November 15 – 16, 2018
Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn University, Auditorium Maximus

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have all joined the main global and regional human rights instruments and are viewed as compliant with their international human rights obligations. Yet there has not been a comprehensive comparative analysis of the human rights situation in the three Baltic countries. This conference will review trends and developments in the Baltic countries since the restoration of independence until the present day. 

The two-day conference will be divided into two overall themes, each with two sessions. Day I will focus on Legal framework and processes, with sessions on The European Court of Human Rights and Domestic protection of human rights. Day II will focus on Actors and challenges, with sessions on Old and new human rights actors, and Current and future challenges.

Conference is free of charge, only registration needed!

Register here

Conference Programme:

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2018: LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND PROCESSES

  • 9:00 Welcome

Mart Susi, Professor of Human Rights Law, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University

  • 9:15 Keynote Speech

Mikael Rask Madsen, Director of the Centre of Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen

  • 10.00 Session 1: Baltic countries and Europe (the Strasbourg view)

Overview and Lessons of the Lithuanian Cases in the Strasbourg Court

Egidijus Kuris, Judge, Euroepan Court of Human Rights

Overview and Lessons of the Latvian Cases in the Strasbourg Court

Anta Rutka-Kriškalne, Head of the Office of the Representative of Latvia before International Human Rights Organizations

Overview and Lessons of the Estonian Cases in the Strasbourg Court

Maris Kuurberg, Representative of Estonia before the European Court of Human Rights

Each presentation will conclude with a QA and discussion

  • Coffee break at around 11:30
  • 12.45 Lunch
  • 13:45 Introduction to the East European Yearbook on Human Rights

Mart Susi, Vesna Crnić-Grotić and Michał Balcerzak, Editors of the East European Yearbook on Human Rights

  • 14.00 Session 2: Domestic Protection of Human Rights

Remedies against Human Rights violations in Lithuania

Rimvydas Norkus, President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania

Remedies against Human Rights violations in Estonia

Peeter Roosma - Judge at the Supreme Court of Estonia

Remedies against Human Rights violations in Latvia

Arturs Kućs, Judge at the Constitutional Court of Latvia

Each presentation will conclude with a QA and discussion

  • Coffee break at around 15:30
  • 16.45 Concluding Remarks

Tiina Pajuste, Associate Professor, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2018: ACTORS AND CHALLENGES

  • 9:00 Welcome and Remarks on Yesterday

Hans-Otto Sano, Director of Research, Danish Institute for Human Rights

 Andreas von Arnauld, Walter-Schüking Institute for International Law, Kiel University

  •  9:15 Keynote Speech

Sirpa Rautio, Director of the Finnish Human Rights Centre

  • 10.00 Session 3: Current and Future Challenges

Current Developments in the Field of LGBT Rights

Phillip Ayoub, Associate Professor in the Department of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College

Social Practice of Human Rights Protection – The Case of Gender Discrimination

Alina Žvinklienė, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Lithuanian Social Research Center

Security, Fundamental Rights and the Role of Courts

Janneke Gerards, Professor of Fundamental Rights Law at Utrecht University

Freedom of Assembly in the Baltic states in the light of the OSCE/Venice Commission Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

Alexander Vashkevich, Professor at the European Humanities University Vilnius ans Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of Belarus

Each presentation will conclude with a QA and discussion

  • Coffee break at around 11:30
  • 12.45 Lunch Break
  • 14.00 Session 4: Current and Future Challenges

Mapping the Jurisprudence of the ECtHR in the Baltic Region

Simone Hein Nielsen, former employee of the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Prioritizing National Interest at the Expense of Narrowing Regular Migrant Mobility and Residence

Elina Todorov, PhD Student at the University of Tampere

Climate Change Litigation before the ECtHR

Heta Heiskanen, Post-Doc Researcher at the University of Tampere

The Normative Force of the ECtHR: The Moral Reading of Rights in Minority Cases

Elina Pekkarinen, PhD Candidate at the University of Tampere

The Delfian Model: The ECtHR erred and crashed it in Delfi v. Estonia

Liudmila Sivetc, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Turku

Each presentation will conclude with a QA and discussion

  • Coffee break at around 15:30
  • 16:45 Closing Remarks

Mart Susi, Professor of Human Rights Law, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University


