As the Project “The Portrait of a Judge” approaches its final phase, the last in-person meeting of the experts was hosted by the expertise partner of the Project – University of Oslo on 8-10 January, 2024.
The meeting served as a platform and an opportunity to review the results achieved: the model of competences, the relevance of country-specific expert recommendations to the countries beneficiaries, tools and templates developed, including a self-evaluation tool for judges and candidates to the judiciary and the publications, as well as to plan for the last country-specific activities. It is necessary to underline that experts have attested that positive tangible results are already visible:
- in Albania the research of the Project gave an impulse to legislative changes with regard to appointment and evaluation of presidents of courts;
- in Czech Republic, it sparked a debate on the existing recruitment system of judges (including advertising of open positions) and evaluation of judges;
- in Lithuania, use is made of the templates developed.
The Oslo university experts have also provided an invaluable opportunity to hear the insights on the procedure of selection and appointment of judges in Norway, presented by Chief Judge and Head of the Judicial Appointments Board Mr. Arnfinn Agnalt, which gave food-for-though for the closing event of the Project in Lithuania, dedicated to desired changes in the judicial selection. The Project expert team is also grateful to Prof. H. P. Graver for his contribution on the decay on the rule of law and the relevance of independent judiciary.