The session was led by Hermine Masmeyer, program manager of the Human Rights Co-operation and Awareness Division Directorate General of Human Rights-DG II of the Council of Europe. During the two training days, the students and teachers of the European Humanities University (Vilnius) and Belarusian lawyers and human rights defenders learned how they can benefit from the online resources available at the Council of Europe site for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP).
Aiming at supporting the community of human rights trainers in Europe, the HELP site offers a variety of materials that legal professionals and all those interested in human rights advocacy can use in their professional activities to provide increasingly effective defence of individuals’ human rights.
The training in Vilnius empowered the participants with new methods of teaching human rights to legal professionals, ways to adapt courses to the individual needs of each particular trainee, and more practical information about how to apply the theory and how to organise a training event.
In addition to new teaching skills, the participants did case studies of particular court decisions made by the ECtHR, dealing specifically with Article 6 of ECHR (Rights to a fair trial Article), 10 of ECHR (Freedom of expression), and Article 11 of ECHR (Freedom of assembly and association). The case studies provided an insight into the ECtHR decision-making process and better understanding of how human rights principles can be applied in court cases.
The seminar was conducted within the framework of the International Law in Advocacy Program of the Human Rights House Network and with the support of the Lithuanian and Norwegian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, OSCE, European Commission and Human Rights House Foundation.