Speakers:
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Alina Žvinklienė - Dr. habil. Alina Žvinklienė is a chief researcher at the Lithuanian Centre for Social Research (Lietuvos socialinių tyrimų centras-LSTS). She defended the thesis “A young family: expectations and reality” and obtained her PhD (candidate of philosophical sciences) in sociology from the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in 1988 and passed a post-doctoral habilitation procedure in social sciences with the thesis,  “Women’s Cultural Citizenship in Lithuania”, at the Institute for Social Research in 2006.
Her main research fields are democratisation and social development in Central and Eastern European countries, identities, human rights and citizenship in multicultural societies from a gender perspective. She develops the special interest to women’s rights, reproductive rights and gender equality politics, including gender mainstreaming, since the early 1990s.

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Egidijus Kūris - Lithuanian judge, professor and PhD in law. He is the former President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and current representative justice for Lithuania to the European Court of Human Rights.
He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Vilnius University in 1984, where he continued to work as a lecturer until 1994. He defended his doctoral thesis in 1988 at Moscow State University.
After Lithuania regained independence, Mr. Kūris worked on the preparation of the Constitution of Lithuania, which was adopted in 1992 after the referendum. During the same year, Mr. Kūris became the Director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University.
From 1993 until 1997 he also worked as an Assistant to the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania. Mr. Kūris became a Justice of the Constitutional Court in 1999 and the President of the Constitutional Court in 2002. He served in this position until 2008.
Since 2013, Mr. Kūris is currently serving as a Judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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Janneke Gerards - Professor of fundamental rights law at Utrecht University and director of the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice. Janneke Gerards holds a designated chair in Utrecht University’s research programme ‘Institutions for open societies’ and she is a fellow at the Human Rights Institute (SIM). Since 2015 she is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her activities outside the university include being a deputy Judge in the Appeals Court of The Hague and being a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs.
The research conducted by Prof. Gerards focuses on fundamental rights, equal treatment law, judicial review and comparative public law. The interrelation of the European Convention on Human Rights, EU law and national law plays a central role in her research.

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Mikael Rask Madsen - Professor of European Law and Integration at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, and the founder and director of iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts.Trained as both a lawyer and a sociologist, he has pioneered the sociology of international courts and law, as well as made key contributions to both theory and methodology of international socio-legal studies. His research interests include the globalization of law and the legal profession and its effects on new forms of institutions such as international courts.Recent publications include International Court Authority (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-edited with Karen Alter and Larry Helfer, “Between Universalism and Regional Law and Politics: A Comparative History of the American, European and African Human Rights Systems”, International Journal of Constitutional Law (2018), co-authored with Alexandra Huneeus, and “Backlash Against International Courts: Explaining the Forms and Patterns of Resistance to International Courts”, International Journal of Law in Context (2018), co-authored with Pola Cebulak and Micha Wiebusch.

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Phillip Ayoub – Associate Professor in the Department of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University in 2013, after obtaining a B.A. from the University of Washington and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Cornell University. He also spent a year as Max Weber Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, and four years as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at Drexel University.
His research bridges insights from international relations and comparative politics, engaging with literature on transnational politics, sexuality and gender, norm diffusion, and the study of social movements. He is particularly interested in how the transnational mobilization of marginalized peoples and international channels of visibility influence socio-legal change across states. His book, titled When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility, was published by Cambridge University Press in April 2016. It uses a mixed-method approach, combining large-n quantitative analysis with in-depth qualitative analysis of key cases, in order to explore the domestic conditions under which international norms governing LGBT rights are most likely to spread.

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Peeter Roosma – Judge at the Supreme Court of Estonia. He completed his studies at Tartu
University and the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2016 he serves as a
Judge at the Supreme Court of Estonia, at which he is a member of the Criminal Law Chamber and
Constitutional Review Chamber. Since 2017, he is a member of the Judges’ Disciplinary Chamber.
Furthermore, he serves as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights. His term was
renewed in 2018. He also evaluates articles published in the law reviews Juridica and Juridica
International.

