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International Scientific Gathering on Legal Principles in Legal Theory and Judicial Adjudication

16 October 2014 - organised by the Sarajevo Foundation Public Law Centre and the Rijeka Faculty of Law, an International scientific gathering on legal principles in legal theory and judicial adjudication was held in Rijeka on 16 October 2014. The event gathered numerous theoreticians and practitioners who addressed the role and importance of legal principles in legal theory and jurisprudence of highest courts. In her lecture entitled The Constitutional Court as a bridge between two judicial approaches to interpretation (national and the Strasbourg), President Omejec warned of the deficit of interpretative potential of Croatian courts that mostly stems from the fact that Croatian courts still fail to accept the interpretative principles on which the modern European jurisprudence is grounded. She emphasised that this situation can be changed only if the judicial adjudication starts to be grounded on the interpretation of legal norms in line with the Constitutional values, for which the guidelines are provided by the Constitutional Court in accordance with the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Official and working meeting of the judges of the Croatian and Slovenian Constitutional Courts

14 October 2014 - upon the invitation of Professor Dr Jasna Omejec, President of the Croatian Constitutional Court, the judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, headed by President Mr Miroslav Mozetič, LL M came on a one-day working and official meeting held in Castle Lužnica, Zaprešić. At these traditional working meetings, which are continuously held since the two states have gained independence, the judges address different issues of common interest related to constitutional judiciary. This time the topics of the discussions were national minorities rights in the constitutional court case-law and application of conventional and constitutional standards in the protection of human dignity and prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment in relation to persons deprived of liberty.

100th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

13 October 2014 - Professor Jasna Omejec, President of the Constitutional Court and a member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) from the Republic of Croatia, participated in the 100th Plenary Session, held exceptionally in Rome in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Italy from 10 to 11 October 2014. In the framework of celebrations, the International Workshop on Democracy that addressed transparency and the rule of law as preconditions of equitable and sustainable development was also held on the margins of the Plenary Session. President Omejec, as a member of the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission, was also received by Hon. Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Republic of Italy.

President Omejec gave a speech at the 2014 Project Conference of the European Law Institute

25 September 2014 - at the "2014 Project Conference" of the European Law Institute Professor Dr Jasna Omejec, President of the Court, delivered a speech in the panel on Future of the human rights litigation in Europe. She spoke from the perspective of a Judge of the Constitutional Court form a new EU member state and grounded her speech on interlacing of the three different legal areas in our country: the national one, the legal area of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and the one of the EU, with their own fundamental rights catalogues. At the same time she pointed out the particularities of the constitutional judiciary in the post-communist countries, like Croatia. At the end she also emphasised that the future development of the human rights litigation depends on the accession of the EU to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and invoked the need to build a multilevel cooperation, or network or dialogue of national constitutional courts, the Strasbourg Court and the Luxembourg Court.

The European Law Institute (ELI) is an independent non-profit organisation established to initiate, conduct and facilitate research, make recommendations and provide practical guidance in the field of European legal development with a goal of enhancing the European legal integration. The Institute is uniquely broad in its membership, bringing together scholars, practitioners and judges from the whole of Europe.

Judicial officials from the European Judicial Training Network visited the Constitutional Court

25 September 2014 - Judge Dr Mario Jelušić and Secretary General Dr Teodor Antić, received today several EU judicial officials whom the Croatian Judicial Academy hosted within the Exchange Program of Judicial Authorities. The Exchange Program, which was initiated by the European Parliament in 2003, aims at developing the mutual trust between judicial authorities of the EU members by allowing them to get to know each other better and by giving them the opportunity to work together. Judge Jelušić introduced the colleagues to the functioning and organisation of the Croatian Constitutional Court specially emphasising that the Court is not part of the judiciary. The judicial officials were particularly interested to hear about the process of election of constitutional judges, given that in Croatia the procedure for electing a judge starts with public tender.

