When we put out more information in the public for how well the judiciary works for the people of Macedonia we help to raise the confidence of the public in the judicial system in Macedonia. That is why it is important for the Judicial Council of Macedonia to be continually transparent in its work of overseeing the work of judges in Macedonia.
These were the conclusions at the closing event we had today with the Institute of Human Rights of Macedonia marking the successful completion of the project dedicated to increasing the public oversight of the work of the Judicial Council of Macedonia.
Our ambassador Charles Garrett spoke at the official opening of the event along with judge Margarita Caca-Nikolovska who led this programme with her team at the Institute for the past year and a half. Their work was helpful for the Judicial Council to raise the public awareness about the role they have in protecting judicial independence.
In his speech our ambassador remarked:
I sometimes hear the argument that Macedonia will never have strong rule of law like Sweden or Germany or the UK because it is not a northern European country. That is a very self-limiting view. Aim low and you will achieve low. To achieve strong rule of law requires each institution and each individual to aim high, to be genuinely ambitious.
In four years in Macedonia, rule of law has been the topic I have spoken about more often than others. The reason is simple. Rule of law is the foundation for everything that makes up a stable, fair and prosperous society. It is also the basis for our security, for our precious rules-based international order, without which our world would be infinitely less certain and more dangerous. It needs constant attention and care.
Within this programme the Institute’s work has done much to raise public understanding about the Judicial Council. It has encouraged wide public debate about how the Council does its work. The project’s findings have informed the specific debate on amending the Law on the Judicial Council, on how to improve transparency, on how to strengthen the criteria for judicial appointments and many other factors.
Rule of law remains at the core of the programme assistance to Macedonia that the UK delivers. Except for this area the British Embassy in Macedonia runs programme support in several reform areas with the civil service, judiciary, human rights, democracy, social cohesion, public finance management, strengthening civil society and media.
You can find more information about our programme assistance here.