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Rimvydas Norkus – President of the Lithuanian Supreme Court. He completed his studies at the University of Vilnius which concluded with a doctorate in 2005. From 1999 until 2009, he worked in various positions in the Lithuanian judiciary (Court of Appeal, Highest Administrative Court of Lithuania).
From 2009 to 2010 he worked as a lawyer linguist at the European Parliament. From 2010 until 2012 he worked as a director for Legal research department at the Supreme Court of Lithuania. In 2012 Rimvydas Norkus was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania where he heard civil cases under appeal.
In 2013 the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) appointed him a judge of the Supreme Court of Lithuania.
Since 2014 he is the President of the Lithuanian Supreme Court. In 2016 Rimvydas Norkus was elected a Chairman of the Judicial Council.

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Sirpa Rautio – She is the Chair and Finnish member of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Management Board, with over 25 years of experience in human rights (e.g. the World Bank Nordic Trust Fund, the Council of Europe, the OSCE/ODIHR, the UN and the EU).
She has been the director of the Finnish Human Rights Centre since 2012. The Centre, together with the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman Office is Finland’s A-rated National Human Rights Institution. She has extensive experience working in post-conflict settings and countries in transition, including former Yugoslavia. She is a lawyer by profession.

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Prof. Dr. Alexander Vashkevich, Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of Belarus is a Professor of Public Law at European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania and Visiting Professor at the Regional Master's Program in Human Rights and Democratization in the Caucasus. He teaches Comparative Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, EU Institutional Law, and Law of International Organizations.
He holds an LLM from  the Belarusian State University Law Faculty, doctoral degree in Constitutional Law from Kharkiv Law Academy and a number of research fellowships, including  Senior  Fulbright Scholarship  at American University, Washington D.C., Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, Free University in Brussels, Belgium and University of Toronto, Canada. He has more than 120 scientific publications, including a Commentary to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (2016). Since 2006  Professor Vashkevich  is a  member of  the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Peaceful  Assembly’and  co-authored ‡the joint  OSCE/ODIHR –Venice Commission  Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly (the 3rd  edition is forthcoming in 2019), translated into several languages, including Russian, Arabic, Armenian, French. As an expert of the Council of Europe, Professor Vashkevich organized trainings, seminars and lectured for the highest judicial institutions and members of the parliaments in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. He also was a key national expert of the UNDP project «Promotion of a wider application of international human rights standards in the administration of justice in Belarus» in 2008-2010 and Raoul Wallenberg Institute «Establishment of a National Human Rights Institution in Belarus» in 2012.

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Maris Kuurberg (magister iuris) is the Estonian Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights since 2008. She is working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is also a member of the Bureau of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights, as well as a member of the same steering committee, a member of the Committee of Experts on the System of the European Convention on Human Rights and a member of the Drafting Group on freedom of expression and links to other human rights.Since 1999 she is a member of the Estonian Bar Association and since 2003 she is an Attorney at Law. From 1999 to 2004 she worked in Law Office HETA and from 2004 to 2007 in Law Office Ots&Co. During 2006-2007 she also worked in the Estonian translation division in the European Court of Justice. She has published numerous articles, including on the European Convention system, in the Estonian law review Juridica.

pilt11.jpg Simone Hein Nielsen has a Master degree in law and has previously worked at the Danish Institute of Human Rights in the research department and at the Danish Embassy in Rome, where she worked with UN agencies. She is currently working at the Ministry of Taxation
Anta%20Rutka%202.jpg Anta Rutka-Kriškalne - Mrs. Rutka-Kriškalne works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, and is the Head of the Office of the Representative of the Republic of Latvia before International Human Rights Institutions. From 2013 to 2016 worked in the Embassy of Latvia in the Netherlands. She has acquired law degree from the University of Latvia and LLM in Public International Law and Human Rights from the Riga Graduate School of Law. Having 15 years of professional experience in human rights, currently she is also a member of the Council of Europe Drafting Group on the follow-up to the Recommendation Rec(2004)4 of the Committee of Ministers on the European Convention on Human Rights in university education and professional training. She has been a guest lecturer in the Latvian Judicial Training Centre on case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
Additional information: 

If you have any questions about the conference and arrangements, contact us:

Carsten Wulff:

E-mail: wulffc@tlu.ee


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