Students of the Summer School on the Essentials of European Union Law visited the Constitutional Court

5 September 2014 - Within the Summer School on the Essentials of European Union Law students of this international course visited the Croatian Constitutional Court. Judge Dr Snježana Bagić, Deputy president, who received the students, introduced them in the workings, organisation and jurisdiction of the Croatian Constitutional Court as well as in implementation of the European law in the national system. Her focus went in particular to the implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights given that the Constitutional Court has very rich and longstanding practice to that regard.

This summer program is offered by the South-East European Law Schools Network and the Saarland University and is held at the Zagreb and Rijeka Faculties of Law.

Conference on constitutional complaints held in Strasbourg

9 July 2014 - At an international Conference on the best practices of individual complaint of the Constitutional Courts in Europe, held on 7 July 2014 in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, President Omejec delivered an introductory lecture on "How to make a constitutional complaint an effective legal remedy". The participants, presidents and judges of European Constitutional Courts, discussed their increasing role in the prevention of violations of the European Convention on Human Rights and explored different approaches to individual complaint mechanisms in the member states. In her lecture President Omejec gave notice of practical problems related to the constitutional complaint proceedings, and together with Judges Dr Snježana Bagić, Deputy-president, and Slavica Banić, replied to questions on the substantial practice of the Croatian Constitutional Court in that regard. The participants were particularly interested to hear about our mechanism for filtering constitutional complaints and the system for the preliminary review of the merits that enables the efficient handling of this type of cases.

The conference was opened by Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights and Haşim Kiliç, President of the Constitutional Court of Turkey.

President Omejec received Professor Marc Gjidara

1 July 2014 - Professor Dr Jasna Omejec, President of the Court, received today Dr Marc Gjidara, Professor Emeritus at the University Panthéon Assas – Paris II. Together with Dr Snježana Bagić, Vice president, they talked about the work of the Croatian Constitutional Court and the forthcoming Croatian - French Administrative Days that are traditionally held in Split for almost eight years. At the end President Omejec thanked this esteemed legal expert for all the support he has relentlessly provided to the Republic of Croatia.

President of the Court of Justice of the EU, Professor Vassilios Skouris, at the Constitutional Court

20 June 2014 - President of the Croatian Constitutional Court, Professor Dr Jasna Omejec, together with Dr Snježana Bagić, Vice-president and Ms Slavica Banić, Judge, received the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Professor Vassilios Skouris, who visited Croatia upon the invitation of the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament. President Skouris was acompanied by Professor Dr Sinša Rodin, Judge of that Court from Croatia and Mr Peđa Grbin, President of the Committee for the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System of the Croatian Parliament.

In her introductory remarks President Omejec presented the workings and jurisdiction of the Croatian Constitutional Court. She pointed out that we keep track of the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice, especially in cases of mutual interest, like the judgment Križan and Others (2013), in which the Court clarified both the exent of discretion of national courts to make a reference to the Court for a preliminary ruling and the concept of the last instance court. The Croatian Court has not been in a position so far to decide on the need to make such a reference.

The talks were also held on the EU's accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Namely, the European Commission has asked the Court to give its opinion on the draft agreement on the accession and President Skouris expect for this task to be completed by the end of this year. At the end, President Skouris forwarded an open call for our judges to visit the Court in Louxembourg.

President Omejec gave an introductory speech at "Law and Media" expert gathering

17 June 2014 - at the "Law and Media" expert meeting of the Croatian Law Centre Professor Dr Jasna Omejec, President of the Court, gave opening remarks dedicated to the 20th anniversary of this Centre. She spoke about the work of the Croatian Law Centre in the past twenty years and pointed out that the quality of its work places it amongst the most influential non-governmental organisations at the continental level. Moreover, this Centre succeeded to create a program for Croatia as it has been envisaged in our Constitution, the country which expresses the moral commitment to the objective principles of liberal democracy.