Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
The Centre is an independent academic institution monitoring human rights developments both domestically and worldwide, issuing a monthly Bulletin, as well as organizing conferences.
The Czech Republic remains as one of the leading countries in the international weapons trade, particularly the distribution of small arms worldwide. Problematically, this includes exports to countries with highly contentious human rights records. Is this compatible with the Czech foreign policy based on the support of human rights? Are we legitimizing oppressive regimes? And can we strike a balance between protecting human rights and restricting arms trade, when often, arms are also used for defense?
At the end of February 2017, a member of The Czech Center for Human Rights and Democratization, Helena Kopecká, commenced her UN internship at The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, at the Department of the Co-Prosecutors. She namely works under the established American prosecutor, Nicholas Koumjian. Helena takes part in the creation of research drafts regarding crimes against humanity. Currently she is specializing in matters concerning forced labour.
In September 2016, Hubert Smekal and Katarína Šipulová represented The Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy at the Conference of AHRI (The Association of Human Rights Institutes) which took place in Utrecht. Besides participating in seminars and meetings with other organizations, they displayed some of the research activities of the Centre. Presenting a paper regarding the implementation of international human rights law set out by the constitutional courts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, centre members showed how international human rights law influenced constitutional courts. Such observations included the forming of important standpoints regarding lustrations, restitutions or the opening of archives belonging to StB. Members of the Centre also gained also many valuable insights and perspectives during the conference.
Dear readers, we are proud to present to you the 2015 issue of the Czech Republic Human Rights review. Despite the delay in its publication, we hope that you will find articles that will be of interest to you. And as is also stated in the editorial of this issue, we vow to deliver information about Czech human rights related events from following periods in a much timely manner. The 2015 issue starts with a leading article from Adam Blisa who reflects on significant events or situations that occurred in 2015 in the Czech Republic, which often put Czech society’s values and morals to a challenging test. You will also find information on the detention of foreigners in the Czech Republic and a rally that took place on a significant national holiday, that incited an important public debate on the state of freedom of expression in the Czech Republic. Other articles in this publication focus on the developments in discrimination cases in the Czech Republic or president Zeman’s state visit to Azerbaijan. We wish you an enjoyable reading.
Do not hesitate and read the Review.
The Center's members Hubert Smekal and Ladislav Vyhnánek published an article in the prestigious journal Cambridge University's European Constitutional Law Review which deals with the Czech Constitutional Court's judgment on the 5% threshold in the 2014 European Parliament elections. The article is available here.
Hubert Smekal, a member of the Centre, will be delivering a lecture next week at the Challenges of Europe course, organized by the Utrecht University in the Croatian Dubrivnik. For more information on the course, follow the link.
Photo: Flo, CC BY-SA 3.0
As the summer approaches, for those who do not want to spend it by the sea we bring an up-to-date list of summer schools devoted to studying human rights, democratisation and much more. The selection is diverse enough for everyone to find his or her own favourite. Do not hesitate – the deadlines of most of the schools are approaching quickly!
You can find the list in the Research –> Summer Schools section, or you can simply click here.
Photo: William Simpson, public domain