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Council of Europe offers Belarus assistance in mediation, further training of lawyers

Society 21.12.2017 | 10:49
Photo courtesy of Belarus' Justice Ministry
Photo courtesy of Belarus' Justice Ministry

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – The Council of Europe is ready to provide assistance to Belarus in the development of mediation and the enhancement of qualifications of lawyers, BelTA learned from the Justice Ministry following the meeting between Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky and Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe Christos Giakoumopoulos.

“Representatives of the Council of Europe have offered assistance in the development of mediation and the enhancement of qualifications of lawyers as part of the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP),” the press service said.

The parties discussed cooperation within the competence of the Justice Ministry, where it is possible to use the experience and assistance of the Council of Europe. The meeting participants discussed some general issues concerning the activity of the department in registering non-for-profit organizations and enforcing court decisions. Christos Jakoumopoulos expressed interest in the Justice Ministry's participation in the implementation of the Action Plan of the Council of Europe for Belarus, which is planned to be extended for 2018-2019.

Representatives of the Council of Europe also held a meeting in the Supreme Court. Chairman of the Supreme Council Valentin Sukalo updated the guests on the results of the judicial reform, the activity of judges within the unified judicial system, and also the plans for the next five years. The parties talked over further development of alternative ways to resolve conflicts and disputes, including mediation, measures to reduce the judicial burden, the need to develop conceptual provisions on the unification of procedural legislation governing civil and economic cases, and the drafting of a unified civil procedural code of Belarus.

The chairman of the Supreme Court emphasized that today the judicial system of Belarus is independent, self-sufficient and steadily developing. Its assessment by the international expert community, including the Council of Europe, is of utmost importance. The parties agreed to continue constructive cooperation between the Council of Europe and the Belarusian justice system.

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