Professor Jim Murdoch of Glasgow University along with 5 trainers spent a week at the European Humanities University (EHU) teaching students the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and their practical application. After his third training at EHU, Murdoch said EHU students were “very motivated and actively engaged in discussions.”
The training was conducted in a new format whereby students of Glasgow University who will be graduating with degrees in European Law or Human Rights Law share their knowledge with EHU students in a friendly and easy to understand way.
“At the trainings, we try to see what would happen if the European Convention on Human Rights were implemented in Belarus. Here we use a lot of case studies, which is a practice that is not as developed in Europe,” says Murdoch.
Trainers present theoretical material about the European Convention on Human Rights. EHU students are then offered examples of real cases that have been examined by the European Court of Justice and are asked to judge the cases.
“EHU students impressed us a lot. There were really good discussions and students demonstrated a lot of progress in presenting their views in English,” said Katherine Annand, one of the student-trainers.
“This is a new experience for us. The understanding of international law standards and protection of human rights is not very high in Belarus. This is a great opportunity to learn more and develop oral speaking skills,” said Artiom Sergei, a fourth-year international law student at EHU who took part in the training.
The training at EHU is conducted with the hope that once Belarus becomes a member of the Council of Europe, EHU graduates will be legal professionals with the kind of knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights that could help introduce it into the legal system in Belarus.
The European Humanities University is a private, non-profit liberal arts university founded in Minsk in 1992. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the university has been headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania since authorities expelled it from Belarus in 2004. It serves nearly 2,000 mostly Belarusian students, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs and promoting research in the humanities and social sciences.