During the week of 19 to 30 September 2016, the “Human Dimension Implementation Meeting” took place under this year's German chairmanship of the OSCE. The event held in Warsaw is the largest annual human rights conference held in Europe and OSCE countries. Some 1,500 representatives of numerous governments and non-governmental organisations attended this year’s meeting. The central concerns to be addressed by the German chairmanship in 2016 were freedom of the media and speech, strengthening the civil society and tolerance as a basis for social interaction, the rule of law and respect for human rights in OSCE states.

This year, the IRZ, in partnership with the German Foreign Office and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, helped to organise a side event on “Independence and accountability of justice”, which took place on 23 September 2016. During a panel discussion lasting one and a half hours, high-ranking representatives of the justice system from IRZ partner countries introduced, amongst other things, the work of the IRZ in the context of legal and judicial reform in the relevant countries. The panel discussion was opened with a welcoming speech by Eva Schmierer, Head of the Administration of Justice Department at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), and by Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Managing Director. The discussions were moderated by Dr. Stefan von der Beck, Presiding Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg.

As well as Dr. Peter Best, who reported on his experiences in leading EU twinning projects focussing on human rights, the following people were also represented on the discussion panel:

  • Victor Kryvenko, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Ukraine,
  • Zlatko Knežević, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • Dr. Vladimir Grosu, former Minister of Justice for the Republic of Moldova,
  • Prof. Dr. Xhezair Zaganjori, President of the Supreme Court of Albania,
  • Prof. Konstantin Korkelia, Permanent Representative for Georgia at the European Council and
  • Nikolay Belorukov, Member of the Constitutional Council for the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The event offered an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and provided the audience with an insight into the judicial systems of the various countries.