law of HRC 3.more authority infront of judge,becouse the advocate have fear by judgs,not becouse the advocate ar'nt professional but the judge dont knows the cross examination

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 16:39:54

Hello everyone, I spoke with lawyers in Bitola-Macedonia, and they are interested in training in the direction of "equality of arms" between the prosecutor and defense attorney during the proceedings in court, according to new CPC. Мy question is how to organize interactive sessions-simulations, or practical exercises on this topic?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:05

Daniel, This is a great topic... We were thinking of doing the next topic in CPC which would be Pre trial Investigation and Discovery and would cover some of these issues. Maybe the lawyers in Serbia have worked on this. I think we could also try to develop some interesting training on this topic for Macedonia. Let's discuss!

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:59:19

Daniel, are the prosecutors interested in participating? We have experience in organising mock trials, but we mostly included defense attorneys. Prosecutors are usually not that eager to participate. Anyhow, if you want to organise a simulation, especially on equality of arms, you should always have an interesting case, and an neutral individual as a "judge".

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 17:11:46

Ana thank you, that is great idea for next simulation

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:40:10

It's important to mention that cointinued legal education ex catedra or interactive method should be implementet also for judges in BiH, because it's useless to insist on remarks violation on article 5. ECFHR, if judges are not educated in that way....that's real problem in Bosnia and Heryegovina.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:50:22

Usually judges are trained at the judicial training centers or in judicial academies that develop their own curricula. Is anybody aware that existing attorneys academia in the region tried to coordinate with those JTCs to put their programs in compliance with each other? It would be necessary to do it, as Branislav pointed out, from material point of view (implementation of the laws) and methodological point of view (if the courses would be ex catedra or interactive), so theu have the same level of knowledge and skill level.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:55

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:57

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:40:19

Last week we had a seminar on Negotiated Pleas of Guilty and the agreement.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:44:50

Fisnik, can you say something more about this. Are you already implementing negotiations on plea? Was this an interactive Seminar?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:54:46

The training focused on the negotiated pleas of guilty and the content of the agreement. It was given by a state prosecutor with extensive experience. We have discussed relevant provisions of CPC on this issue,the roles of the parties involved in this process and the current practice in the country. A hypothetical case was provided to all participants at the training which had an opportunity to share their views and experience.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 17:00:47

It sounds great, a follow on might be the same topic from a defense lawyer's perspective

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:00:07

Denisa , in my practices prosecutors using this more than us. But they start in my Basic Court in Ferizaj can say yes .

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:41:25

I would suggest a training about evidences. In Albanian CPC it is not really explained what can be considered as an evidence

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:54:02

this is good idea Kloida. In some cases in Albania, they interpret the denounce like evidence

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

good topic as well!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:53:07

I would be very interested to know if the private recordings ( from mobiles for example) can be considered as evidences?

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 17:01:36

Same problem in BiH...valuable idea!

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:42:02

hi

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:42:40

Dear Ana, Partners Serbia experience n the CLE could be more than useful for efforts of our Bars in the region. What would be your advise to them from the point of view researching needs of the target group we want to train? What was the response from lawyers in Serbia to your questionnaires? You were probably using and satisfaction survey after trainings were conducted so they could inform you about eventual changes in course methodology?

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:53:49

Ermin, many thanks for this question. Yes, it is crucial for a successful training to be tailored to interests and needs of the target group. What we did is organised a round of general panel discussions on (then) new CPC where attorneys could express their main concerns and raise questions they found the most challenging. Most of the comments we received stated that lawyers here (Serbia, but I guess it goes for the region in general) need more practical training. So we organised series of trial advocacy training (about 20 of them), on direct and cross examination. Now, as Veljko mentioned, we are planning a series of plea bargaining negotiation skills training. In all the training we use satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms, where we ask participants to rate the training and nominate new topics. Also, at our E-learning page (http://www.partners-serbia.org/en/elearning/) we have a short introductory survey where we ask participants to select the most important topic for them, when it comes to future training. Of course, it goes without saying that we are at disposal to all the bars for all the assistance we can provide in organisation of similar training programs.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:43:50

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:44:04

Dear Kloida, you could come to some of our interactiv seminars about plea barging which will be organized during October and November if you think that could be usefull for you.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:56:26

Dear Veljko thank you very much for your invitation. I would love to, because it sounds very interesting and definitely very useful once Albania will start implementing it after the new law amendments are approved

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 16:44:40

sorry Kloida,u are a lawer or a diplomats :P

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:58:21

both of them Emiljano

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:08:27

Our next meeting is in Vlore, Mili :)

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 16:44:50

Fisnik, can you say something more about this. Are you already implementing negotiations on plea? Was this an interactive Seminar?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:54:46

The training focused on the negotiated pleas of guilty and the content of the agreement. It was given by a state prosecutor with extensive experience. We have discussed relevant provisions of CPC on this issue,the roles of the parties involved in this process and the current practice in the country. A hypothetical case was provided to all participants at the training which had an opportunity to share their views and experience.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 17:00:47

It sounds great, a follow on might be the same topic from a defense lawyer's perspective

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:00:07

Denisa , in my practices prosecutors using this more than us. But they start in my Basic Court in Ferizaj can say yes .

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:45:12

Would it be helpful for the Bar Chambers to send surveys to lawyers regarding training needs? I think Kosovo already does this ... and I am wondering if other bars do the same and if it would be helpful?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:58:48

Yes, the survey is in process here...

Katerina Nikolova 2015-09-30 17:10:11

Fisnik, maybe you can share Kosovo experience of how you do the survey and the outcomes

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:46:27

Dear Ermin, yes, it'll be the same team from Ohrid.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:52:14

Do you plan to analyze their presentations so you could inform the Bar how to improve SBAR Academy curriculum, and methodology of passing on the knowledge from lecturers to course participants?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:47:19

I will have a tanning but i don't no date yet , a Criminal Offences in procurement procedure !

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:48:31

Are you giving the training? It sounds like a great topic! Will it be interactive?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:53:26

yes i will , and my idea is , i go show many cases i that have in practicks, in time when i work on procurement, after with lawyer we will discusst does those cases are or not a criminal Offences i

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:58:13

that sounds like a very interesting way to discuss the topic. Also to hear from the lawyer-participants about their cases. Do you do this on your own or through the Bar Chamber?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:48:31

Are you giving the training? It sounds like a great topic! Will it be interactive?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:53:26

yes i will , and my idea is , i go show many cases i that have in practicks, in time when i work on procurement, after with lawyer we will discusst does those cases are or not a criminal Offences i

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:58:13

that sounds like a very interesting way to discuss the topic. Also to hear from the lawyer-participants about their cases. Do you do this on your own or through the Bar Chamber?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:49:08

In Kosovo i mean Bar this year we preparing a agenda four 2015 what we are going to do. What kind of topic we are going to have

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:50:00

you mean 2016?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

Kloida we have for 2015 tanning program witch our bar association will organized they are training in those topics Criminal, Civil , Constitution,International, Administrative. Commercial , professional ethics and special courses it is kind of book four 2015

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:01:49

It sounds great. Lot's of success!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:50:00

you mean 2016?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

Kloida we have for 2015 tanning program witch our bar association will organized they are training in those topics Criminal, Civil , Constitution,International, Administrative. Commercial , professional ethics and special courses it is kind of book four 2015

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:01:49

It sounds great. Lot's of success!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:50:22

Usually judges are trained at the judicial training centers or in judicial academies that develop their own curricula. Is anybody aware that existing attorneys academia in the region tried to coordinate with those JTCs to put their programs in compliance with each other? It would be necessary to do it, as Branislav pointed out, from material point of view (implementation of the laws) and methodological point of view (if the courses would be ex catedra or interactive), so theu have the same level of knowledge and skill level.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:55

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:57

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:05

Daniel, This is a great topic... We were thinking of doing the next topic in CPC which would be Pre trial Investigation and Discovery and would cover some of these issues. Maybe the lawyers in Serbia have worked on this. I think we could also try to develop some interesting training on this topic for Macedonia. Let's discuss!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:51:42

Super!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 16:52:14

Do you plan to analyze their presentations so you could inform the Bar how to improve SBAR Academy curriculum, and methodology of passing on the knowledge from lecturers to course participants?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:53:26

yes i will , and my idea is , i go show many cases i that have in practicks, in time when i work on procurement, after with lawyer we will discusst does those cases are or not a criminal Offences i

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:58:13

that sounds like a very interesting way to discuss the topic. Also to hear from the lawyer-participants about their cases. Do you do this on your own or through the Bar Chamber?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:53:49

Ermin, many thanks for this question. Yes, it is crucial for a successful training to be tailored to interests and needs of the target group. What we did is organised a round of general panel discussions on (then) new CPC where attorneys could express their main concerns and raise questions they found the most challenging. Most of the comments we received stated that lawyers here (Serbia, but I guess it goes for the region in general) need more practical training. So we organised series of trial advocacy training (about 20 of them), on direct and cross examination. Now, as Veljko mentioned, we are planning a series of plea bargaining negotiation skills training. In all the training we use satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms, where we ask participants to rate the training and nominate new topics. Also, at our E-learning page (http://www.partners-serbia.org/en/elearning/) we have a short introductory survey where we ask participants to select the most important topic for them, when it comes to future training. Of course, it goes without saying that we are at disposal to all the bars for all the assistance we can provide in organisation of similar training programs.

Arben Lena 2015-09-30 16:54:02

this is good idea Kloida. In some cases in Albania, they interpret the denounce like evidence

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

good topic as well!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:53:07

I would be very interested to know if the private recordings ( from mobiles for example) can be considered as evidences?

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 16:54:13

Yes, we do.

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:54:46

The training focused on the negotiated pleas of guilty and the content of the agreement. It was given by a state prosecutor with extensive experience. We have discussed relevant provisions of CPC on this issue,the roles of the parties involved in this process and the current practice in the country. A hypothetical case was provided to all participants at the training which had an opportunity to share their views and experience.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 17:00:47

It sounds great, a follow on might be the same topic from a defense lawyer's perspective

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:56:26

Dear Veljko thank you very much for your invitation. I would love to, because it sounds very interesting and definitely very useful once Albania will start implementing it after the new law amendments are approved

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:55

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 16:56:57

Some of us from RS Bar Association hope that establishing of attorneys academia will be for real....because I feel that somehow we (attorneys and judges) usually improving our skills just trought court hearings what is not enough....

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

Kloida we have for 2015 tanning program witch our bar association will organized they are training in those topics Criminal, Civil , Constitution,International, Administrative. Commercial , professional ethics and special courses it is kind of book four 2015

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:01:49

It sounds great. Lot's of success!

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:57:32

good topic as well!

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:53:07

I would be very interested to know if the private recordings ( from mobiles for example) can be considered as evidences?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-09-30 16:58:13

that sounds like a very interesting way to discuss the topic. Also to hear from the lawyer-participants about their cases. Do you do this on your own or through the Bar Chamber?

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 16:58:21

both of them Emiljano

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 16:58:48

Yes, the survey is in process here...

Katerina Nikolova 2015-09-30 17:10:11

Fisnik, maybe you can share Kosovo experience of how you do the survey and the outcomes

Ana Toskic 2015-09-30 16:59:19

Daniel, are the prosecutors interested in participating? We have experience in organising mock trials, but we mostly included defense attorneys. Prosecutors are usually not that eager to participate. Anyhow, if you want to organise a simulation, especially on equality of arms, you should always have an interesting case, and an neutral individual as a "judge".

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 17:11:46

Ana thank you, that is great idea for next simulation

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:00:07

Denisa , in my practices prosecutors using this more than us. But they start in my Basic Court in Ferizaj can say yes .

Denisa Fekollari 2015-09-30 17:00:47

It sounds great, a follow on might be the same topic from a defense lawyer's perspective

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 17:01:36

Same problem in BiH...valuable idea!

Ermin Sarajlija 2015-09-30 17:01:37

Maybe it would be good to share your findings with other Bars in our Network so they could benefit from your analyze as well.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:01:49

It sounds great. Lot's of success!

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:01:54

Dear Kloida, When we establish termins definitly, I will inform you. So if you manage to come we will see each other there.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:02:46

yes this tanning i have to do with my college , together she is a prosecutor , so my idea was and she support me to do on this way.

