Expert opinion

  • DE SALVIA Michel

    DE SALVIA Michel

    Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights (1998-2001), Vice-President of the International Institute for Human Rights

    Strasbourg, France

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Strasbourg and St. Petersburg

    The European Center for Legal Cooperation has entered the rank of organizations that, with great sagacity and alacrity, are engaged in the professional training and retraining of lawyers attentive to the issue of fundamental rights in Europe. CECJ began its activity with training programmes for Russian legal professionals. Numerous programmes, seminars and events of the CECJ, especially for representatives of the judiciary and the legal profession, are proof of many years of experience and testify to the efficiency and high professionalism achieved in the organization of such trainings. One can only wish that the experience gained in this area be applied as widely as possible to conduct training seminars for lawyers and advocates from other legal systems around the world.

  • REZNIK Genri

    REZNIK Genri

    President of the Moscow City Bar (2002-2015)
    Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of Russia
    Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation,
    Member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation

    Moscow, Russia

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Strasbourg, Tokyo, Paris, Bologna, Bari, Monaco, Nice, London, Milan, Rome, The Hague, St. Petersburg

    I have repeatedly acted as a speaker at CECJ events and each time they demonstrated excellent organization, careful and thoughtful selection of topics, and highly professional lecturers. As one of the leaders of the Russian Bar, I am invariably convinced of the exceptional usefulness of these classes for the practice of my colleagues. As the geography of attendees expanded and included lawyers from other countries, the events were constantly enriched with valuable professional communication, exchange of experience and establishment of business contacts.
    It is noteworthy that the numerous international CECJ projects in various areas of law were not born at the initiative of state bodies or generous grants, but thanks to passion, dedication and fantastic work of a limited group of people who, despite all unfavourable circumstances and existing obstacles, were able, among other things, to create a communication channel uniting lawyers from different countries and various international structures. As a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, it is important for me to note that the CECJ projects contribute in very effective and tangible way to the protection of human rights in the Russian Federation. That is why these projects deserve further development and public support. I am going, despite my not-so-young age, to prolong the pleasure of participating in the CECJ programmes.

  • Francesco BUFFA

    Francesco BUFFA

    UN Dispute Tribunal half-time judge; Justice of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation on secondment to the European Court of Human Rights; lecturer at the Sapienza University of Rome, author of multiple legal publications

    Rome, Italy

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Strasbourg and St. Petersburg

    I first learnt about the trainings and events organized by Ekaterina Safonova in 2012, when as a lawyer serving at the ECtHR I was part of the Italian delegation visiting the bilateral conference at the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg, together with such eminent lawyers as the First President and senior justices of the Italian Court of Cassation, justices of the Italian Constitutional Court, the President of the Court of Appeal of Rome, councillors of the National Bar Council, as well as officials and lawyers of the ECtHR. The Conference “Implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in National Judicial Systems: Experience of Italy and Russia” was, in fact, organized by Ekaterina Safonova’s team. The conference offered presentations by 20 speakers, including the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Zorkin, and had over 100 attendees from the legal community of St. Petersburg. The linguistic barriers were successfully overcome thanks to the skill of simultaneous interpreters. I cherish memories of the flawless organization of both the conference and our stay in general. We also appreciated the care with the which the organizers planned our stay including trips and excursions to discover the magnificent city of St. Petersburg. The conference was a part of a series of bi- and trilateral meetings organized by CECJ in France, Italy and Russia, in which I took part as a speaker. It actually was included in the official programme of events dedicated to cooperation between our countries. Since 2012 onwards I have participated several times as a speaker in the numerous trainings and events of the CECJ, organized for Italian lawyers at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and in Rome at the Court of Cassation. I find that the CECJ trainings are really useful for all legal practitioners who want to deepen their knowledge of international law and learn about the application of the European Convention on Human Rights. The multiparty dialogue and involvement of international experts promotes the value of knowledge and fosters direct cooperation, at the same time allowing the attendees to establish useful professional contacts.

  • PEROVA Natalia

    PEROVA Natalia

    FCIArb, PhD
    Barrister, Lamb Chambers

    London, Great Britain

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: "Поиск активов и исполнение судебных решений. Сравнительный анализ 20 стран"

    CECJ organizes events at a very high level in different locations around the globe. Despite all the difficulties associated with organizing events during the pandemic, CECJ was able to organize several in-person and online events. The organization always follows a clear plan aimed at making the event most useful and informative for the attendees.

    CECJ has a unique network of contacts around the world among practicing lawyers and other experts, including many well-known names and people with solid professional expertise in their field. This extensive network of contacts contributes to careful speaker selection for each seminar, gathering the most stimulating speakers who enrich the content of the seminars with their professional expertise and hands-on examples from their practice. These aspects will be undoubtedly useful to attendees faced with similar situations in their practice.

    Among the innovative ideas of the CECJ, one can highlight the emphasis on networking, communication and discussion of the topics raised with speakers and other attendees in the format of round tables, organized both in person and online. This format facilitates better understanding of the materials and successful application of new knowledge and skills. It also fosters professional contact exchange, which can develop into future cooperation in the professional field or even joint project work in an international legal team.

