Capacity Building and Awareness Raising for Judges and State Prosecutors on Anti-Discrimination Legislation

The 2007 European Commission Progress Report for Croatia was particularly critical on the subject of discrimination:

“There has been some progress in the area of minority rights and cultural rights… a number of important challenges still remain, especially in terms of implementation. The Serb and Roma minorities face significant difficulties… The level of protection against discrimination in practice and its judicial prosecution is still not in line with EU standards.”

Problems were also noted in the areas of gender, disability, and the socially vulnerable.

The new Anti-Discrimination Law was drafted in order to provide clear legal procedures for the redress of discriminatory behavior. However, there was a significant shortfall in the understanding and training of judges and other legal professionals as to how this new law, and the areas it covers, would be interpreted and implemented.

The main objective of this project worth is to strengthen professional knowledge and skills of judges and state prosecutors to efficiently apply and implement the newly adopted anti-discrimination legislation.

The project represented a major step towards integrating traditional post-conflict ‘legacy’ issues (e.g. treatment of returnee minorities) into the EU mainstream. Successful implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Law would help to address Member-State concerns, make Croatia a more credible candidate, and set important precedents for other regional EU candidates.

The implementing partner for the project was the International Organization for Migration, in close collaboration with the Croatian Legal Centre to oversee the planning and delivery of a credible and practical support programme, made sustainable by the engagement of the Judicial Academy, and the judges themselves.

The project worth 48, 930 GBP was funded by the Strategic Progamme Fund (SPF) of the British Embassy in Zagreb and implemented from 01 August 2008’ 31 March 2009.

Donor/s

British Embassy in Zagreb