MINELRES: MRG Call for Participants - Pan-European Training for Lawyers (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden)

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Mar 30 18:26:41 2005

Original sender: Cynthia Morel <CYNTHIA.MOREL@mrgmail.org>

Call for Participants


Sponsored by the EU Community Action Programme to Combat Discrimination

Minority Rights Group International (MRG), the European Roma Rights
Centre (ERRC) and the Swedish Ombudsman Against Ethnic Discrimination
(SO) are presently calling for participants for their upcoming
Pan-European Training for Lawyers that will take place in Budapest on
May 19-21, 2005. A half day optional session will also be available on
May 22 for those wishing to obtain additional advice or assistance on
litigation strategies in this area of law.

The training will focus on the content and practical applications of the
EU Article 13 Anti-Discrimination Directives, which are binding on all
EU Member States and Candidate Countries. More specifically,
participants will explore key concepts such as the shifting of the
burden of proof, direct and indirect discrimination and dissuasive
sanctions. Additional concepts to be explored include multiple

This initiative intersects with a broader framework that will support
domestic level advocacy through national trainings in five target
countries as of October 2005. The selected countries are the Czech
Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden. The aim of these
complimentary trainings is to increase the capacity of activists and
lawyers to develop and implement holistic strategies in combating

Aims of the Pan-European Training for Lawyers

- To increase lawyers’ knowledge of available instruments and litigation
strategies relating to minority rights and discrimination. 

- To encourage sharing of experiences and good practices between


The 3 day training (in addition to optional session) will encompass
interactive presentations. Strategies, litigation techniques and best
practices will then be explored and critiqued through group work on
thematic case studies. These sessions will also allow for discussions on
the practicalities of working with Roma and other marginalized groups. 

Selection criteria for participants

Twenty participants will be selected on the following basis: 

1. Willing to take on cases at the domestic level.

2. Experience in working in the field of anti-discrimination, or
expressed interest in pursuing work in this field. 

3. Availability to participate in a 1-day session of the national level
training due to take place in the last quarter of 2005 (as this includes
a component where lawyers and activists are brought together to develop
interlinking strategies). This activity also presents the opportunity to
receive funds for litigation of a case in your country.

4. Working knowledge of the English language.

5. Resident of one of the five target countries: Czech Republic,
Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden.

Note that selected participants will be asked to prepare a case study
for the purposes of the training. These can be based on real life
example of cases that participants wish to litigate at the domestic
level. Fictional case studies, drawing on a range of concrete problems
or obstacles at the domestic level will also be welcome. The case
studies should be no longer than 2-3 pages and must be forwarded to
Cynthia Morel (cynthia.morel@mrgmail.org) by May 9, 2005.

Language of the Training

The training will be held in the English language. 


The deadline for application is April 15, 2005.


All expenses will be paid for selected participants.

Send Applications to:

Cynthia Morel

Minority Rights Group International

54 Commercial Street 
London UK 
E1 6LT 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7422 4223 


Application form

To be completed by April 15 and returned to Cynthia Morel, Minority
Rights Group International, London United Kingdom, E1 6LT, or via email
at cynthia.morel@mrgmail.org

1. Please provide a copy of your curriculum vitae and a (maximum 250
word) cover letter highlighting your motivation for participating.

2. Please describe your level of knowledge in the field of
anti-discrimination (both nationally as well as on regional or
international standards): basic, average, advanced? It would be helpful
for you to cite other trainings you have attended on this topic, or
activities in which you have taken part.

3. Please provide detail on your litigation experience. If your
experience is not directly related to the field of anti-discrimination,
please detail what related fields you have been involved in, and how
your experience may be relevant.

4. Do you work with a network of lawyers in your country?

5. Have you every personally undertaken pro bono work? If not, is there
any scope within your law firm to carry out pro bono work?

6. Recent law graduates (for whom questions 3 and 4 may not apply): 
please describe what steps you would take to become involved in
anti-discrimination litigation in your country.

Litigation Using Anti-discrimination Legislation
- a practical seminar for lawyers -
Arany Janos Conference Centre, Arany Janos Street 10, Budapest


Gregory Fabian, OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Margarita Ilieva, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
Katri Linna, Swedish Ombudsman
Sheila Rogers, Chief Executive, Commission for Racial Equality (UK)
Andrew Ryder, The Gypsy and Traveller Law Reform Coalition 

Resource staff from the European Roma Rights Centre, Minority Rights
Group International and also the Swedish Ombudsman Office will also be
in attendance.

Thursday 19 May, 2005

09.00	Introduction to the seminar: aims, working methods.
	Participants introduce themselves.

09.30	Fundamental Rights in EC Law
Role of the European Court of Justice
Relationship between EC law and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article 141 EC Treaty - Sex Equality 
Article 10 EC Treaty - The principle of solidarity
Article 13 EC Treaty - combating discrimination
The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe - what effect will
this have on fundamental rights in EC law

10.30	Coffee break

11.00	International/regional anti-discrimination legislation
UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
European Convention on Human Rights, Article 14 and Protocol 12
CERD case study in work groups

12.30	Lunch

13.30	EU Race Equality Directive and the Framework Employment Directive
Definitions of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination,
harassment, and instructions to discriminate.
Scope of the directives
Race Equality Directive case study 1 in work groups (case study around
direct and indirect discrimination issues)

15.00	Coffee break

15.30	Elements of a discrimination case
The standard of proof
Using a comparator
Establishing a prima facie case
Situational testing
Objective justification and proportionality
Reversal of the burden of proof
Race Equality Directive Case study 2 in work groups (case study around
when the burden of proof shifts)

17.00	End of first day

Friday 20 May, 2005

09.00	Review of first day.  Introduction to second day.
09.30	EU Race Equality Directive and the Framework Employment Directive
	Effective remedies, compensation and sanctions
	Class action possibilities

10.30	Coffee break

11.00	The role of specialised equality bodies
Functions and responsibilities
Agency, Commission and Ombudsman models; covering single or multiple
grounds for discrimination

12.30	Lunch

13.30	EU Race Equality Directive and the Framework Employment Directive
Exceptions to the prohibition of discrimination: nationality,
occupational requirements, positive action
	Screening for compliance and reporting

14.30	Coffee break	

15.00	Referring a case to the European Court of Justice
Framing a question for the ECJ- law not sensitive to the facts
Relevant ECJ case law
Case study in work groups: The Corner House v. The Commission (ECJ case

17.00	Close of day two

Saturday 21 May, 2005

09.00	Review of second day.  Introduction to third day

09.30	Direct effect under EU law
Definition of Member state
Doctrine of indirect effect
Francovich liability

10.30   Coffee break

11.00   Principles and experience in strategic litigation
	Strategic litigation to achieve policy objectives
	Case selection criteria
	Choosing the forum for litigation
	Case management
	Post-litigation implementation 	

12.30	Lunch

13.30	Discussion on Practices at the national level
In work groups by country, then feedback to all participants
Is situational testing, tape recorded evidence and use of statistics
allowed in national jurisdictions

15.00	Coffee break
15.30	Examples of successful discrimination litigation

16.30	Conclusions and follow up.

17.00	Close of day three

Sunday 22 May, 2005

9:00	Optional session for those wishing to obtain additional advice or
assistance on litigation strategies in anti-discrimination law.

10:30	Close of seminar