Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy

The Centre is an independent academic institution analysing human rights developments. It organizes conferences, issues a monthly Bulletin and informs about human rights in the Czech Republic and Europe, as well as in the rest of the world.

8.4.2019
Jan Lhotský

Professor Manfred Nowak is a widely respected human rights expert who in 2007 started to promote a reform of the UN human rights treaty bodies that would contain the establishment of the so-called World Court of Human Rights. How does he perceive this idea today?

The interview was published in March 2016, in Czech, now we also present it in English. 

The UN human rights treaty bodies are control mechanisms that monitor the respect for a number of human rights treaties at the universal level (e.g. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). However, the functioning of the treaty bodies is in the long-term, quite inefficient and therefore, Manfred Nowak suggests that in the future these committees (e.g. the Human Rights Committee) should focus mainly on reviewing state reports.

29.3.2019
Douglas Radcliff

The Absher App is an application launched by the Interior Ministry of the Saudi government in 2015. Some focus on how the app reduces bureaucracy while others emphasis the ability of the app to allow men to track the location of women. Since its release it has generated minimal public discussion, however, the debate has been increasing.

In order to fully understand and appreciate the significance of this App, one must first be familiar with the “guardianship laws” existent in Saudi Arabia. Very briefly, guardianship laws grant certain rights to a “guardian” of a woman. Every woman in Saudi Arabia, no matter how old she is, has a male guardian. This could be her father, husband, brother or son. This male guardian must give her permission to obtain passports, undergo various medical procedures and get married. Opponents to guardianship laws believe these laws give women a status similar to minors.

March Bulletin published

The March Bulletin opens with an interview with Věra Jourová, a Czech EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. What does she focus on within the given fields? Is it possible to effectively fight fake news? What topics does the Commission focus on within the area of human rights? Does the accession of the European Union to the European Convention of Human Rights belong among them?

Based on the current developments in the so-called Visegrad countries, including the Czech Republic, Aneta Frodlová explains, why independence of the judiciary is pivotal for a democratic state.

Furthermore, there are a number of articles regarding current human rights developments.  These articles are divided into the following four categories: International Criminal Justice; European System of Human Rights Protection; International Politics, Business and Human Rights; and the Czech Republic and Human Rights.

You can read the Bulletin in PDF version. The Bulletin is in the Czech language.

Human Rights Summer Schools 2019

Do you want to improve your curriculum, or do you simply want to spend the summer actively and learn something useful? We bring you an updated list of summer schools that focus on international human rights law, democratisation, and much more. The selection is diverse enough for everyone to find their favourite topic.

You can find list of summer schools here.

15.3.2019
Jan Lhotský

Jiří Malenovský is one of the most eminent Czech experts on European and International Law. He is a professor at the Faculty of Law at the Masaryk University, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic and a sitting judge on the Court of Justice of the EU.

The interview was published in February 2017, in Czech, now we also present it in English.

In addition, Professor Malenovský regularly publishes articles. In January 2017, his article was published in the journal, "The Lawyer". He reserved time for an interview with the Czech Center a few days before Christmas, when he arrived in the Czech Republic coming from Luxembourg. During the lunch interview, Professor Malenovský was willing to answer both professional and personal questions.

8.3.2019
Jan Lhotský, Beáta Bolyová

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Judge Tomka, born in Banská Bystrica, has been a Member of the Court since 2003; Vice-President of the Court from 2009 to 2012; and the President of the Court from 2012 to 2015.

In contentious cases, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) settles legal disputes that are submitted to it by States. The Court can only address a dispute when the States in question have recognised its jurisdiction. No State can therefore be a party to proceedings unless it has consented thereto.[1]

Hubert Smekal was appointed a member of the Government Council for Human Rights

Hubert Smekal, co-founder of the Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, was appointed a member of the Government Council for Human Rights after being approved by the Czech Government. The Council is the advisory body to the Government in issues related to human rights. The Council met after almost two years of inactivity.
In February, Hubert also represented the Masaryk University at the meeting of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC), in Venice.