Protection of refugees and migrants under the European Convention on Human Rights

Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) in collaboration with the Council of Europe held a two-day training on the “Protection of refugees and migrants under the European Convention on Human Rights” starting November 28 until November 30, 2016. 

obuka1The training covered several topics related to selected Articles of the Convention, such as the right to life (Art. 2), the prohibition of torture (Art. 3), the right to liberty and security (Art. 5) and the right to private and family life (Art. 8), all in the context of protecting the rights of refugees and migrants.

The participants were lawyers and attorneys who gained additional knowledge and skills for successful representation in front of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

On the specific topic and objectives of the training, Zoran Drangovski, MYLA’s president, said:

“This is the twelfth training organized by MYLA in cooperation with the Council of Europe. These trainings have been attended by over 300 young lawyers, including lawyers that now work at the European Court of Human Rights. The focus this time is the meaning and application of Article 8 of the ECHR in the context of the rights of refugees and migrants, family unity and the procedure for family reunification. The theme was identified as necessary, having in mind the migratory movements and the challenges that the country faces. The lecturers are senior representatives from Strasbourg with considerable experience in this area, which is very important for the development of expertise with young lawyers. I trust that this cooperation will continue.”

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Experts Oleksiy Gotsul, lawyer in the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, Flip Schuller, Immigration and Asylum Lawyer from the Migration Board of the European Bar Association and member of the HELP Working Group on the ECHR and asylum, and Samuel Boutruche from the UNHCR Representation in Strasbourg, shared their expertise with the participants through several sessions and discussions. 

On the importance of the training and the results to be achieved, Immigration and Asylum Lawyer from the Migration Board in the European Bar Association, Flip Schuller said:

“One of the good things about trainings like these is that both lawyers and case workers together with judges have a dialog on the state of play at the moment in Macedonia. I also think that it is very important for Macedonian practitioners on all sides to realize that the problems and challenges they face are the same in the other countries and that in the Macedonian context there is still room to evolve and to develop, and meet international standards in refugee law.”

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 After the first half of the training, Samuel Boutrouche from the UNHCR Representation in Strasbourg, said:

“After almost a day, I can already say that it is quite impressive to see the amount of quality of the exchange between participants, especially considering that we have representatives from the legal community, judges, representatives of state authorities. The level of knowledge of the ECtHR case law is quite promising, we can gather that there is a lot of interest regarding national security cases, quality of the asylum decision working and we hope that the exchange here will allow the participants here to better and further implement the ECHR at the domestic level because a lot of these issues can and should be addressed.”

Finally, through panel discussions, legal practitioners from various areas will contribute to an even more comprehensive education in this area.