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Veljko Delibasic 2015-09-30 17:03:06

That sounds like great idea. We will contact you in matter to realize it.

Branislav Cvijanović 2015-09-30 17:03:17

It was useful to hear such a great comments from colleagues from region, I hope so that we will soon have oportunity for another topic at forum. Best regards!

Admir Salihu 2015-09-30 17:04:57

Because it is a long discussion about those thing what happen in procurement procedure , does that are like violating of administrative law or criminal offences.

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:07:25

Thank you very much everybody for being part of this forum. It was such a great experience exchange. Hope to hear and see you in other topics. p.s. please feel free to leave comments even after the closure of the live session .

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:10:34

All the best. cheerz!

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 17:20:56

great topic my friend

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:08:27

Our next meeting is in Vlore, Mili :)

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Katerina Nikolova 2015-09-30 17:10:11

Fisnik, maybe you can share Kosovo experience of how you do the survey and the outcomes

Fisnik Salihu 2015-09-30 17:10:34

All the best. cheerz!

Daniel Ivanoski 2015-09-30 17:11:46

Ana thank you, that is great idea for next simulation

Emiljano Hajrullai 2015-09-30 17:11:58

u're welcome

Ergert Myftiu 2015-09-30 17:20:56

great topic my friend

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:48:51

in my knowledge only the detention and arrest, but you can contact Beth for that

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:51:18

I will appreciate it very much

Kloida Dashi 2015-09-30 17:53:07

I would be very interested to know if the private recordings ( from mobiles for example) can be considered as evidences?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:03:10

Dear all, I am honored to moderate today's forum focused on the topic "Plea Bargaining -Pros and Cons". While for common law countries, this is a very well known criminal procedure feature, for civil law countries in general and especially for former communist countries plea bargaining remains a criminal procedure feature that is mostly unknown or partially known. Nevertheless, the Balkan countries have already introduced or shall be introducing soon plea bargaining in their criminal justice system as part of their ongoing reforms. At the same time, other civil law countries such as Germany, Italy have a limited application of the plea bargaining and its typical features. While Estonia is the only Civil Law Country who has applied a full plea bargaining system just like common law countries. From this perspective, the common concern of all justice actors is whether the implementation of plea bargaining will improve or will cause more problems to already non well performing justice system. In order to help the audience understand some of the key issues that raises an introduction of plea bargaining in a civil law country, I invite you to start discussing together at 15:00 some of the most relevant issues and share our own views and experiences on this topic. I strongly believe that this discussion with be very useful for all of us and the entire audience. Let's start :-)

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:07:02

Great start Jordan.... we are interested in hearing the issues in each of our countries. We have also invited some American lawyers to share their experiences as plea bargaining is widely used in our jurisdictions... and not without problems!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:08:24

Jordan: Thanks for convening. It is a topic near to my heart. And I feel it is a critical piece in the reform tool box as we ensure that criminal justice systems become more fair AND efficient.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:11:17

Welcome Mary! For us from the Balkans, US experience is very important since we would like to improve our criminal justice system, but without harming any defendant rights and the overall interest of justice. Our discussion would start e.g. by giving answer to the following question: What would be the most common features of a legal framework for plea bargaining in a civil law country?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:25:54

working on it !!!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:27:01

Jordan: Excellent question and one I continue to ponder. I would love to hear others suggestions and expertise. I am no expert at civil law procedures, but to me one of the attractions is the early interviewing of an accused-whether or not the information obtained is admissible later. Identifying early on what the evidence will likely be, on both sides, I think helps then identify what possible resolutions may be available. I think one of the challenges in all criminal justice systems is early and thoughtful communication with victim(s) to discern not only what their testimony might be, but what their wishes are for disposition.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:30:27

Availability of evidence and information is key. And, as a protection for factual innocence or official misconduct, some (albeit limited say to the discovery of fresh evidence) ability to review or reopen cases post-plea.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:14:00

Jordan: I am not very well familiar with the comparative perspectives of the plea bargaining in the region, but I can at the begining state that Bosnian and Herzegovinin criminal justice system has fully incorporated this concept 12 years ago. So, it is not only Estonia, for sure.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:16:40

Dzermin! I am aware of this and I would like to know some more concrete information. Indeed, I was wonder if Bosnia has applied a full plea bargaining system just like any other common law country as Estonia did, since all other cases have partially introduced some of the plea bargaining features, but not fully... is this the Bosnian case too?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:21:29

I think we should first define what does a "full plea bargaining" means in other to avoid any possible missunderstandings?

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:24:52

Hi everyone, I think the question is whether our neighboring states have introduced both sentence and plea bargaining, since under the Macedonian CPC only sentence bargaining is allowed.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:25:35

I would also love clarification on this point! Our preliminary research has shown a wide variety of practices across jurisdictions on what is termed "plea bargaining." Some are really a form of summary trial, others are statutorily-controlled discounts for accepting guilt at various stages. There is variation in the role and oversight of judges and the power of prosecutors to offer deals, whether there is charge or sentence bargaining or both, and the level of review/possibility of reopening among other issues!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:14:19

One of the problems advocates in Macedonia have shared is they are often having to decide whether to accept a plea deal without having access to the state's evidence or case file... This makes it difficult for them to properly advise their client. In Macedonia, it is structured that the sooner you plead the better the deal. So it puts the defense in a tough position. They may be pleading their clients based allegation alone.... There is no preliminary hearing or threshold hearing to establish minimal evidence as required in many states (maybe all) in the US.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:18:53

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the prosecution, the accused and the defense sing plea agreement, the case is forwarded to the court pannel (or in some cases to s single judge) who must examine all evidence in this regard before deciding on whether to accept or reject the plea agreement.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 15:23:50

It is great to hear that BiH has a long experience in implementing Plea bargaining. What do you do in order to ensure presumption of innocence throughout the process?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:33:26

Well, the plea agreement may be either accepted by the court or rejected by the court. The court is not obliged to explain reasoning for rejecting the plea agreement. But if the plea is rejected pleading guilty must not be used in any form in any further decision of that court.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:26:59

Are there any restrictions on what the agreement can be. For example, in Macedonia, the agreed upon sentence is a certain percentage of the maximum depending on when the deal is reached. The sooner the agreement is made the lighter the sentence... but the law regulates this. Are there any such regulations in BiH or is it just up to the parties to agree? Also can you negotiate the charge or only the sentence?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:34:21

No, there are no such restrictions whatsoever.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:15:07

Many of us who used to practice criminal law in the USA, whether on the defense or prosecution side, depended on plea bargaining as a means to ATTEMPT to ensure a fair and predictable resolution to the criminal incident. But much of its "success" depends on the integrity of the prosecutor and the defense attorney's, starting with full and prompt disclosure of known evidence at the earliest stages. In my experience it also depended on both sides being "solution oriented" and not obstructionist.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:16:27

Hello all. I'm writing in from Fair Trials International, based in London and Brussels. We are currently in the early stages of a project examining the fair trials implications of plea bargaining systems around the world. We have commissioned pro bono research into practices in 80 countries which is ongoing. We are also, on 11 November, hosting a roundtable of US experts to discuss the human rights implications of the US model of plea bargaining and efforts to safeguard fair trial rights in that process, and to explore ways in which lessons learned in the US might be useful to practitioners and lawmakers in countries adopting plea bargaining in their own jurisdictions or looking at reforming it where there are issues. Mary Greer, did you receive the invitation? We'd love to see you there!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:22:57

Rebecca: yes, thank you so much for the kind invitation. Seems I will be on travel. But will write to you yet today with a suggested alternative

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:31:00

Great!

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:18:15

hello everyone! Av.Daci I am interested in your opinion , should it be accepted in Albania the plea bargain?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:22:44

Dear Kloida, well to my knowledge we should apply in Albania too, but we need to be very careful and of course a lot of legal amendments have to be introduced too. Other concerns are related with the dominant post communist mentality among judges and prosecutors that may turn this into a speed trial tool, but may also leave to deals that are accepted for pragmatist reasons, but now because of guiltiness. Rights of defendants would be permanent concern.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:23:21

I meant but not ...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:24:55

I agree completely, but don't you think that innocent people will often take a guilty plea bargain, out of fear of being found guilty by this so called corrupted judges in a trial?

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:39:37

What measures do you think could be taken to reduce the coercive possibility of plea bargains?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:39:44

Yes, I do and I called "pragmatist reasons" :-) Still we should introduce with some additional guarantees for the defendant etc.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:20:08

When working with colleagues reforming criminal justice systems and implementing some kind of abbreviated proceedings, or plea bargaining, it has been harder to implement without plausible alternatives too, like a vibrant alternative sentencing scheme, including probation with supervision, when appropriate, and resources for the parties, including substance abuse treatment and other forms of assistance. There is no shortage of research in the United States substantiating what many of us already knew--that many who are sent to prison often have untreated, undiagnosed mental health issues.

Dzenana Hadziomerovic 2015-10-28 15:25:40

Hi, I am Dzenana Hadziomerovic, an attorney from Sarajevo, BiH. It is interesting to hear the US experience. I would also like to refer to the ECHR case law ( as established in the case Natsvlishi and Tognidze v Georgia dated 29 April 20014) "The Court .. notes that it can be considered a common feature of European criminal justice systems for an accused to obtain the lessening of charges or receive a reduction of his or her sentence in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendere plea in advance of trial or for providing substantial cooperation with the investigative authority (see the comparative legal study, paragraphs 62-75 above; see also, in this connection, Slavcho Kostov v. Bulgaria, no. 28674/03, § 17, 27 November 2008, and Ruciński v. Poland, no. 33198/04, § 12, 20 February 2007). There cannot be anything improper in the process of charge or sentence bargaining in itself (see, mutatis mutandis, Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, ECHR 6 July 2010). In this connection the Court subscribes to the idea that plea bargaining, apart from offering the important benefits of speedy adjudication of criminal cases and alleviating the workload of courts, prosecutors and lawyers, can also, if applied correctly, be a successful tool in combating corruption and organised crime and can contribute to the reduction of the number of sentences imposed and, as a result, the number of prisoners. 91. The Court considers that where the effect of plea bargaining is that a criminal charge against the accused is determined through an abridged form of judicial examination, this amounts, in substance, to the waiver of a number of procedural rights. This cannot be a problem in itself, since neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 prevents a person from waiving these safeguards of his or her own free will (see Scoppola v. Italy (no. 2) [GC], no. 10249/03, § 135, 17 September 2009). The Court observes in this connection that as early as in 1987 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called upon the member States to take measures aimed at the simplification of ordinary judicial procedures by resorting, for instance, to abridged, summary trials (see paragraph 54 above). However, it is also a cornerstone principle that any waiver of procedural rights must always, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner and be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance. In addition, it must not run counter to any important public interest (see, amongst other authorities, Scoppola (no. 2), cited above, § 135-36; Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A; and Hermi v. Italy [GC], no. 18114/02, § 73, ECHR 2006‑XII). " I hope this may help!!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:28:55

Thank you Dzenana, this was really great. You just anticipated one of my issues I wanted to raise about the case law of the European Court of Human Rights or any other International Court. Please feel free to provide more info on this issues, although I planed to raise this as my last issue.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:30:12

Hi Rebecca Fisher from Minnesota USA. I am a criminal defense attorney since 1999. Most cases here resolve in plea bargains. They can happen at all stages of the process but I never plea a client until I have seen all the evidence.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:32:23

Dear Rebecca, thank you for join us. I had the change to visit your Supreme Court and some Federal Courts in October 2013. I love you place. I would like to invite you and all other to provide any answer on the following question. What are the limits or plea bargaining for the prosecution office and the defendant and his defense? To what extend the court can control the plea bargaining? In which cases the plea bargaining can be found null?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:31:20

Under the law here the prosecutor is required to provide all the discovery or the case can be dismissed. Sometimes we have to fight for it but not very often. I guess we are very lucky !!

