As CRIMHUM continues its preparatory work and looks forward to full project registration in Belarus and Ukraine, some first student feedback was collected by Dr. Thomas Krüßmann, CRIMHUM manager at the University of Graz when he visited the Law Faculty of Belarusian State University from 16-20 September 2019. The visit was funded by the EU through the MOST project implemented by Goethe Institut in Minsk. Its goal was to offer consultations to faculty members and doctoral students, teach a series of lectures to Master students and also to work with a group of bachelor students who were in their 4th year. If CRIMHUM develops according to plan, these students will be the first ones to enjoy the possibility to study on the Master level with the specialization “Prosecution and investigation”.

Thus, on two days (19-20 September) students followed an introductory class (in Russian) on the topic “Basic principles of criminal law and procedure in the understanding of the European Court of Human Rights”. The main idea of this teaching was to develop an idea that had been announced earlier during the opening of the IX. International Summer University with colleagues from Potsdam (CRIMHUM representative Prof. Dr. Uwe Hellmann) and from Paris-Nanterre: the idea of “legal thinking” as opposed to “knowing the law”. Human rights is a topic that is very suitable to emphasize the importance of legal thinking because human rights are generally seen as not operational and not having any practical weight while the interpretation of critical issues is leaning more to “official” court and executive positions.

As a case study, students were introduced to some of the materials that are currently under preparation for one of the CRIMHUM course books: the problem of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, in particularly with regard to the issue of criminalization of members of search and rescue teams as “facilitators” of illegal migration. During the second day, students split into four groups and decided whether they wanted to argue in favour of the position of the then Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, or the captain of the Sea Watch-3, Carola Rackete. The students were very active, but it came as quite a surprise that at first all groups opted to represent the legal opinion of Salvini. Undeniably, there was a larger willingness to defend the interests of the state than in supporting migrants based on some concept of human rights. It was only in the course of debates that the positions began to shift and some students took an interest in defending the interests of Rackete and the migrants who had been rescued by her action.

From a didactical point of view, the experience of testing new materials and issues that are in the vanguard of human rights problems today should not be underestimated. Taking these first steps was a great encouragement also to the CRIMHUM coursebook authors who see their work, even at this very early stage, having an impact and modernizing legal education in the professional spheres of the criminal justice system.

 

On August 27, 2019, the Commission on International Technical Co-operation under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus recommended for approving the project "Modernisation of master programmes for future judges, prosecutors, investigators with respect to European standard on human rights" (CRIMHUM) as international technical assistance.

 

This decision was supported on November 19, 2019 by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (resolution No. 774, registered in the National Register of Normative Legal Acts on November 19, 2019 under No. 5/47365; published on November 20, 2019).

Since November 19, 2019, the activities carried out within the framework of the project in Belarus fall under the legislation on international technical assistance and the project is recognized by the state.

 

 

November 21, 2019 as part of Mr. Ralf Rahders, Head of the Unit Erasmus+: Higher Education - International Capacity Building of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), visit to Belarus the monitoring of the project “Modernisation of master programmes for future judges, prosecutors, investigators with respect to European standard on human rights” (CRIMHUM) was held by the National Erasmus+ Office in Belarus. The event was attended by CRIMHUM project managers Aleh Maroz and Vadzim Samaryn, as well as representatives of project teams from the Belarusian State University (senior lecturer of the Department of Criminal Law, Master of Laws Kiryl Zakhilko) and Hrodna State University named after Yanka Kupala (Associate Professor of the Department of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminalistics, Candidate of Legal Sciences Uladzimir Sorkin).

 

After greeting by the Head of the National Erasmus + Office, Alena Belanovich, the project itself and the level of its development were presented by the project quality manager Vadzim Samaryn.

The presentation ended with a discussion on the financial management of Erasmus + projects. Mr. Ralf Rahders asked questions about the feasibility of the project.

 

 

Kiryl Zakhilko presented the results of a survey of graduates, laid the foundation for the Concept of the master's program in criminal justice (version - Belarus).

 

In general, the development of the project was evaluated positively.

  

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Even before CRIMHUM was officially registered in Belarus on 20 November 2019, the preparations and dissemination activities continued. Thus, on 18 and 19 November 2019 the CRIMHUM project manager, Dr. Thomas Krüßmann, taught a series of lectures at the Law Faculty of Shota Rustaveli State University of Batumi (Georgia). The students, mostly on the bachelor level, were the first ones to be introduced to the first chapter of CRIMHUM Course book no. 8 “European Criminal Law and Procedure” that had just recently been finished. The purpose was not only to translate this chapter into a lecture, but to get critical feedback on teaching the Europeanisation of criminal law to an audience that had little earlier knowledge on the EU and its institutional development. Therefore, one goal was to summarize the institutional developments from the earliest Communities up to the Constitutional Treaty in order to explain the characteristic features of the Lisbon treaty. Discussions on the widening gap between “Europhiles” and ordinary people in the Member states also helped to explain the rise of populism as well as Brexit.

On the second day, the class offered a revised version of the case on criminalising search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean in light of human rights obligations. These materials had been earlier used for teaching purposes in Minsk, but there were only Russian-language materials available. Now the case is fully equipped for an English-language audience, in order to be subsequently used and elaborated in the second chapter of the aforementioned CRIMHUM Course Book No. 8.

The teaching was generously supported by a grant from the Regional Government of Adjara. In addition, Dr. Krüßmann was asked to join the faculty of a new Master in European Studies programme that Shota Rustaveli State University is preparing as a joint degree programme together with Mykolas Romeris University in Vilna. By agreeing to be involved in this programme for the discipline of European criminal law, the CRIMHUM results will be disseminated also outside the Partner countries Ukraine and Belarus. A special thank you is due to Dean Prof. Levan Jakeli, former Dean Prof. Adam Makharadze and Prof. Omar Phartenadze.

 

 

 

December 18-19, 2019 at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Kharkiv, Ukraine) a two-day Evaluation seminar was held under the CRIMHUM project.

The seminar was attended by representatives of partner universities: Project managers prof. Thomas Krüssmann (Graz University, Austria), assoc. Vadzim Samaryn and assoc. Aleh Maroz (Belarusian State University, Belarus), as well as assoc. Ryhor Tratsiakou and assoc. Uladzimir Sorkin (Yanka Kupala Hrodna State University named, Belarus), representative of the Ivan Franko Lviv National University as the national coordinator of the project assoc. Vasyl Lutsyk and Vice-Rector for International Relations of the National University of Odessa Law Academy prof. Vyacheslav Tulyakov. The Yaroslav the Mudryi National Law University was represented by members of the working group on the project prof. Bogdan Golovkin (team leader), prof. Dmitry Lukyanov, assoc. Elena Kharitonova, assoc. Alexander Chastnik and assoc. Alla Grinchak (project coordinator).

At the beginning of the meeting Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs prof. Yuri Barabash greeted the participants. During the meeting, issues on the status of the project were discussed, existing results were assessed, coordinating further actions for the successful development of the project.

 

The national Concepts of the master's program and the results of a survey of students and graduates in Belarus and Ukraine were discussed. The structure of the prepared course books was analyzed. Project Quality Manager Vadzim Samaryn made suggestions on the content of the course books, as well as on the implementation of a mechanism for assessing the quality of prepared books.

 

As part of the acquaintance with the university and the training of students within the seminar tours to the university’s art gallery, its extensive library with a collection of dissertations and rare books, as well as the forensic museum, were conducted. 

 

You can also enjoy a video about our event.

   

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