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On corruption and some modern tools to tackle it

On corruption and some modern tools to tackle it Our legal intern, Luca Brocca, writes about #corruption and some modern tools used to tackle it, reflecting on two meetings with the #UNCAC Coalition Victims of Corruption working group.  Victims of corruption often struggle to claim reparation for the harm they have suffered and legal requirements make it difficult for victims to be represented and recognised in enforcement proceedings. The UNCAC Coalition for Victims of Corruption Working Group seeks to facilitate discussions, the exchange of information and joint advocacy among civil society experts around victims’ remedies and compensation for damages caused…

Towards e-Justice: European and National Experiences

Towards e-Justice: European and National Experiences Our Legal Intern, Luca Brocca, writes about e-Justice and how technology both improves and hampers access to justice by investigating legal precedents at both national and EU level Technology can increase the efficiency and transparency of the justice system and make it easier for individuals to access justice. However, it also risks undermining access to justice for some (e.g., those without the Internet) if it completely replaces traditional processes.The term ‘e-justice’ encompasses a wide range of initiatives, including the filing of online lawsuits, the provision of online information (including case law), the use of…

Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Access to Justice in Environmental Matters Our legal intern Luca Brocca writes about access to justice in environmental matters, the main legal instruments that protect it, and the obstacles to its implementation, through the analysis of concrete cases that illustrate the state of affairs in this area. According to international and European human rights law, the concept of access to justice obliges states to guarantee every individual the right to turn to a court – or, in certain circumstances, to an alternative dispute resolution body – to obtain a remedy when it is determined that the individual’s rights have been…

Quick-fixes are not a solution to the century-long Balkan problems

Quick-fixes are not a solution to the century-long Balkan problems A year ago, Just Access published an analysis1 pointing to the abuse of EU’s accession procedural rules committed by Bulgaria’s blocking of the opening of the negotiations for North Macedonia’s EU membership. It argued that: 1) by de facto and arbitrarily vetoing North Macedonia’s bid to access the EU, Bulgaria violated the bilateral “Treaty of Friendship”2 in force with its neighbor; 2) that Bulgaria’s attitude towards North Macedonia constitutes unreasonable and harmful bad faith violating international law; 3) that Bulgaria’s instrumentalization of EU accession rules for its mere internal political…

Proposals for remedying the diminishing trend of access to justice during police stops and custody in the EU

Proposals for remedying the diminishing trend of access to justice during police stops and custody in the EU  This post focuses on the issue of regular encounters with law enforcement authorities that lead to police stops, arrests and police custody, during which the fundamental human rights of the detainees are increasingly being violated. It highlights that specific categories of population are especially more frequently exposed to coercive treatment. Although there is a global trend of human rights being increasingly disrespected or outright violated by law-enforcement authorities when they impose coercive measures upon individuals they stop, arrest or place in custody,…

Diminishing access to justice during police stops and custody within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic

Diminishing access to justice during police stops and custody within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic  This post focuses on the issue of regular encounters with law enforcement authorities that lead to police stops, arrests and police custody, during which the fundamental human rights of the detainees are increasingly being violated. It highlights that specific categories of population are especially more frequently exposed to coercive treatment. Although there is a global trend of human rights being increasingly disrespected or outright violated by law-enforcement authorities when they impose coercive measures upon individuals they stop, arrest or place in custody, this post…

The urgent task of improving the online complaint procedure before Human Rights Council Special Procedures Mandate Holders: towards victim-friendly design and effective collective complaints

The urgent task of improving the online complaint procedure before Human Rights Council Special Procedures Mandate Holders: towards victim-friendly design and effective collective complaints  At the end of 2020, the Office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (“OHCHR”) launched a new dedicated website enabling victims of human rights violations to submit their submissions to the Human Rights Council (“HRC”) Special Procedures Mandate Holders directly online, via a new uniform complaint procedure.1 If this new online complaint procedure constitutes a real and welcome improvement, many other serious impediments to effective access to justice before the…

Just Access e.V. feedback on “The Extension of the list of EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime”

This initiative of the European Commission “Hate speech & hate crime – inclusion on list of EU crimes” aims to expand the list of EU crimes to include hate speech and hate crime.Here is our feedback to the roadmap:Just Access e.V., a German NGO focused on access to justice, welcomes the initiative to include an improved definition and scope of hate speech and hate crime on the list of EU crimes, with particular attention to sex, sexual orientation, age and disability as the criteria for hate speech and crime. Our recommendation is to improve pertaining EU regulation by balancing the…

2021 EU Justice Scoreboard roadmap-the feedback of Just Access e.V.

Using the opportunity to influence the shaping of laws and policies of the European Commission, today we submitted our feedback on the roadmap for 2021 EU Justice Scoreboard.We are conveying our feedback integrally:Just Access, a registered German NGO focused on access to justice, applauds the EU Justice Scoreboard, including its section 3.2.1 specifically dedicated to Accessibility.While the quantitative element of this comparative exercise is unavoidable and in many ways useful, we recommend the regular and thorough revision of the Scoreboard’s metrics. In addition to being a formal and immediate obligation, the provision of justice is also an aspirational exercise, a…

Just Access e.V. in the media in North Macedonia and Bulgaria

Our blog article Access to the EU and justice denied: How Bulgaria’s actions against North Macedonia amount to abuse of the EU’s accession procedural rules: How Bulgaria’s actions against North Macedonia amount to abuse of the EU’s accession procedural rules echoed in the media of North Macedonia after Deutsche Welle informed about our work. More than two dozen media outlets in the country followed by sharing the news.The oldest daily newspaper published our analysis integrally in the printed weekend version on the 27th of March.  Bulgarian media shared the news and commented: Today, the European Parliament is expected to “scold”…

Access to the EU and justice denied-How Bulgaria’s actions against North Macedonia amount to abuse of the EU’s accession procedural rules

Access to the EU and justice denied: How Bulgaria’s actions against North Macedonia amount to abuse of the EU’s accession procedural rules  After several years of efforts to satisfy the requirements of the European Union for starting the membership negotiations, including a notable attempt towards resolution of the historical dispute regarding its very identity on the international front on account of Greece’s constant opposition these last decades until conclusion of the Prespa Agreement in 2018, North Macedonia finds its political destiny being held hostage by Bulgaria in an unprecedented move. Bulgaria’s arm-twisting tactics began in 2019 when it resorted to…