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:32:58

The prosecutor will usually make an offer and then we will try to negotiate a lesser charge, less jail time, length of probation etc.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:34:35

I'm interested in public opinion of justice systems that employ plea bargaining, especially where they are introduced relatively recently for example to combat corruption or to assist in the prosecution of major and complex crimes (cross-border drugs and people trafficking, etc). Is there a sense that the lack of an open trial in which evidence is heard and tested, and where a sentence is agreed upon behind closed doors, compromises public faith in the justice system? Or do the efficiency savings and increased conviction rate make up for this?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:26

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:43

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:47

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:57

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Dzenana Hadziomerovic 2015-10-28 15:38:35

It is difficult for my to provide you with information about public opinion re. plea bargaining. It is my impression that there is a significant lack in confidence to the system at all. Also the public is sometimes not happy when more severe penalty is not issued in some high profile cases.

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:43:23

It is simmilar situation in Macedonia. In same cases it is observed as just and speedy process, but in some other cases, for example in more complex cases or organized crime cases it is observed as unjust. Since the public sometimes observes the guilty plea by the defendants and sentence bargaining as possibility for more lenient treatment to the defendants who takes the guilty plea...

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:39:11

we also have a centralized court record system so prosecutors can see a defendants criminal history. additionally, we have a probation system set up through the corrections dept to monitor people who are on probation.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:41:31

thank your very much this was really great and detailed info. If you provide some case law would be great, so people who can and want can reader more on these.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:50:34

Some relatively recent US Supreme Court case law you might find interesting takes note of the overwhelming prevalence of plea deals in the US system and the need for greater due process protections, in particular by allowing cases resolved by plea deal to be reopened on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel in regard to the specific duty of the defence lawyer to advise on collateral immigration consequences of accepting plea deals (see Padilla v. Kentucky (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-651.pdf), and to transmit timely information about the plea to defendants to avoid the "trial penalty," (an acknowledgement of the much more severe punishments received by defendants convicted after trial as opposed to those accepting pleas) (see Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v Frye).

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:52:24

Thank you very much!

Fisnik Salihu 2015-10-28 15:50:23

Plea bargaining has been regulated by Kosova CPC provisions. As an opportunity it exists for some years now, however in practice is has not been promoted not utilized since attorneys and prosecutors were reluctant to that. There are only few cases decided under plea bargaining here.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:56:18

Dear Fisnik, thank you very much. Would you please provide us some reason why the defense and the prosecutors are reluctant to plea bargaining? in addition, would tell us if the court has refused any case and if yes, what has been the reasoning? Some courts judgments on these cases would be great for the resource section of this site. Please provide some of them even in Albanian language.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:53:43

the next proposed issue is to give answers to the following question. What legal remedies shall be available to defendant and his defense to challenged a plea bargaining agreement? If any? All countries practices would be very interesting to know.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 16:04:14

Jordan, in the US its very difficult to challenge a guilty plea... you must argue that you didn't knowingly give up your rights when entering the plea. Courts are usually very careful to ensure that the defendant is properly advised.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:09:56

That was my understanding and what I answer to our colleague from BiH. In Europe courts wanna have always a saying and judges should be very well aware that they will not have a say in this. I think this makes prosecution office more important that it is right know, but will inevitably increase the importance of defense which we lack at this moment in Albania. Defense will be start seeing by the court just like the prosecution office not as it is right now that courts consider prosecutors as their "State" colleagues...

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 15:53:56

And what happens to the Law on execution of sanctions and the deadline provided in it( the convict has 8 days to report himself to prison). When the bargain is signed the convict is immediately directed to jail. Does the bargain suspend all the rights arising from the enforcement of sanctions and the role that judge have by that law? It does and it's a problem.

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:57:08

As it is, it is lacunae unfortunately. I think that Law on Execution of Sanctions should and must prevail as lex speciallis.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:57:59

I think this was answered by Dzenena as in following Hi, I am Dzenana Hadziomerovic, an attorney from Sarajevo, BiH. It is interesting to hear the US experience. I would also like to refer to the ECHR case law ( as established in the case Natsvlishi and Tognidze v Georgia dated 29 April 20014) "The Court .. notes that it can be considered a common feature of European criminal justice systems for an accused to obtain the lessening of charges or receive a reduction of his or her sentence in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendere plea in advance of trial or for providing substantial cooperation with the investigative authority (see the comparative legal study, paragraphs 62-75 above; see also, in this connection, Slavcho Kostov v. Bulgaria, no. 28674/03, § 17, 27 November 2008, and Ruciński v. Poland, no. 33198/04, § 12, 20 February 2007). There cannot be anything improper in the process of charge or sentence bargaining in itself (see, mutatis mutandis, Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, ECHR 6 July 2010). In this connection the Court subscribes to the idea that plea bargaining, apart from offering the important benefits of speedy adjudication of criminal cases and alleviating the workload of courts, prosecutors and lawyers, can also, if applied correctly, be a successful tool in combating corruption and organised crime and can contribute to the reduction of the number of sentences imposed and, as a result, the number of prisoners. 91. The Court considers that where the effect of plea bargaining is that a criminal charge against the accused is determined through an abridged form of judicial examination, this amounts, in substance, to the waiver of a number of procedural rights. This cannot be a problem in itself, since neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 prevents a person from waiving these safeguards of his or her own free will (see Scoppola v. Italy (no. 2) [GC], no. 10249/03, § 135, 17 September 2009). The Court observes in this connection that as early as in 1987 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called upon the member States to take measures aimed at the simplification of ordinary judicial procedures by resorting, for instance, to abridged, summary trials (see paragraph 54 above). However, it is also a cornerstone principle that any waiver of procedural rights must always, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner and be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance. In addition, it must not run counter to any important public interest (see, amongst other authorities, Scoppola (no. 2), cited above, § 135-36; Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A; and Hermi v. Italy [GC], no. 18114/02, § 73, ECHR 2006‑XII). " I hope this may help!!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 16:02:24

Thanks!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 15:58:12

This is how I see the Macedonian perspective on this issue...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:03:58

You are right colleague. I have the same concerns on to what extend the waiver of the procedural rights should be and would this be irreversible or not?

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 16:01:34

thank you av.Daci! It was very helpful

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:14:36

Ok. Thank you very much for all your interventions, great ideas and resources you have provided. It has been such a successful discussion and since it is such important and sensitive topic, we may still continue in following days by exchanging ideas via email etc. At the same, time please all of you that have materials please spend few minutes and submit them to the resource section of the page. It has been great to "meet" all of you and I wish you a wonderful evening! Jordan

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 16:21:37

Thank you Jordan for hosting the discussion on this topic!

Theodoros Alexandridis 2015-10-31 22:05:01

Hi all, I know I am a bit late for the party but I trust there's still some room for a johnny-come-lately! My name is Theodoros Alexandridis, I am a lawyer and am currently working at an Albanian NGO. I went through all the very instructive and informative posts but unless I am mistaken, the issue of representation of the plaintiff / civil claimant / accessory prosecutor does not seem to have come up. This has been a particularly vexing issue for us, as in most of our cases we are representing the victim or their next of kin. As you may know, in relation to the majority of crimes prescribed by Albanian law, the plaintiff does not in principle have a right to take part in the criminal proceedings and therefore also in the proceedings regarding application of the summary trial procedure (which as Jordan mentioned, can be likened to a form of plea-bargaining). Rather interestingly however, Albanian law does recognise, in proceedings where the plaintiff has the capacity of private prosecutor, the plaintiff's right to take part in the proceedings and express his / her opinion as to the defendant's request to be tried under the summary procedure. I would like to note that in a pretty much similar case against Bulgaria (Dimitrova and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 44826/04, dated 27 January 2011), the European Court took the domestic judicial authorities' failure to ensure the participation of the applicants in the plea-bargaining proceedings (even though under the domestic law, it was in the court's discretion to invite the plaintiff to express themselves on this issue) into consideration in its finding of a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 2. I am therefore curious as to the situation of the plaintiff in the context of plea-bargaining in your respective countries. Theo

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:07:02

Great start Jordan.... we are interested in hearing the issues in each of our countries. We have also invited some American lawyers to share their experiences as plea bargaining is widely used in our jurisdictions... and not without problems!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:08:24

Jordan: Thanks for convening. It is a topic near to my heart. And I feel it is a critical piece in the reform tool box as we ensure that criminal justice systems become more fair AND efficient.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:11:17

Welcome Mary! For us from the Balkans, US experience is very important since we would like to improve our criminal justice system, but without harming any defendant rights and the overall interest of justice. Our discussion would start e.g. by giving answer to the following question: What would be the most common features of a legal framework for plea bargaining in a civil law country?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:25:54

working on it !!!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:27:01

Jordan: Excellent question and one I continue to ponder. I would love to hear others suggestions and expertise. I am no expert at civil law procedures, but to me one of the attractions is the early interviewing of an accused-whether or not the information obtained is admissible later. Identifying early on what the evidence will likely be, on both sides, I think helps then identify what possible resolutions may be available. I think one of the challenges in all criminal justice systems is early and thoughtful communication with victim(s) to discern not only what their testimony might be, but what their wishes are for disposition.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:30:27

Availability of evidence and information is key. And, as a protection for factual innocence or official misconduct, some (albeit limited say to the discovery of fresh evidence) ability to review or reopen cases post-plea.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:11:17

Welcome Mary! For us from the Balkans, US experience is very important since we would like to improve our criminal justice system, but without harming any defendant rights and the overall interest of justice. Our discussion would start e.g. by giving answer to the following question: What would be the most common features of a legal framework for plea bargaining in a civil law country?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:25:54

working on it !!!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:27:01

Jordan: Excellent question and one I continue to ponder. I would love to hear others suggestions and expertise. I am no expert at civil law procedures, but to me one of the attractions is the early interviewing of an accused-whether or not the information obtained is admissible later. Identifying early on what the evidence will likely be, on both sides, I think helps then identify what possible resolutions may be available. I think one of the challenges in all criminal justice systems is early and thoughtful communication with victim(s) to discern not only what their testimony might be, but what their wishes are for disposition.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:30:27

Availability of evidence and information is key. And, as a protection for factual innocence or official misconduct, some (albeit limited say to the discovery of fresh evidence) ability to review or reopen cases post-plea.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:14:00

Jordan: I am not very well familiar with the comparative perspectives of the plea bargaining in the region, but I can at the begining state that Bosnian and Herzegovinin criminal justice system has fully incorporated this concept 12 years ago. So, it is not only Estonia, for sure.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:16:40

Dzermin! I am aware of this and I would like to know some more concrete information. Indeed, I was wonder if Bosnia has applied a full plea bargaining system just like any other common law country as Estonia did, since all other cases have partially introduced some of the plea bargaining features, but not fully... is this the Bosnian case too?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:21:29

I think we should first define what does a "full plea bargaining" means in other to avoid any possible missunderstandings?

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:24:52

Hi everyone, I think the question is whether our neighboring states have introduced both sentence and plea bargaining, since under the Macedonian CPC only sentence bargaining is allowed.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:25:35

I would also love clarification on this point! Our preliminary research has shown a wide variety of practices across jurisdictions on what is termed "plea bargaining." Some are really a form of summary trial, others are statutorily-controlled discounts for accepting guilt at various stages. There is variation in the role and oversight of judges and the power of prosecutors to offer deals, whether there is charge or sentence bargaining or both, and the level of review/possibility of reopening among other issues!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:14:19

One of the problems advocates in Macedonia have shared is they are often having to decide whether to accept a plea deal without having access to the state's evidence or case file... This makes it difficult for them to properly advise their client. In Macedonia, it is structured that the sooner you plead the better the deal. So it puts the defense in a tough position. They may be pleading their clients based allegation alone.... There is no preliminary hearing or threshold hearing to establish minimal evidence as required in many states (maybe all) in the US.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:18:53

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the prosecution, the accused and the defense sing plea agreement, the case is forwarded to the court pannel (or in some cases to s single judge) who must examine all evidence in this regard before deciding on whether to accept or reject the plea agreement.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 15:23:50

It is great to hear that BiH has a long experience in implementing Plea bargaining. What do you do in order to ensure presumption of innocence throughout the process?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:33:26

Well, the plea agreement may be either accepted by the court or rejected by the court. The court is not obliged to explain reasoning for rejecting the plea agreement. But if the plea is rejected pleading guilty must not be used in any form in any further decision of that court.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:26:59

Are there any restrictions on what the agreement can be. For example, in Macedonia, the agreed upon sentence is a certain percentage of the maximum depending on when the deal is reached. The sooner the agreement is made the lighter the sentence... but the law regulates this. Are there any such regulations in BiH or is it just up to the parties to agree? Also can you negotiate the charge or only the sentence?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:34:21

No, there are no such restrictions whatsoever.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:15:07

Many of us who used to practice criminal law in the USA, whether on the defense or prosecution side, depended on plea bargaining as a means to ATTEMPT to ensure a fair and predictable resolution to the criminal incident. But much of its "success" depends on the integrity of the prosecutor and the defense attorney's, starting with full and prompt disclosure of known evidence at the earliest stages. In my experience it also depended on both sides being "solution oriented" and not obstructionist.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:16:27

Hello all. I'm writing in from Fair Trials International, based in London and Brussels. We are currently in the early stages of a project examining the fair trials implications of plea bargaining systems around the world. We have commissioned pro bono research into practices in 80 countries which is ongoing. We are also, on 11 November, hosting a roundtable of US experts to discuss the human rights implications of the US model of plea bargaining and efforts to safeguard fair trial rights in that process, and to explore ways in which lessons learned in the US might be useful to practitioners and lawmakers in countries adopting plea bargaining in their own jurisdictions or looking at reforming it where there are issues. Mary Greer, did you receive the invitation? We'd love to see you there!