    Therefore, CECJ sets the stage for new knowledge and opens up opportunities for professional growth and cooperation at the international level.

  • KHODAKOV Alexander

    KHODAKOV Alexander

    Special Adviser to the Secretary of the International Criminal Court for Foreign Relations and Cooperation (2011-2015), Director of the Special Projects Department, later Secretary of the Governing Bodies, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2004-2011), Ambassador of Russia to the Netherlands (1998-2003)

    Hague, Netherlands

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: The Hague

    Trainings organized by the CECJ in The Hague are of great interest to legal practitioners. They allow you to learn — and not in a superficial but in a rather detailed way — about operation of international legal institutions, their procedures and judicial decision-making process, and, finally to find out about the latest case-law. It is encouraging that the programme is not limited to such well-known institutions as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but also includes lesser-known but very interesting organizations, such as the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Many issues included in the programme are stimulating from the practical standpoint, such as tackling child abduction, matters of parental responsibility, etc. Finally, the programme also featured a visit to the International Criminal Court, the operation of which is not sufficiently well-known among many lawyers.
    Summarising, I can say that such educational programmes significantly broaden the mental horizons of participants.

  • KIPNIS Nikolay

    KIPNIS Nikolay

    Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Associate Professor, Member of the Moscow City Bar, Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Procedure Law of the O.E. Kutafin University (Moscow State Law Academy)

    Moscow, Russia

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Strasbourg, Paris, St. Petersburg, Bologna, Bari, London, Milan, Rome, The Hague, Washington and New York

    CECJ projects allow a wide range of lawyers to become familiar with the case-law of the ECtHR and to apply it in their practice in Russia. During the classes the attending lawyers receive information on how to apply to the European Court and how to navigate through the admissibility criteria for applications. It is of paramount importance that they also learn how the case-law of the ECtHR can be evoked in national practice (bypassing the ECtHR), which is relevant, for example, for criminal lawyers working with evidence. This is extremely relevant because the global idea underlying the creation and functioning of the European Court is not to attract all-encompassing individual petitions before the ECtHR, but to ensure that citizens and state bodies know the case-law of the European Court and prevent such violations, thus effectively eliminating preconditions for an application before the ECtHR. We need to leave room for the Court to identify new controversial legal areas, unburdened by the load of endlessly identical cases generated by the stubborn unwillingness of a particular state to comply with previous judgments. In other words, lawyers attending the CECJ programmes get an idea not only about the admissibility criteria, the application procedure and single cases, but also learn how to apply the case-law of the Court in domestic legal proceedings in specific cases, well before the Russian judges may make a controversial final ruling creating a precondition to apply to the ECtHR.

    It is particularly noteworthy that the attendees, in compliance with professional ethics, get an opportunity to ask questions to the staff of the European Court working on document drafts, and to exchange experience with legal professionals involved in the formation of a unified case-law of this international body.

  • KOVLER Anatoliy

    KOVLER Anatoliy

    Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights elected in respect of the Russian Federation (1999-2012), Doctor of Law, Professor, Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Member of the Presidium of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation

    Moscow, Russia

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Strasbourg

    As a judge of the European Court of Human Rights (1999-2012), I have repeatedly participated in seminars organized by the European Center for Legal Cooperation. The seminars cover both general problems of interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights and practical issues of applying to the European Court. The programme attendees receive a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of the Convention at the national level and the functioning of the European system for the protection of human rights and freedoms in general. The level of organization of the seminars is the highest: the programme takes into account the profiles of the attendees, and the schedule is punctually abided by and observed. The fact that the seminars have been going on for several years, and their geography and the number of attendees are always expanding, speaks of the undoubted practical benefits of this form of “inclusive learning”.



    PhD, lawyer of the Czech Chamber of Lawyers, member of the European Association of Criminal Lawyers, member of the Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum - DELF, lecturer in the course “Law and Practice of Extradition”, the first European national to receive the John Humphrey Human Rights Prize (Canada).
    Candidate for the President of the Republic of Belarus in 2010

    Prague, Czech Republic

    Speaker of CECJ seminar in: Istanbul

    I learned about CECJ from my colleagues and I was glad to take part in a seminar in Istanbul in April 2021 with a lecture on the specifics of lawyers’ interaction with Interpol and extradition proceedings. The event was organized at the highest level, especially given the limitations of the ongoing pandemic. This was evident in everything: questions and discussions, the geography of the participants, the talks by other speakers. The attendees were really interested in the practical topics that we discussed, and we got many pertinent questions from the participants. It was really pleasant for me as a speaker to work with the CECJ audience in this format. I also found stimulating the speeches of colleagues from different countries.

    Such seminars are a great opportunity for international counsel and lawyers to update their professional qualifications. With the help of the European Centre for Legal Cooperation, you get access to precious information and understand the state-of-the art situation of international law.

    Notably, here you can establish truly invaluable connections with competent lawyers practicing in a given field. International CECJ events provide excellent opportunities to create a dialogue among lawyers from different countries, to exchange experience, new ideas and projects, as well as to foster rapport and mutual understanding among the most diverse representatives of the international legal community.

    I wish CECJ that the geography of your events and the number of new attendees extend and expand every year.