President of the Constitutional Court of BiH, Mirsad Ćeman attended the Fifth Regional Forum on Rule of Law in South East Europe held on 15 and 16 March 2018 in Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia. The Forum was organized by the AIRE Centre and Civil Rights Defenders with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) of the Great Britain, Government of Sweden and Council for Regional Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). The aim of this Forum is promotion of implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms region wide providing support to regional cooperation and further development of the rule of law and human rights while offering assistance in the process of integration of the region in the EU.
The topic of Forum in 2018 is prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment in conjunction with Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
This is the fifth regional forum on the rule of law for the South East Europe and it has been proved that this Forum is one of the most important annual events for the representatives of judiciary, lawyers and members of NGO from the region. The number of participants has been increased over years. The first forum was held in 2014 in Budva, Montenegro and the focus of presentations was national enforcement of judgments rendered by the European Court of Human Rights and new trends in the case-law. The second forum was held in Belgrade, Serbia in 2015 and presentations were related to the challenges in connection with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to a fair trial. Then, the Forum was held in 2016 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the issue of the right to a fair trial was considered once again, with particular focus placed on the right to an independent and impartial tribunal. Last year, in 2017, the Forum was held in Tirana, Albania and the focus was particularly placed on the right to freedom of expression and respect for private life. All four forums that have been held so far were very successful and the representatives of the highest judicial bodies region-wide took part in the work of forums while working together with the judges of the European Court of Human Rights and while using information obtained from lawyers and members of the NGO.
The participants of the Fifth Forum come from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The following judges of the European Court of Human Rights from the region also took part in the Forum: Ledi Bianku (Albania), Ksenija Turković (Croatia), Jovan Ilievski (Macedonia), Nebojša Vučinić (Montenegro) and Branko Lubarda (Serbia), the representatives of supreme and constitutional courts, chairmen of judiciary councils, directors of judicial academies and institutions, the representatives of States before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, as well as the NGO representatives and distinguished lawyers and experts in their respective fields.
During the Forum, the works and reports related to positive obligations of the State and applicability of Article 3 were presented regarding the cases of deprivation of liberty and maltreatment of persons, in particular vulnerable persons, including children and those with mental health issues, as well as to cases of maltreatment when it comes to immigration and use of evidence obtained through torture in the course of criminal proceedings.
President Ćeman actively participated in the work of the Forum and addressed the participants of the Fifth Regional Forum by presenting his views and examples from the case-law of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in connection with the topic of the Forum. In particular, President Ćeman pointed to the current relevance of the topic and usefulness of this fifth regional forum for those dealing with law, particulars with the matter of human rights, as well as to the overall efforts and results in promoting the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.