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:22:57

Rebecca: yes, thank you so much for the kind invitation. Seems I will be on travel. But will write to you yet today with a suggested alternative

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:31:00

Great!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:16:40

Dzermin! I am aware of this and I would like to know some more concrete information. Indeed, I was wonder if Bosnia has applied a full plea bargaining system just like any other common law country as Estonia did, since all other cases have partially introduced some of the plea bargaining features, but not fully... is this the Bosnian case too?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:21:29

I think we should first define what does a "full plea bargaining" means in other to avoid any possible missunderstandings?

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:24:52

Hi everyone, I think the question is whether our neighboring states have introduced both sentence and plea bargaining, since under the Macedonian CPC only sentence bargaining is allowed.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:25:35

I would also love clarification on this point! Our preliminary research has shown a wide variety of practices across jurisdictions on what is termed "plea bargaining." Some are really a form of summary trial, others are statutorily-controlled discounts for accepting guilt at various stages. There is variation in the role and oversight of judges and the power of prosecutors to offer deals, whether there is charge or sentence bargaining or both, and the level of review/possibility of reopening among other issues!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:18:15

hello everyone! Av.Daci I am interested in your opinion , should it be accepted in Albania the plea bargain?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:22:44

Dear Kloida, well to my knowledge we should apply in Albania too, but we need to be very careful and of course a lot of legal amendments have to be introduced too. Other concerns are related with the dominant post communist mentality among judges and prosecutors that may turn this into a speed trial tool, but may also leave to deals that are accepted for pragmatist reasons, but now because of guiltiness. Rights of defendants would be permanent concern.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:23:21

I meant but not ...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:24:55

I agree completely, but don't you think that innocent people will often take a guilty plea bargain, out of fear of being found guilty by this so called corrupted judges in a trial?

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:39:37

What measures do you think could be taken to reduce the coercive possibility of plea bargains?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:39:44

Yes, I do and I called "pragmatist reasons" :-) Still we should introduce with some additional guarantees for the defendant etc.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:18:53

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the prosecution, the accused and the defense sing plea agreement, the case is forwarded to the court pannel (or in some cases to s single judge) who must examine all evidence in this regard before deciding on whether to accept or reject the plea agreement.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 15:23:50

It is great to hear that BiH has a long experience in implementing Plea bargaining. What do you do in order to ensure presumption of innocence throughout the process?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:33:26

Well, the plea agreement may be either accepted by the court or rejected by the court. The court is not obliged to explain reasoning for rejecting the plea agreement. But if the plea is rejected pleading guilty must not be used in any form in any further decision of that court.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:26:59

Are there any restrictions on what the agreement can be. For example, in Macedonia, the agreed upon sentence is a certain percentage of the maximum depending on when the deal is reached. The sooner the agreement is made the lighter the sentence... but the law regulates this. Are there any such regulations in BiH or is it just up to the parties to agree? Also can you negotiate the charge or only the sentence?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:34:21

No, there are no such restrictions whatsoever.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:20:08

When working with colleagues reforming criminal justice systems and implementing some kind of abbreviated proceedings, or plea bargaining, it has been harder to implement without plausible alternatives too, like a vibrant alternative sentencing scheme, including probation with supervision, when appropriate, and resources for the parties, including substance abuse treatment and other forms of assistance. There is no shortage of research in the United States substantiating what many of us already knew--that many who are sent to prison often have untreated, undiagnosed mental health issues.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:21:29

I think we should first define what does a "full plea bargaining" means in other to avoid any possible missunderstandings?

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:24:52

Hi everyone, I think the question is whether our neighboring states have introduced both sentence and plea bargaining, since under the Macedonian CPC only sentence bargaining is allowed.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:25:35

I would also love clarification on this point! Our preliminary research has shown a wide variety of practices across jurisdictions on what is termed "plea bargaining." Some are really a form of summary trial, others are statutorily-controlled discounts for accepting guilt at various stages. There is variation in the role and oversight of judges and the power of prosecutors to offer deals, whether there is charge or sentence bargaining or both, and the level of review/possibility of reopening among other issues!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:22:44

Dear Kloida, well to my knowledge we should apply in Albania too, but we need to be very careful and of course a lot of legal amendments have to be introduced too. Other concerns are related with the dominant post communist mentality among judges and prosecutors that may turn this into a speed trial tool, but may also leave to deals that are accepted for pragmatist reasons, but now because of guiltiness. Rights of defendants would be permanent concern.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:23:21

I meant but not ...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:24:55

I agree completely, but don't you think that innocent people will often take a guilty plea bargain, out of fear of being found guilty by this so called corrupted judges in a trial?

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:39:37

What measures do you think could be taken to reduce the coercive possibility of plea bargains?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:39:44

Yes, I do and I called "pragmatist reasons" :-) Still we should introduce with some additional guarantees for the defendant etc.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:22:57

Rebecca: yes, thank you so much for the kind invitation. Seems I will be on travel. But will write to you yet today with a suggested alternative

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:31:00

Great!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:23:21

I meant but not ...

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 15:23:50

It is great to hear that BiH has a long experience in implementing Plea bargaining. What do you do in order to ensure presumption of innocence throughout the process?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:33:26

Well, the plea agreement may be either accepted by the court or rejected by the court. The court is not obliged to explain reasoning for rejecting the plea agreement. But if the plea is rejected pleading guilty must not be used in any form in any further decision of that court.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:24:52

Hi everyone, I think the question is whether our neighboring states have introduced both sentence and plea bargaining, since under the Macedonian CPC only sentence bargaining is allowed.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:24:55

I agree completely, but don't you think that innocent people will often take a guilty plea bargain, out of fear of being found guilty by this so called corrupted judges in a trial?

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:39:37

What measures do you think could be taken to reduce the coercive possibility of plea bargains?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:39:44

Yes, I do and I called "pragmatist reasons" :-) Still we should introduce with some additional guarantees for the defendant etc.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:25:35

I would also love clarification on this point! Our preliminary research has shown a wide variety of practices across jurisdictions on what is termed "plea bargaining." Some are really a form of summary trial, others are statutorily-controlled discounts for accepting guilt at various stages. There is variation in the role and oversight of judges and the power of prosecutors to offer deals, whether there is charge or sentence bargaining or both, and the level of review/possibility of reopening among other issues!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Dzenana Hadziomerovic 2015-10-28 15:25:40

Hi, I am Dzenana Hadziomerovic, an attorney from Sarajevo, BiH. It is interesting to hear the US experience. I would also like to refer to the ECHR case law ( as established in the case Natsvlishi and Tognidze v Georgia dated 29 April 20014) "The Court .. notes that it can be considered a common feature of European criminal justice systems for an accused to obtain the lessening of charges or receive a reduction of his or her sentence in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendere plea in advance of trial or for providing substantial cooperation with the investigative authority (see the comparative legal study, paragraphs 62-75 above; see also, in this connection, Slavcho Kostov v. Bulgaria, no. 28674/03, § 17, 27 November 2008, and Ruciński v. Poland, no. 33198/04, § 12, 20 February 2007). There cannot be anything improper in the process of charge or sentence bargaining in itself (see, mutatis mutandis, Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, ECHR 6 July 2010). In this connection the Court subscribes to the idea that plea bargaining, apart from offering the important benefits of speedy adjudication of criminal cases and alleviating the workload of courts, prosecutors and lawyers, can also, if applied correctly, be a successful tool in combating corruption and organised crime and can contribute to the reduction of the number of sentences imposed and, as a result, the number of prisoners. 91. The Court considers that where the effect of plea bargaining is that a criminal charge against the accused is determined through an abridged form of judicial examination, this amounts, in substance, to the waiver of a number of procedural rights. This cannot be a problem in itself, since neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 prevents a person from waiving these safeguards of his or her own free will (see Scoppola v. Italy (no. 2) [GC], no. 10249/03, § 135, 17 September 2009). The Court observes in this connection that as early as in 1987 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called upon the member States to take measures aimed at the simplification of ordinary judicial procedures by resorting, for instance, to abridged, summary trials (see paragraph 54 above). However, it is also a cornerstone principle that any waiver of procedural rights must always, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner and be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance. In addition, it must not run counter to any important public interest (see, amongst other authorities, Scoppola (no. 2), cited above, § 135-36; Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A; and Hermi v. Italy [GC], no. 18114/02, § 73, ECHR 2006‑XII). " I hope this may help!!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:28:55

Thank you Dzenana, this was really great. You just anticipated one of my issues I wanted to raise about the case law of the European Court of Human Rights or any other International Court. Please feel free to provide more info on this issues, although I planed to raise this as my last issue.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:25:54

working on it !!!

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 15:26:59

Are there any restrictions on what the agreement can be. For example, in Macedonia, the agreed upon sentence is a certain percentage of the maximum depending on when the deal is reached. The sooner the agreement is made the lighter the sentence... but the law regulates this. Are there any such regulations in BiH or is it just up to the parties to agree? Also can you negotiate the charge or only the sentence?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:34:21

No, there are no such restrictions whatsoever.

Mary Greer 2015-10-28 15:27:01

Jordan: Excellent question and one I continue to ponder. I would love to hear others suggestions and expertise. I am no expert at civil law procedures, but to me one of the attractions is the early interviewing of an accused-whether or not the information obtained is admissible later. Identifying early on what the evidence will likely be, on both sides, I think helps then identify what possible resolutions may be available. I think one of the challenges in all criminal justice systems is early and thoughtful communication with victim(s) to discern not only what their testimony might be, but what their wishes are for disposition.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:30:27

Availability of evidence and information is key. And, as a protection for factual innocence or official misconduct, some (albeit limited say to the discovery of fresh evidence) ability to review or reopen cases post-plea.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:28:55

Thank you Dzenana, this was really great. You just anticipated one of my issues I wanted to raise about the case law of the European Court of Human Rights or any other International Court. Please feel free to provide more info on this issues, although I planed to raise this as my last issue.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:30:12

Hi Rebecca Fisher from Minnesota USA. I am a criminal defense attorney since 1999. Most cases here resolve in plea bargains. They can happen at all stages of the process but I never plea a client until I have seen all the evidence.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:32:23

Dear Rebecca, thank you for join us. I had the change to visit your Supreme Court and some Federal Courts in October 2013. I love you place. I would like to invite you and all other to provide any answer on the following question. What are the limits or plea bargaining for the prosecution office and the defendant and his defense? To what extend the court can control the plea bargaining? In which cases the plea bargaining can be found null?

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:30:27

Availability of evidence and information is key. And, as a protection for factual innocence or official misconduct, some (albeit limited say to the discovery of fresh evidence) ability to review or reopen cases post-plea.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:31:00

Great!

