Trial monitoring principles, ways to mainstream gender and diversity in trial monitoring activities, follow-up steps and the training of monitors were the key topics of an annual meeting on trial monitoring in the OSCE region, which took place in Sarajevo from 14 to 16 May 2019.
The event was organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Trial monitoring practitioners have told us how much they appreciate the opportunity this annual event has given them for more than 15 years now to exchange views and experiences,” said Karine Simonsen, Rule of Law Officer at ODIHR.
“We are continuously exploring different ways of supporting both civil society and colleagues from OSCE field operations in this area, and we are therefore focusing specifically this year on building participants’ skills, alongside strengthening their understanding of fair trial standards.”
Lillian Langford, Head of the Rule of Law Section at the OSCE Mission to BiH, said: “Effective trial monitoring demonstrates whether a country’s judicial system ensures equality before the law, due process guarantees, justice for victims of crime and efficient use of resources. The OSCE and its partners possess a wealth of experience in this area. Only recently the Mission scaled up its monitoring of corruption cases, issuing reports that target clear deficiencies in the work of courts and prosecutors’ offices in tackling this phenomenon. Backed up by empirical trial monitoring data, we and our partners are able to support efforts to address the roots of this problem.”
The event attracted 39 participants (21 men and 18 women) from around the region; 13 NGOs and nine OSCE field operations were represented. During working sessions, participants shared experiences, good practices and challenges they face. A more detailed description of the topics can be found in the ODIHR reference manual on trial monitoring.