Professor András Sajó convened for the tenth time the Courts in Dialogue course for students in the Human Rights and Comparative Constitutional Law programs between January 12 and 15, 2020. The group was hosted at the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France) by Judge Péter Paczolay.
The course was designed to allow a first- hand insight into the operation of the European Court of Human Rights and into judicial decision-making from numerous perspectives. Students spent two days at the European Court of Human Rights. The program included a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of X and Others v. Bulgaria (no. 22457/16). In addition, the students attended classes by Judge Péter Paczolay, Professor Sajó and Olga Chernishova, a senior staff lawyer from the Registry. The video of the hearing can be watched here.
This is how students recall their experience:
“In today’s world of increasing uncertainty about fundamental values, the opportunity to have first-hand experience from the most influential Human Rights Court in the world meant a lot to me. The Courts in Dialogue course had paramount importance in understanding challenges and prospects that the ECtHR is coming across. In addition to participating in lectures provided by a serving judge of the Strasbourg Court, Registry personnel and Professor Sajó, the opportunity to attend a Grand Chamber hearing was a very rewarding experience. It was one of the most remarkable time in my academic life. I am so grateful to Professor András Sajó and Professor Eszter Polgári for their unwavering guidance.”
Temelso Gashaw Getahun (HR LL.M)
“The Courts in Dialogue course has been an exceptional and positive experience for me. Being for the first time at the European Courts of Human Rights in Strasbourg, as well as visiting it under the guidance of Prof. Sajó, Judge Paczolay, Olga Chernishova and Prof. Polgári, it provided us with a realistic view on the functioning of this Court. It was a lesson on the practical implications of human rights and current challenges, which would be difficult to fully understand in any other circumstances. At the same time, it was an uplifting experience to see our potential value in this field. Who knows, maybe we will attend future ECHR hearings, but in a professional capacity. Moreover, sharing the experience with other classmates made it even more fruitful. Thanks to CEU for this opportunity.”
Amparo Carrion Domenech (HR LL.M)
“The best part of the Court in Dialogue course for me was that I could witness a Grand Chamber hearing and gain first-hand experience on the operation of the European human rights system. Before and after the hearing, we discussed the relevant cases with our colleagues and developed novel arguments. Apart from studying, exploring beautiful Strasburg with my classmates was one of the greatest experiences in my life. Thank you CEU for such a great opportunity!”
Hale Gunay (HR LL.M)
“Courts in Dialogue enabled me to see the work of the ECtHR after reading and listening about it for so many years. It was very satisfying and fulfilling to have the experience of seeing the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR in action. Lectures by Prof. Sajó and Judge Paczolay have been helpful in understanding the intricate details of the Court and its relation to the Member State. I am grateful for this opportunity, I hope that it will last for many years to come and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all CCL and HR students in the future.”
Tahir Herenda (CCL LL.M)
“The Courts in Dialogue course was an amazing opportunity to experience the work of the European Court of Human Rights. Aside from gaining substantial theoretical knowledge on the European protection of human rights, we were able to gain insights into the ECtHR's daily work and hear more about the procedures and the challenges the Court is facing. Attending the Grand Chamber hearing and having lectures and discussions with Judge Péter Paczolay and Olga Chernishova from the Registry was a truly valuable experience.”
Emina Muminovic (HR LL.M)