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:31:20

Under the law here the prosecutor is required to provide all the discovery or the case can be dismissed. Sometimes we have to fight for it but not very often. I guess we are very lucky !!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:32:23

Dear Rebecca, thank you for join us. I had the change to visit your Supreme Court and some Federal Courts in October 2013. I love you place. I would like to invite you and all other to provide any answer on the following question. What are the limits or plea bargaining for the prosecution office and the defendant and his defense? To what extend the court can control the plea bargaining? In which cases the plea bargaining can be found null?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:32:58

The prosecutor will usually make an offer and then we will try to negotiate a lesser charge, less jail time, length of probation etc.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:33:26

Well, the plea agreement may be either accepted by the court or rejected by the court. The court is not obliged to explain reasoning for rejecting the plea agreement. But if the plea is rejected pleading guilty must not be used in any form in any further decision of that court.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:34:21

No, there are no such restrictions whatsoever.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:34:35

I'm interested in public opinion of justice systems that employ plea bargaining, especially where they are introduced relatively recently for example to combat corruption or to assist in the prosecution of major and complex crimes (cross-border drugs and people trafficking, etc). Is there a sense that the lack of an open trial in which evidence is heard and tested, and where a sentence is agreed upon behind closed doors, compromises public faith in the justice system? Or do the efficiency savings and increased conviction rate make up for this?

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:26

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:43

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:47

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:36:57

We have a Plea Petition the client reviews with the defense attorney and signs. It goes through the rights the client is waiving by entering the plea, the facts, the agreement, and that the decision to plea in free and voluntary. IT is then up to the judge to decide if he or she will accept the plea agreement. In my 16 years of practice i have only had a few judges do this. In more serious cases the defense attorney and the prosecutor have an opportunity to discuss the plea with the judge before the parties are in court to avoid such a situation.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:37:38

This is one of the things that distinguishes BiH to traditional common law countries including Estonia, the court authority to reject of accept a deal even without reasoning.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Dzenana Hadziomerovic 2015-10-28 15:38:35

It is difficult for my to provide you with information about public opinion re. plea bargaining. It is my impression that there is a significant lack in confidence to the system at all. Also the public is sometimes not happy when more severe penalty is not issued in some high profile cases.

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:43:23

It is simmilar situation in Macedonia. In same cases it is observed as just and speedy process, but in some other cases, for example in more complex cases or organized crime cases it is observed as unjust. Since the public sometimes observes the guilty plea by the defendants and sentence bargaining as possibility for more lenient treatment to the defendants who takes the guilty plea...

Rebecca Rhoda Fisher 2015-10-28 15:39:11

we also have a centralized court record system so prosecutors can see a defendants criminal history. additionally, we have a probation system set up through the corrections dept to monitor people who are on probation.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:41:31

thank your very much this was really great and detailed info. If you provide some case law would be great, so people who can and want can reader more on these.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:50:34

Some relatively recent US Supreme Court case law you might find interesting takes note of the overwhelming prevalence of plea deals in the US system and the need for greater due process protections, in particular by allowing cases resolved by plea deal to be reopened on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel in regard to the specific duty of the defence lawyer to advise on collateral immigration consequences of accepting plea deals (see Padilla v. Kentucky (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-651.pdf), and to transmit timely information about the plea to defendants to avoid the "trial penalty," (an acknowledgement of the much more severe punishments received by defendants convicted after trial as opposed to those accepting pleas) (see Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v Frye).

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:52:24

Thank you very much!

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:39:37

What measures do you think could be taken to reduce the coercive possibility of plea bargains?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:39:44

Yes, I do and I called "pragmatist reasons" :-) Still we should introduce with some additional guarantees for the defendant etc.

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:40:17

So, did I understand well? In all ommom law countries courts MUST accept all plea agreements?

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Dzermin Pašić 2015-10-28 15:41:27

Or, there is no any form of judicial verification of plea agreements?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:41:31

thank your very much this was really great and detailed info. If you provide some case law would be great, so people who can and want can reader more on these.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:50:34

Some relatively recent US Supreme Court case law you might find interesting takes note of the overwhelming prevalence of plea deals in the US system and the need for greater due process protections, in particular by allowing cases resolved by plea deal to be reopened on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel in regard to the specific duty of the defence lawyer to advise on collateral immigration consequences of accepting plea deals (see Padilla v. Kentucky (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-651.pdf), and to transmit timely information about the plea to defendants to avoid the "trial penalty," (an acknowledgement of the much more severe punishments received by defendants convicted after trial as opposed to those accepting pleas) (see Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v Frye).

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:52:24

Thank you very much!

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:43:23

It is simmilar situation in Macedonia. In same cases it is observed as just and speedy process, but in some other cases, for example in more complex cases or organized crime cases it is observed as unjust. Since the public sometimes observes the guilty plea by the defendants and sentence bargaining as possibility for more lenient treatment to the defendants who takes the guilty plea...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:44:59

Well, first we should make Prosecutors more independent from the head of prosecution office. Secondly, we may introduce investigation judge so the whole investigation process prior to the trial or the plea bargaining deal will be monitored by the court and the defendant may have a say. 3. we may provide for some additional guarantees for the defendant and his defense in securing a fair plea bargaining deal including but not limited absolute access to the case materials, provide for a right to appeal under special circumstances sole for the defense and not the prosecutor. etc

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:46:06

This is going to be my next issue to be discussed, since the court in Common law country to my understanding has more limited authority to review or refuse a plea bargaining than European courts have...

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:50:01

There are some materials in English regarding the Macedonian experience with the guilty plea and sentence bargaining. I hope that you can find this report usefull: http://www.soros.org.mk/en/Home/Publication?newsID=3931&catID=9

Fisnik Salihu 2015-10-28 15:50:23

Plea bargaining has been regulated by Kosova CPC provisions. As an opportunity it exists for some years now, however in practice is has not been promoted not utilized since attorneys and prosecutors were reluctant to that. There are only few cases decided under plea bargaining here.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:56:18

Dear Fisnik, thank you very much. Would you please provide us some reason why the defense and the prosecutors are reluctant to plea bargaining? in addition, would tell us if the court has refused any case and if yes, what has been the reasoning? Some courts judgments on these cases would be great for the resource section of this site. Please provide some of them even in Albanian language.

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:50:34

Some relatively recent US Supreme Court case law you might find interesting takes note of the overwhelming prevalence of plea deals in the US system and the need for greater due process protections, in particular by allowing cases resolved by plea deal to be reopened on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel in regard to the specific duty of the defence lawyer to advise on collateral immigration consequences of accepting plea deals (see Padilla v. Kentucky (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-651.pdf), and to transmit timely information about the plea to defendants to avoid the "trial penalty," (an acknowledgement of the much more severe punishments received by defendants convicted after trial as opposed to those accepting pleas) (see Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v Frye).

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:52:24

Thank you very much!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:51:51

In addition, a overall national reassessment of defense lawyers capacities should be carried out since I am afraid that many defense attorneys would not be able to properly understand whether there are all the conditions for a fair plea bargaining or not etc... I personally consider one of the most difficult decision to be taken and I have the same perception also for the speedy trial we already have called accelerated trial... where the defendant is not allow to challenge all prosecution evidences and cannot submit new ones... this results de facto in many cases in guiltiness and I always left some doors open to challenge any possible outcome in a higher court... while mos of other go for this as first option... and there is no change to get acquitted with this procedure since the prosecutors collect sole evidences against the defendant...

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Rebecca Shaeffer 2015-10-28 15:52:13

Great ideas. Do you think there is a risk that the insistence on these safeguards will result in a failure to achieve the efficiency and time savings promised by plea bargaining?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:52:24

Thank you very much!

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:53:20

I guess it is a bit even more complicated. What if some innocent one, because of its own reasons accepts the plea bargaining, and the prosecutor uses all his sayings as an evidence to the trial of his "collaborator" ?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:53:43

the next proposed issue is to give answers to the following question. What legal remedies shall be available to defendant and his defense to challenged a plea bargaining agreement? If any? All countries practices would be very interesting to know.

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 16:04:14

Jordan, in the US its very difficult to challenge a guilty plea... you must argue that you didn't knowingly give up your rights when entering the plea. Courts are usually very careful to ensure that the defendant is properly advised.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:09:56

That was my understanding and what I answer to our colleague from BiH. In Europe courts wanna have always a saying and judges should be very well aware that they will not have a say in this. I think this makes prosecution office more important that it is right know, but will inevitably increase the importance of defense which we lack at this moment in Albania. Defense will be start seeing by the court just like the prosecution office not as it is right now that courts consider prosecutors as their "State" colleagues...

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 15:53:56

And what happens to the Law on execution of sanctions and the deadline provided in it( the convict has 8 days to report himself to prison). When the bargain is signed the convict is immediately directed to jail. Does the bargain suspend all the rights arising from the enforcement of sanctions and the role that judge have by that law? It does and it's a problem.

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:57:08

As it is, it is lacunae unfortunately. I think that Law on Execution of Sanctions should and must prevail as lex speciallis.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:57:59

I think this was answered by Dzenena as in following Hi, I am Dzenana Hadziomerovic, an attorney from Sarajevo, BiH. It is interesting to hear the US experience. I would also like to refer to the ECHR case law ( as established in the case Natsvlishi and Tognidze v Georgia dated 29 April 20014) "The Court .. notes that it can be considered a common feature of European criminal justice systems for an accused to obtain the lessening of charges or receive a reduction of his or her sentence in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendere plea in advance of trial or for providing substantial cooperation with the investigative authority (see the comparative legal study, paragraphs 62-75 above; see also, in this connection, Slavcho Kostov v. Bulgaria, no. 28674/03, § 17, 27 November 2008, and Ruciński v. Poland, no. 33198/04, § 12, 20 February 2007). There cannot be anything improper in the process of charge or sentence bargaining in itself (see, mutatis mutandis, Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, ECHR 6 July 2010). In this connection the Court subscribes to the idea that plea bargaining, apart from offering the important benefits of speedy adjudication of criminal cases and alleviating the workload of courts, prosecutors and lawyers, can also, if applied correctly, be a successful tool in combating corruption and organised crime and can contribute to the reduction of the number of sentences imposed and, as a result, the number of prisoners. 91. The Court considers that where the effect of plea bargaining is that a criminal charge against the accused is determined through an abridged form of judicial examination, this amounts, in substance, to the waiver of a number of procedural rights. This cannot be a problem in itself, since neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 prevents a person from waiving these safeguards of his or her own free will (see Scoppola v. Italy (no. 2) [GC], no. 10249/03, § 135, 17 September 2009). The Court observes in this connection that as early as in 1987 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called upon the member States to take measures aimed at the simplification of ordinary judicial procedures by resorting, for instance, to abridged, summary trials (see paragraph 54 above). However, it is also a cornerstone principle that any waiver of procedural rights must always, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner and be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance. In addition, it must not run counter to any important public interest (see, amongst other authorities, Scoppola (no. 2), cited above, § 135-36; Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A; and Hermi v. Italy [GC], no. 18114/02, § 73, ECHR 2006‑XII). " I hope this may help!!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 16:02:24

Thanks!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 15:58:12

This is how I see the Macedonian perspective on this issue...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:03:58

You are right colleague. I have the same concerns on to what extend the waiver of the procedural rights should be and would this be irreversible or not?

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:56:18

Dear Fisnik, thank you very much. Would you please provide us some reason why the defense and the prosecutors are reluctant to plea bargaining? in addition, would tell us if the court has refused any case and if yes, what has been the reasoning? Some courts judgments on these cases would be great for the resource section of this site. Please provide some of them even in Albanian language.

