Human rights

The European Commission wishes to make training material available which will be helpful both to legal practitioners for their own use and to the trainers of legal practitioners as a resource for their work in the field of human rights.

HELP website (Council of Europe)

The HELP (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals) website has been developed by the Council of Europe to support the training of all legal professionals in human rights law. The website was redesigned in November 2011 and the aim is for it to become a primary point of reference on this topic. All interested parties can log on to the website and access a large number of sources of information on training produced by the European Court of Human Rights. Information is available in a number of languages (including English, French and German) and includes training manuals on key concepts, specific issues, presentations and online training covering various articles and themes in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Users must register in order to access the website resources. An explanatory document is available in English to make it easier for new users to find their way around the site.

HELP in the 28 supports legal professionals from the EU in acquiring the knowledge and skills on how to refer to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Social Charter (ESC). The following training modules are available:

  1. Fight against Racism, Xenophobia, Homophobia and Transphobia
  2. Data protection
  3. Labour rights
  4. Right to the integrity of a person

Human rights handbooks for legal practitioners (Council of Europe)

Several handbooks have been developed by the Council of Europe with the aim of helping legal practitioners to gain better understanding of the European Convention on Human Rights and European Court of Human Rights case law.

These practical guides cover the following topics: the right to respect for private and family life, the right to a fair trial, the right to personal liberty and security, freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of expression, the right to property, the prohibition of torture, the right to life and the protection of migrants.

The handbooks are all available in English and most also in French.

Practical guide for lawyers appearing before the European Court of Human Rights (Council of Bar and Law Societies in Europe – CCBE)

The practical guide for lawyers appearing before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or the “Court”) is directed at lawyers intending to bring a case before the ECHR. The guide, which is a list of questions and answers, contains information and practical advice for proceedings before national courts prior to application to the ECHR, before the Court itself, and during the enforcement of the Court’s judgments.

A number of questions are covered in the handbook, including: at what stage of proceedings before national courts should human rights violations be pleaded under the European Convention of Human Rights; how to submit an application to the Court; the technical aspects of proceedings; and the role of a lawyer once a judgment has been rendered. Also included are reference to tools and resources available for parties and their lawyers.

Produced in partnership with the ECHR, the guide is available on the web site of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) in English and in French.

Administrative law training guidelines of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN)

The administrative law training guidelines are intended to serve as an up-to-date authoritative index of the most important legislation, case-law and relevant documentation in the various sub-fields of European administrative law. They aim to provide a valuable source of information for developing high-quality training in the field of administrative law across Europe and to serve as a handbook for judicial trainers and practitioners on the most recent developments in key areas of EU administrative law.

They include a sub-section on human and fundamental rights.

The fight against female genital mutilation

'United to end female genital mutilation' (UEFGM) e-learning tool

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is internationally recognised as a violation of women's human rights and a form of child abuse. Like any other form of gender-based violence, it constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, equality between women and men, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity, as defined by the World Health Organisation.

The 'United to end female genital mutilation' (UEFGM) e-learning course addresses the issue of FGM in the context of health and asylum services. Legal practitioners may be interested in the first two foundation modules, which provide an introduction to understanding FGM as a human rights issue and as a specific form of gender-based violence. Legal practitioners specialising in asylum law may be interested in the two specialised modules in the area of asylum.

The course is available in English, ItalianPortuguese, Greek, French, Swedish, Dutch and German.

Related link

European Judicial Training Network (EJTN)

Last update: 15/05/2019

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