The seminar UN Human Rights Mechanisms: From Theory to Practice of Effective Protection of Individual Rights

The seminar UN Human Rights Mechanisms: From Theory to Practice of Effective Protection of Individual Rights, a practice-oriented training on the universal system of human rights protection, was held on March 6-7, 2020.

Alexander Vashkevich, a professor at the European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania), a retired judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus, and Natalia Matskevich, a lawyer of the Minsk City Bar Association, led the training.

In the framework of the seminar, the participants had a unique opportunity to learn about the work of various UN bodies and procedures and how to use them to protect and promote human rights at the national level.

During the first day the participants were given an overview of the human rights protection system within the UN and how it might be of interest to Russian lawyers and human rights defenders. By the example of the Human Rights Committee, the audience got acquainted with the work of the UN human rights treaty bodies, namely, the procedure for their formation, competence, etc. The issue of amicus curiae procedure in the UN treaty bodies was also raised. The training leaders also gave the examples of the implementation of treaty body decisions with a focus on UN human rights mechanisms as an instrument of work for Russian lawyers and human rights defenders. At the end of the day there was a discussion on the admissibility of individual communications at the Human Rights Committee.

The second day began with the practical work of the participants in determining the conditions of acceptability in specific situations. Further, the participants learned about the peculiarities of the interpretation of the right to freedom and personal integrity in the UN human rights system. After that, they got an idea of the special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council, in particular the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, got acquainted with the electronic communications system with special procedures.

The seminar ended with answers to questions and a summary of the seminar.

The 2-day seminar was attended by 30 participants, including 13 lawyers, 13 practicing lawyers, an employee of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, a chairman, a deputy chairman and a consultant of NGOs. The participants represented 13 constituent entities of the Russian Federation (the Perm, Kaluga, Saratov, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Lipetsk, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions, Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Udmurt Republic, the Krasnoyarsk Territory).

As a result of the seminar, the participants received a certificate.

The event was organized and conducted by the Institute for Law and Public Policy within the project Russian Constitutional Justice: Creating Precedents, Building a Professional Community, Developing Public Discussion with the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The information on further seminars can be found on the Institute’s website, as well as on its official page on the social network

The seminar is held with the support of the European Union