Boban Misoski 2015-10-28 15:57:08

As it is, it is lacunae unfortunately. I think that Law on Execution of Sanctions should and must prevail as lex speciallis.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 15:57:59

I think this was answered by Dzenena as in following Hi, I am Dzenana Hadziomerovic, an attorney from Sarajevo, BiH. It is interesting to hear the US experience. I would also like to refer to the ECHR case law ( as established in the case Natsvlishi and Tognidze v Georgia dated 29 April 20014) "The Court .. notes that it can be considered a common feature of European criminal justice systems for an accused to obtain the lessening of charges or receive a reduction of his or her sentence in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendere plea in advance of trial or for providing substantial cooperation with the investigative authority (see the comparative legal study, paragraphs 62-75 above; see also, in this connection, Slavcho Kostov v. Bulgaria, no. 28674/03, § 17, 27 November 2008, and Ruciński v. Poland, no. 33198/04, § 12, 20 February 2007). There cannot be anything improper in the process of charge or sentence bargaining in itself (see, mutatis mutandis, Babar Ahmad and Others v. the United Kingdom (dec.), nos. 24027/07, 11949/08 and 36742/08, ECHR 6 July 2010). In this connection the Court subscribes to the idea that plea bargaining, apart from offering the important benefits of speedy adjudication of criminal cases and alleviating the workload of courts, prosecutors and lawyers, can also, if applied correctly, be a successful tool in combating corruption and organised crime and can contribute to the reduction of the number of sentences imposed and, as a result, the number of prisoners. 91. The Court considers that where the effect of plea bargaining is that a criminal charge against the accused is determined through an abridged form of judicial examination, this amounts, in substance, to the waiver of a number of procedural rights. This cannot be a problem in itself, since neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 prevents a person from waiving these safeguards of his or her own free will (see Scoppola v. Italy (no. 2) [GC], no. 10249/03, § 135, 17 September 2009). The Court observes in this connection that as early as in 1987 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called upon the member States to take measures aimed at the simplification of ordinary judicial procedures by resorting, for instance, to abridged, summary trials (see paragraph 54 above). However, it is also a cornerstone principle that any waiver of procedural rights must always, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner and be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance. In addition, it must not run counter to any important public interest (see, amongst other authorities, Scoppola (no. 2), cited above, § 135-36; Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A; and Hermi v. Italy [GC], no. 18114/02, § 73, ECHR 2006‑XII). " I hope this may help!!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 16:02:24

Thanks!

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 15:58:12

This is how I see the Macedonian perspective on this issue...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:03:58

You are right colleague. I have the same concerns on to what extend the waiver of the procedural rights should be and would this be irreversible or not?

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 15:59:15

this has to do with the capacities of the lawyer. Because I have had so many clients whose have been declared not guilty, even though I have gone with speedy trial

Kloida Dashi 2015-10-28 16:01:34

thank you av.Daci! It was very helpful

Sase Dimovski 2015-10-28 16:02:24

Thanks!

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:02:28

changes are very few, since both parties with these guarantees will have a full map of the possible outcome. In addition, shorter time limits may be provided etc. There is a lot of space to secure a more fair plea bargaining. At the end I am always in favor of justice rather than time efficiency.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:03:58

You are right colleague. I have the same concerns on to what extend the waiver of the procedural rights should be and would this be irreversible or not?

Elizabeth Givens 2015-10-28 16:04:14

Jordan, in the US its very difficult to challenge a guilty plea... you must argue that you didn't knowingly give up your rights when entering the plea. Courts are usually very careful to ensure that the defendant is properly advised.

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:09:56

That was my understanding and what I answer to our colleague from BiH. In Europe courts wanna have always a saying and judges should be very well aware that they will not have a say in this. I think this makes prosecution office more important that it is right know, but will inevitably increase the importance of defense which we lack at this moment in Albania. Defense will be start seeing by the court just like the prosecution office not as it is right now that courts consider prosecutors as their "State" colleagues...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:09:56

That was my understanding and what I answer to our colleague from BiH. In Europe courts wanna have always a saying and judges should be very well aware that they will not have a say in this. I think this makes prosecution office more important that it is right know, but will inevitably increase the importance of defense which we lack at this moment in Albania. Defense will be start seeing by the court just like the prosecution office not as it is right now that courts consider prosecutors as their "State" colleagues...

Jordan Daci 2015-10-28 16:14:36

Ok. Thank you very much for all your interventions, great ideas and resources you have provided. It has been such a successful discussion and since it is such important and sensitive topic, we may still continue in following days by exchanging ideas via email etc. At the same, time please all of you that have materials please spend few minutes and submit them to the resource section of the page. It has been great to "meet" all of you and I wish you a wonderful evening! Jordan

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 16:21:37

Thank you Jordan for hosting the discussion on this topic!

Denisa Fekollari 2015-10-28 16:21:37

Thank you Jordan for hosting the discussion on this topic!

Theodoros Alexandridis 2015-10-31 22:05:01

Hi all, I know I am a bit late for the party but I trust there's still some room for a johnny-come-lately! My name is Theodoros Alexandridis, I am a lawyer and am currently working at an Albanian NGO. I went through all the very instructive and informative posts but unless I am mistaken, the issue of representation of the plaintiff / civil claimant / accessory prosecutor does not seem to have come up. This has been a particularly vexing issue for us, as in most of our cases we are representing the victim or their next of kin. As you may know, in relation to the majority of crimes prescribed by Albanian law, the plaintiff does not in principle have a right to take part in the criminal proceedings and therefore also in the proceedings regarding application of the summary trial procedure (which as Jordan mentioned, can be likened to a form of plea-bargaining). Rather interestingly however, Albanian law does recognise, in proceedings where the plaintiff has the capacity of private prosecutor, the plaintiff's right to take part in the proceedings and express his / her opinion as to the defendant's request to be tried under the summary procedure. I would like to note that in a pretty much similar case against Bulgaria (Dimitrova and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 44826/04, dated 27 January 2011), the European Court took the domestic judicial authorities' failure to ensure the participation of the applicants in the plea-bargaining proceedings (even though under the domestic law, it was in the court's discretion to invite the plaintiff to express themselves on this issue) into consideration in its finding of a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 2. I am therefore curious as to the situation of the plaintiff in the context of plea-bargaining in your respective countries. Theo

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 14:59:51

Dear all, I am honored to moderate today’s forum on the topic “Young Lawyers and their Challenges”. We will be discussing our experiences as young lawyers, and the challenges we face while practicing law. On a daily basis, as a young lawyer, the first question and comment that I encounter every time that I introduce myself in any judicial institution, is “You’re a lawyer, huh? Kind of young don’t you think?” While the majority is confused with the fact that a girl like me, in such a young age works as an attorney, in Kosovo 79% of attorneys, 61% of prosecutors and 54% of judges are over 50 years old. This fact was presented as a serious issue in the study conducted by National Center for State Courts (NCSC), in which other findings were discussed. The study titled “Let your voice be heard – Finding opportunities for the Youth and Women in the judiciary and Legal Profession in Kosovo”, besides the problem of the aging of the legal workforce, unveiled also the issue of women and youth partake in the legal professions. Thus, according to this study, despite improvements in the last years as a result of attracting women towards the legal workforce, women remain underrepresented in all professions in the legal sector. Less than 13% of the current members of the Kosovo Bar Association are women, most of which work in the urban areas, mostly in Prishtina. Meanwhile in the judiciary, women constitute 29% of judges, while at the Prosecution 36% of prosecutors. The youth in general is similarly underrepresented in the judicial and prosecution profession with only 9% of judges and 4% of prosecutors under the age of 35, while only 2% of the members of the Bar Association are under the age of 30 – the 2% of which I am part of as well. So today I raise the question: Can a woman, young and always smiling, be considered worthy of being an attorney, judge or prosecutor? Or a young person, under the age of 30, of whichever gender; can he/she be considered worthy of being an attorney, judge or prosecutor? Please feel free to express your opinions and share your experiences from your respective countries. Let’s begin!

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:18:26

From my own experience it is the same situation in Albania: if you are young you need to work twice as hard to get the trust of the people because they think that due to your age you are not that capable. And it is even harder if you are a young woman. But challenges for young lawyers in our countries have to do with their employment and their chances to follow a career isn't it?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:24:59

So, you think that entering the market as a young lawyer in Albania, is a chance for employment rather than to follow a career?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:27:27

Due to a distortion I would say, in the higher education system, the number of graduated lawyers is quite considerable whereas the chances for employment are very scarce in comparison

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:28:39

Hi Denisa! Thank you so much for your comment. I absolutely agree that we are facing the same issues in the entire Balkans area -- especially employment at a younger age and with zero or minimal experience. If you want to work as a lawyer in Kosovo (and I believe in other countries as well) you need to have a financial backup plan in order to open an office and to be able to pay for your license and annual fee which is very difficult because the fees are pretty high. A lot of older lawyers with more experience, refuse to take young lawyers in their offices simply because they are afraid you will be better than them and therefore they will lose clients, which is not true, since you will be working together and sharing profit.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:18:47

Thank you Donika, I understand the situation and agree that as a young lawyers in the region, we face many challenges, such as age, experience, lack of training for new lawyers in the market etc. From your perspective, how to improve the situation?

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:33:51

Thank you Fisnik for your comment. As you may already know, we are trying to create a Young Lawyers' Section in our Bar Association in Kosovo and I believe through this section we can represent our concerns regarding the difficulties young/new lawyers face to the Bar Association. I believe that we can start by putting together a few meetings of young lawyers and exchange experiences/ideas, and hopefully the next step would be financial support for the establishment of this Section from KBA, also from other organizations willing to help. One of the main issues we can discuss would be the payment for the licence and annual fees for new lawyers.

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:18:55

Hi all, Here's another member of the 2% of the Kosovo Bar Association. This means that we have a long battle ahead of us, that is, changing culture and society so that not so few people join the legal profession. I think the causes and problems for this are multidisciplinary, combining tradition, culture, education, economy and so forth. I'd start with education. At least in Kosovo, education doesn't prepare you for the job, for being a lawyer, prosecutor or judge. At least in my case, while in Law Faculty, we never touched upon a case, legal brief, memo, and so forth. Four years of law school, and here I was, with a degree, but no idea how to write a legal brief, and sadly, I was one of the best students in the class. So, I had to learn law and compensate what I hadn't learned in school through my master's in the U.S., and by practicing law with a good law firm. In terms of tradition, again at least in Kosovo, the legal profession is viewed as the old and serious guys and this largely stems from the oda-s around Kosovo, where only the old guys have the right to speak, whereas young guys at best are allowed in the room, to listen, not dare to speak. This is reflected then in other areas of life and the profession as well, in addition to other factors. These same people largely dominate the economy, and they value more the connections a lawyer promises he has versus the professionalism he can offer. To conclude this reply, the Bar Association also plays a role, with no incentives in place for young attorneys who are just about to open shop. It is difficult for a young lawyer to start off without any support, so many don't take the risk of becoming a lawyer without some prior security or guarantees for success. I personally took the risk, and many people commend me about that, but I know a lot of friends, even older than me who don't take the risk.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:31:08

That's true Kushtrim. Do you think that special mentoring programme would help young lawyers?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:36:04

I think every initiative would help if taken and implemented seriously. The bar association must not only accept law trainees, but work with them in developing skills necessary for a lawyer: write legal briefs and legal arguments, analyze law and factual situations, trial advocacy. A mentoring programme could also be very helpful to convince young lawyers to joining the legal profession, remove the stereotypes and prejudices that currently exist.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:47:18

Kushtrim and Fisnik, thank you both for your comments. Do you think that through the Young Lawyers Section we can do something about convincing people to join our profession?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 15:27:19

Hi Donika! I'am a paralegal from Macedonia and thank you bringing this issue up. The problem that we are facing with is the enormous number of law students studying at the faculties of law. Namely, this problem is causing a damage to the respect of the legal profession.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:34:08

Large number of students is an issue as well. In addition, in our education system we lack "from theory to practice" approach!

