Conference of the Council of Europe on the interpretation and implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights

21 January 2016 - Organised by the Council of Europe and the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Conference on the interpretation and implementation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights by constitutional courts of the Western Balkans took place on 19 and 20 January 2016 in Pristina, Kosovo. 

On that occasion, Professor Jasna Omejec, President of the Croatian Constitutional Court, gave a lecture entitled: "States of the former SFRY:  From Common Socialist Legal Heritage to Common European Legal Heritage", in which she addressed problems encountered by the states of the former SFRY in the process of accepting the European legal standards. By giving the example of the Croatian constitutional judiciary she presented the manner in which the European methods for interpretative argumentation are adopted and shared the experience of the Croatian Constitutional Court in realising the requirements stemming from the Convention, especially the principle of subsidiarity. Major problems in the implementation of the Convention she identified in both the Constitutional Court itself ("grammatical" or "textual" positivism and excessive formalism) and in the wider Croatian legal life (except the Constitutional Court no other national institution implements the Convention and there is permanent lack of understanding of the role of the Constitutional Court in the Croatian society which refuses to acknowledge that the constitutional judiciary supervises the legal framework created by political power). In the end she concluded: "Wisdom, dialog and spreading of awareness of democratic values and European legal culture that is so tirelessly carried out by the Strasbourg Court, are the most important, if not crucial, for our Continent at this difficult time. Thus, the judgments of the European Court must be respected and implemented even when we do not agree with them. To that regard, the role of the constitutional judiciary is irreplaceable."