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:40:19

Thank you Maja for your comment. It is an issue here in Kosovo as well. But in the last few years, the interest in studying law has dropped.I believe this happened for the following reason: they finished law school, but couldn't find a job in the legal field. Therefore, other people who wanted to become a lawyer/judge/prosecutor didn't study law because they were afraid they would remain unemployed with a degree hanged in their house. Would you think the same situation will happen in Macedonia in the following years?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 16:04:53

I believe it will happen again. Usually, the criteria are too low and the students are passing the exams easily so there is no too much quality.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:28:01

What concrete things does your bar association in your country to help young lawyers develop and maximize their potential for the future? Any concrete example?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 15:30:34

Not sure if there are any. At least, I am not informed since the Bar is not doing much for the young practitioners.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:36:47

I think the problem of the continuation of the school to the profession of lawyer in Albania is the fact that in our professional schools are fictitious because the social economic market itself does not allow employment

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:41:36

Eneida, thanks for joining. What about the Chamber of Advocates in ALbania, does it support somehow the young lawyers?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:53:12

In Albania the Bar is improving with regard to the profession of attorneys. Albania opened the school of lawyers. So the new attorneys will not be without initial practice for the recognition of their profession. But this is not enough, still believe it should work in conjunction with the legal profession.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:44:30

Hi Eneida, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern. As it was mentioned before by others in this forum, employment is a major issue we are currently facing, because many of the people who obtain a law degree can't afford to have their own office therefore remain unemployed. What do you suggest would be the best approach towards this problem?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:59:41

Domik Hello! Your question is right in the current conditions we have. But ... with the new status of our government has provided a lawyer by the official gazette No. 191 published this year, it appears that the January 1, 2016 will be equal to the lawyer status in director of a government institution and will have to pay 20,000 ALL new monthly social security. In this case the question and my concern is as a lawyer; What will travels with new attorneys and lawyers offices in Albania? We will have a shock of this profession? Once economic conditions themselves can not allow that when the minimum wage is 250 and the maximum salary is 500 m, an estimate for just the question arises whether a family can live 250 thousand ALL per month? It will bring the decision of the Government advocates a new thrill for denying them the possibility of the possibility of employment practice?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:04:43

I say this because it will shorten their jobs due to economic conditions and sanctions imposed on attorneys old as well as young. I also note that the possibility of practice for young attorneys in lawyer's offices is falling for the fact that more than government has the profession of lawyer conditional on other sanctions which obliges you to pay trainee although this is a student, social security and a minimum wage.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:09:36

Eneida, I once met a ex lawyer from US, who said that he was forced to leave this profession, because he had to pay a lot of money, for annual fees, for the social security etc. Lets hope that we will not face the same situation.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:13:35

Dear all, Thank you so much for participating in this discussion. It was my pleasure to moderate this discussion and see that we have a lot of problems in common, for which I hope we will find solutions. I wish you a nice evening. :)

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 16:17:15

Thank you Donike for hosting this discussion and thank you all for joining and for your ideas!

Enkeleda Bega 2015-11-25 17:14:59

I think young lawyers when they graduate lack practical skills and they should be provided with some mentoring.

Mirna Delalić 2015-11-26 13:49:20

Dear all, Thank you for opening this discussion, which is very useful. I am a 30-year-old-femal-Attorney at Law, and I opened my own office three years ago in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), with support of my former mentor from Sarajevo. From the very beginning of my work in Tuzla I faced a lot of challenges, which I had believed I was ready for. The least of my problems were taxes and other formal issues, because I was aware of them and I calculated well before. But what I wasn't prepared for were obstacles I faced in dealing with other colleagues, including appearances before the Court. The attitude of colleagues (including judges and prosecutors) during hearings was in a certain way degrading. This also reflected on my clients, because they were present at these court hearings (especially criminal proceedings), which raised clients' doubts in me. Fortunately, I proved my good work before higher courts, but these experiences were very stressful. I truly believe this comment will not be considered as criticism but rather as a constructive plea for adjustment of approach by senior colleagues when working with „new arrivals“, as I believe that their role in the judicial process is not only to perform their core jobs, but also to provide guidance to young colleagues and to introduce them through their experiences into this honorable profession which is of at most importance for further development and prosperity of our society.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:18:26

From my own experience it is the same situation in Albania: if you are young you need to work twice as hard to get the trust of the people because they think that due to your age you are not that capable. And it is even harder if you are a young woman. But challenges for young lawyers in our countries have to do with their employment and their chances to follow a career isn't it?

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:24:59

So, you think that entering the market as a young lawyer in Albania, is a chance for employment rather than to follow a career?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:27:27

Due to a distortion I would say, in the higher education system, the number of graduated lawyers is quite considerable whereas the chances for employment are very scarce in comparison

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:28:39

Hi Denisa! Thank you so much for your comment. I absolutely agree that we are facing the same issues in the entire Balkans area -- especially employment at a younger age and with zero or minimal experience. If you want to work as a lawyer in Kosovo (and I believe in other countries as well) you need to have a financial backup plan in order to open an office and to be able to pay for your license and annual fee which is very difficult because the fees are pretty high. A lot of older lawyers with more experience, refuse to take young lawyers in their offices simply because they are afraid you will be better than them and therefore they will lose clients, which is not true, since you will be working together and sharing profit.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:18:47

Thank you Donika, I understand the situation and agree that as a young lawyers in the region, we face many challenges, such as age, experience, lack of training for new lawyers in the market etc. From your perspective, how to improve the situation?

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:33:51

Thank you Fisnik for your comment. As you may already know, we are trying to create a Young Lawyers' Section in our Bar Association in Kosovo and I believe through this section we can represent our concerns regarding the difficulties young/new lawyers face to the Bar Association. I believe that we can start by putting together a few meetings of young lawyers and exchange experiences/ideas, and hopefully the next step would be financial support for the establishment of this Section from KBA, also from other organizations willing to help. One of the main issues we can discuss would be the payment for the licence and annual fees for new lawyers.

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:18:55

Hi all, Here's another member of the 2% of the Kosovo Bar Association. This means that we have a long battle ahead of us, that is, changing culture and society so that not so few people join the legal profession. I think the causes and problems for this are multidisciplinary, combining tradition, culture, education, economy and so forth. I'd start with education. At least in Kosovo, education doesn't prepare you for the job, for being a lawyer, prosecutor or judge. At least in my case, while in Law Faculty, we never touched upon a case, legal brief, memo, and so forth. Four years of law school, and here I was, with a degree, but no idea how to write a legal brief, and sadly, I was one of the best students in the class. So, I had to learn law and compensate what I hadn't learned in school through my master's in the U.S., and by practicing law with a good law firm. In terms of tradition, again at least in Kosovo, the legal profession is viewed as the old and serious guys and this largely stems from the oda-s around Kosovo, where only the old guys have the right to speak, whereas young guys at best are allowed in the room, to listen, not dare to speak. This is reflected then in other areas of life and the profession as well, in addition to other factors. These same people largely dominate the economy, and they value more the connections a lawyer promises he has versus the professionalism he can offer. To conclude this reply, the Bar Association also plays a role, with no incentives in place for young attorneys who are just about to open shop. It is difficult for a young lawyer to start off without any support, so many don't take the risk of becoming a lawyer without some prior security or guarantees for success. I personally took the risk, and many people commend me about that, but I know a lot of friends, even older than me who don't take the risk.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:31:08

That's true Kushtrim. Do you think that special mentoring programme would help young lawyers?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:36:04

I think every initiative would help if taken and implemented seriously. The bar association must not only accept law trainees, but work with them in developing skills necessary for a lawyer: write legal briefs and legal arguments, analyze law and factual situations, trial advocacy. A mentoring programme could also be very helpful to convince young lawyers to joining the legal profession, remove the stereotypes and prejudices that currently exist.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:47:18

Kushtrim and Fisnik, thank you both for your comments. Do you think that through the Young Lawyers Section we can do something about convincing people to join our profession?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:24:59

So, you think that entering the market as a young lawyer in Albania, is a chance for employment rather than to follow a career?

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:27:27

Due to a distortion I would say, in the higher education system, the number of graduated lawyers is quite considerable whereas the chances for employment are very scarce in comparison

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 15:27:19

Hi Donika! I'am a paralegal from Macedonia and thank you bringing this issue up. The problem that we are facing with is the enormous number of law students studying at the faculties of law. Namely, this problem is causing a damage to the respect of the legal profession.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:34:08

Large number of students is an issue as well. In addition, in our education system we lack "from theory to practice" approach!

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:40:19

Thank you Maja for your comment. It is an issue here in Kosovo as well. But in the last few years, the interest in studying law has dropped.I believe this happened for the following reason: they finished law school, but couldn't find a job in the legal field. Therefore, other people who wanted to become a lawyer/judge/prosecutor didn't study law because they were afraid they would remain unemployed with a degree hanged in their house. Would you think the same situation will happen in Macedonia in the following years?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 16:04:53

I believe it will happen again. Usually, the criteria are too low and the students are passing the exams easily so there is no too much quality.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:27:27

Due to a distortion I would say, in the higher education system, the number of graduated lawyers is quite considerable whereas the chances for employment are very scarce in comparison

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:28:01

What concrete things does your bar association in your country to help young lawyers develop and maximize their potential for the future? Any concrete example?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 15:30:34

Not sure if there are any. At least, I am not informed since the Bar is not doing much for the young practitioners.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:28:39

Hi Denisa! Thank you so much for your comment. I absolutely agree that we are facing the same issues in the entire Balkans area -- especially employment at a younger age and with zero or minimal experience. If you want to work as a lawyer in Kosovo (and I believe in other countries as well) you need to have a financial backup plan in order to open an office and to be able to pay for your license and annual fee which is very difficult because the fees are pretty high. A lot of older lawyers with more experience, refuse to take young lawyers in their offices simply because they are afraid you will be better than them and therefore they will lose clients, which is not true, since you will be working together and sharing profit.

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 15:30:34

Not sure if there are any. At least, I am not informed since the Bar is not doing much for the young practitioners.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:31:08

That's true Kushtrim. Do you think that special mentoring programme would help young lawyers?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:36:04

I think every initiative would help if taken and implemented seriously. The bar association must not only accept law trainees, but work with them in developing skills necessary for a lawyer: write legal briefs and legal arguments, analyze law and factual situations, trial advocacy. A mentoring programme could also be very helpful to convince young lawyers to joining the legal profession, remove the stereotypes and prejudices that currently exist.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:47:18

Kushtrim and Fisnik, thank you both for your comments. Do you think that through the Young Lawyers Section we can do something about convincing people to join our profession?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:33:51

Thank you Fisnik for your comment. As you may already know, we are trying to create a Young Lawyers' Section in our Bar Association in Kosovo and I believe through this section we can represent our concerns regarding the difficulties young/new lawyers face to the Bar Association. I believe that we can start by putting together a few meetings of young lawyers and exchange experiences/ideas, and hopefully the next step would be financial support for the establishment of this Section from KBA, also from other organizations willing to help. One of the main issues we can discuss would be the payment for the licence and annual fees for new lawyers.

Fisnik Salihu 2015-11-25 15:34:08

Large number of students is an issue as well. In addition, in our education system we lack "from theory to practice" approach!

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:36:04

I think every initiative would help if taken and implemented seriously. The bar association must not only accept law trainees, but work with them in developing skills necessary for a lawyer: write legal briefs and legal arguments, analyze law and factual situations, trial advocacy. A mentoring programme could also be very helpful to convince young lawyers to joining the legal profession, remove the stereotypes and prejudices that currently exist.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:47:18

Kushtrim and Fisnik, thank you both for your comments. Do you think that through the Young Lawyers Section we can do something about convincing people to join our profession?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:36:47

I think the problem of the continuation of the school to the profession of lawyer in Albania is the fact that in our professional schools are fictitious because the social economic market itself does not allow employment

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:41:36

Eneida, thanks for joining. What about the Chamber of Advocates in ALbania, does it support somehow the young lawyers?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:53:12

In Albania the Bar is improving with regard to the profession of attorneys. Albania opened the school of lawyers. So the new attorneys will not be without initial practice for the recognition of their profession. But this is not enough, still believe it should work in conjunction with the legal profession.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:44:30

Hi Eneida, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern. As it was mentioned before by others in this forum, employment is a major issue we are currently facing, because many of the people who obtain a law degree can't afford to have their own office therefore remain unemployed. What do you suggest would be the best approach towards this problem?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:59:41

Domik Hello! Your question is right in the current conditions we have. But ... with the new status of our government has provided a lawyer by the official gazette No. 191 published this year, it appears that the January 1, 2016 will be equal to the lawyer status in director of a government institution and will have to pay 20,000 ALL new monthly social security. In this case the question and my concern is as a lawyer; What will travels with new attorneys and lawyers offices in Albania? We will have a shock of this profession? Once economic conditions themselves can not allow that when the minimum wage is 250 and the maximum salary is 500 m, an estimate for just the question arises whether a family can live 250 thousand ALL per month? It will bring the decision of the Government advocates a new thrill for denying them the possibility of the possibility of employment practice?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:04:43

I say this because it will shorten their jobs due to economic conditions and sanctions imposed on attorneys old as well as young. I also note that the possibility of practice for young attorneys in lawyer's offices is falling for the fact that more than government has the profession of lawyer conditional on other sanctions which obliges you to pay trainee although this is a student, social security and a minimum wage.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:09:36

Eneida, I once met a ex lawyer from US, who said that he was forced to leave this profession, because he had to pay a lot of money, for annual fees, for the social security etc. Lets hope that we will not face the same situation.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:40:19

Thank you Maja for your comment. It is an issue here in Kosovo as well. But in the last few years, the interest in studying law has dropped.I believe this happened for the following reason: they finished law school, but couldn't find a job in the legal field. Therefore, other people who wanted to become a lawyer/judge/prosecutor didn't study law because they were afraid they would remain unemployed with a degree hanged in their house. Would you think the same situation will happen in Macedonia in the following years?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 16:04:53

I believe it will happen again. Usually, the criteria are too low and the students are passing the exams easily so there is no too much quality.

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 15:41:36

Eneida, thanks for joining. What about the Chamber of Advocates in ALbania, does it support somehow the young lawyers?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:53:12

In Albania the Bar is improving with regard to the profession of attorneys. Albania opened the school of lawyers. So the new attorneys will not be without initial practice for the recognition of their profession. But this is not enough, still believe it should work in conjunction with the legal profession.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:44:30

Hi Eneida, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern. As it was mentioned before by others in this forum, employment is a major issue we are currently facing, because many of the people who obtain a law degree can't afford to have their own office therefore remain unemployed. What do you suggest would be the best approach towards this problem?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:59:41

Domik Hello! Your question is right in the current conditions we have. But ... with the new status of our government has provided a lawyer by the official gazette No. 191 published this year, it appears that the January 1, 2016 will be equal to the lawyer status in director of a government institution and will have to pay 20,000 ALL new monthly social security. In this case the question and my concern is as a lawyer; What will travels with new attorneys and lawyers offices in Albania? We will have a shock of this profession? Once economic conditions themselves can not allow that when the minimum wage is 250 and the maximum salary is 500 m, an estimate for just the question arises whether a family can live 250 thousand ALL per month? It will bring the decision of the Government advocates a new thrill for denying them the possibility of the possibility of employment practice?

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:04:43

I say this because it will shorten their jobs due to economic conditions and sanctions imposed on attorneys old as well as young. I also note that the possibility of practice for young attorneys in lawyer's offices is falling for the fact that more than government has the profession of lawyer conditional on other sanctions which obliges you to pay trainee although this is a student, social security and a minimum wage.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:09:36

Eneida, I once met a ex lawyer from US, who said that he was forced to leave this profession, because he had to pay a lot of money, for annual fees, for the social security etc. Lets hope that we will not face the same situation.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:47:18

Kushtrim and Fisnik, thank you both for your comments. Do you think that through the Young Lawyers Section we can do something about convincing people to join our profession?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 15:51:22

Absolutely, if nothing else we could convince people to join, and provide a younger picture for the bar. Young people don't join also in part because they think they would not fit in, with so many old people in the bar association. If they'd see there are 30-40 of us together, they could easily decide to join.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:53:12

In Albania the Bar is improving with regard to the profession of attorneys. Albania opened the school of lawyers. So the new attorneys will not be without initial practice for the recognition of their profession. But this is not enough, still believe it should work in conjunction with the legal profession.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 15:55:32

Kushtrim do you think the fees that need to be paid for taking a licence to work as a lawyer in Kosovo, are quite high?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 15:59:41

Domik Hello! Your question is right in the current conditions we have. But ... with the new status of our government has provided a lawyer by the official gazette No. 191 published this year, it appears that the January 1, 2016 will be equal to the lawyer status in director of a government institution and will have to pay 20,000 ALL new monthly social security. In this case the question and my concern is as a lawyer; What will travels with new attorneys and lawyers offices in Albania? We will have a shock of this profession? Once economic conditions themselves can not allow that when the minimum wage is 250 and the maximum salary is 500 m, an estimate for just the question arises whether a family can live 250 thousand ALL per month? It will bring the decision of the Government advocates a new thrill for denying them the possibility of the possibility of employment practice?

Kushtrim Palushi 2015-11-25 16:03:05

They are, but there are means to mitigate that by the bar association. There's a regulation in the Kosovo Bar to provide loans at low interest rates to young lawyers, however, it only exists in paper and it's not functional. It wouldn't cut much on the income for the bar if registration fees would be lowered or not applied at all for young lawyers. Once they achieve a level of experience, say two or three years, they could pay it back, or start paying the fees. There's simply no policy in place to encourage young people to join the bar association.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:04:43

I say this because it will shorten their jobs due to economic conditions and sanctions imposed on attorneys old as well as young. I also note that the possibility of practice for young attorneys in lawyer's offices is falling for the fact that more than government has the profession of lawyer conditional on other sanctions which obliges you to pay trainee although this is a student, social security and a minimum wage.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:09:36

Eneida, I once met a ex lawyer from US, who said that he was forced to leave this profession, because he had to pay a lot of money, for annual fees, for the social security etc. Lets hope that we will not face the same situation.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Violeta Atanasova 2015-11-25 16:04:53

I believe it will happen again. Usually, the criteria are too low and the students are passing the exams easily so there is no too much quality.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:09:36

Eneida, I once met a ex lawyer from US, who said that he was forced to leave this profession, because he had to pay a lot of money, for annual fees, for the social security etc. Lets hope that we will not face the same situation.

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Donike Dobruna 2015-11-25 16:13:35

Dear all, Thank you so much for participating in this discussion. It was my pleasure to moderate this discussion and see that we have a lot of problems in common, for which I hope we will find solutions. I wish you a nice evening. :)

Denisa Fekollari 2015-11-25 16:17:15

Thank you Donike for hosting this discussion and thank you all for joining and for your ideas!

Eneida Ahmeti 2015-11-25 16:17:17

I have fear that we are being faced with such a reality. Maybe in the future I will be an of those attorneys who leave their profession because of high taxes.

Enkeleda Bega 2015-11-25 17:14:59

I think young lawyers when they graduate lack practical skills and they should be provided with some mentoring.

Mirna Delalić 2015-11-26 13:49:20

Dear all, Thank you for opening this discussion, which is very useful. I am a 30-year-old-femal-Attorney at Law, and I opened my own office three years ago in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), with support of my former mentor from Sarajevo. From the very beginning of my work in Tuzla I faced a lot of challenges, which I had believed I was ready for. The least of my problems were taxes and other formal issues, because I was aware of them and I calculated well before. But what I wasn't prepared for were obstacles I faced in dealing with other colleagues, including appearances before the Court. The attitude of colleagues (including judges and prosecutors) during hearings was in a certain way degrading. This also reflected on my clients, because they were present at these court hearings (especially criminal proceedings), which raised clients' doubts in me. Fortunately, I proved my good work before higher courts, but these experiences were very stressful. I truly believe this comment will not be considered as criticism but rather as a constructive plea for adjustment of approach by senior colleagues when working with „new arrivals“, as I believe that their role in the judicial process is not only to perform their core jobs, but also to provide guidance to young colleagues and to introduce them through their experiences into this honorable profession which is of at most importance for further development and prosperity of our society.

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 14:55:15

Драги колеги, Поради различниот принцип на обезбедување пристап до бранител, посебно назначување бранител ex officio, и тоа од град во град, од станица до станица е причината за денешниот форум кој е со наслов СИСТЕМОТ ЗА НАЗНАЧУВАЊЕ EX OFFICIO И АКТУЕЛНИТЕ ПРЕДИЗВИЦИ! Верувам, дека откако новиот систем/постапка беше претставен односно т.н акузаторна постапка воведена со новиот Закон за кривична постапка, неопходно е да се дискутира системот на назначување бранител во судските постапки. Додека адвокатите од Македонија се соочуваат со неправично назначување по службена должност во судските искуство во врска со оваа тема како и да дадат свое мислење или некој предлог! постапки, судовите премолчуваат за таквата неправда. Ги повикувам сите колеги да го споделат своето Оваа дискусија, со помош на Балканската регионална мрежа за владеење на правото, ќе придонесе да се слушне гласот на адвокатите и да се подигне свеста по ова прашање. Ова е мојата трета година како адвокат. Ниту еднаш досега не сум била назначена ex officio во ниту еден предмет. Зарем не е малку чудно, во текот на три години моето име ниту еднаш да не дојде на ред на листата на адвокати кои треба да бидат назначени!? Па би сакала да ги слушнам и вашите искуства на оваа тема.

Violeta Atanasova 2015-12-16 15:00:19

Ljubica, odlicna tema! I moeto iskustvo e slicno, nitu ednas ne sum bila izbrana, a se bavam so advokatura veke 2 i pol godini. Bas me interesira i drugite kolegi sto imaat da kazat na ovaa tema

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:05:15

Здраво Виолета, можеби знаеш некој од твоите поблиски колеги какво искуство има на темата?

Violeta Atanasova 2015-12-16 15:08:31

Ljubica, sekako deka golem del od moite kolegi se soocuvaat so ovoj problem. Na neformalni sredbi go diskutirame ovoj problem no na kraj nikakvo resenie. Posle podnesuvanjeto baranje, sudot ima obvrska da ne izbere no toa ne se slucuva...

Ana Gjorgjievska 2015-12-16 15:11:05

а зошто да се поднесува барање? судиите имаат список на адвокати и апсолутно е непотребно ние да поднесуваме било какво барање за да не постават

Violeta Atanasova 2015-12-16 15:24:46

Da, toa e tocno. No baranjeto bese spomnato kako uslov od nekoi poiskusni kolegi. Inaku i spored mene, spisocite se poveke od dovolni

Ana Gjorgjievska 2015-12-16 15:08:27

Се согласувам со твоето тврдење. Во моето десетгодишно искуство како адвокат јас до сега само еднаш сум била поставена по службена должност како бранител во жалбена постапка пред Апелациониот суд во Скопје. Очигледно дека ова е голем проблем со кој се соочуваат поголемиот број адвокати, но досега ништо не е превземено. Мора под итно да се превземат мерки за промена на таквата ситуација, затоа што не е колегијално само едни исти адвокати да бидат поставувани по службена должност.

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:19:18

Поразителен е фактот дека во твоето десетгодишно искуство си поставена само еднаш. Се согласувам дека треба веднаш да направиме напори како фела да се донесе унифицирано решение за сите

Ana Gjorgjievska 2015-12-16 15:39:23

Ете интересно решение од Битолската адвокатска заедница како да се справиме и како сите да бидеме застапени. Може тоа да се спроведе и и во Скопје и секаде во МК. Само треба поголема активност

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:44:44

Да одличен е примерот, и дефинитивно треба почесто да се состануваме на официјални состаноци во рамките на адвокатските заедници, а не само да коментираме по судските ходници

Tamara Krstevska 2015-12-16 15:10:25

Почитувани колеги, Интересна тема за која сакам да го споделам моето искуство околу назначувањето на бранител по службена должност. Сум била неколку пати ангажирана како адвокат во кривичниот суд и тоа по препорака на познати судии, со кој се знам лично. Додека случајно никогаш не сум била ангажирана ex officio. Паричниот надоместок во врска со застапувањето во предметите ex officio сум го добивала после 1 или 2 години од завршувањето на предметот. Од погоре споменатото би сакала да укажам дека случајно поставување на ex officio нема, а би сакала тоа да се смени за да можеме сите еднакво да учествуваме во поставувањето на адвокат по службена должност. Со почит, Адвокат Тамара Крстевска

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:15:35

Добро е што ги информира колегите дека сепак има надомест, затоа што некои колеги не се појавуваат затоа што сметаат дека е губење време

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:15:38

Добро е што ги информира колегите дека сепак има надомест, затоа што некои колеги не се појавуваат затоа што сметаат дека е губење време

Tamara Krstevska 2015-12-16 15:18:38

Има надомест само што истиот е минимален и се добива после подолг период а има и предмети за кои никогаш не сум добила надоместок

Ljubica Panovska Stojanovski 2015-12-16 15:24:43

Дали сметаш дека надоместот е гаранција за квалитетна одбрана?

Tamara Krstevska 2015-12-16 15:39:15

Во овие предмети надоместокот не е гаранција за квалитетот на постапката бидејќи надоместокот е минимален а квалитетот зависи од добрата воља на адвокатот