The fifth Forum’s topic focused on the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, contained in Article 3 of the ECHR. Some of the major themes and issues discussed were: positive obligations on the State and the applicability of Article 3 in places of detention, ill- treatment of particularly vulnerable persons including children and those experiencing mental health issues, ill treatment in the context of immigration as well as the use of evidence extracted by torture in criminal proceedings.
The Fifth Regional Rule of Law Forum for South East Europe was held on the 16th and 17th of March 2018 in Skopje, North Macedonia, at the Marriott Hotel. The Forum, set up by the AIRE Centre and Civil Rights Defenders with the support of the British Government, Sweden, and the Regional Cooperation Council, provides a platform to promote the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) across South East Europe. The aim is to encourage regional cooperation in the strengthening of the rule of law and respect for human rights, and to assist the countries of South East Europe in the process of EU integration. The focus for the fifth Forum was the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, contained in Article 3 of the ECHR. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia were represented at the Forum. Participants from these countries included present and former judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court), presidents and judges of the national supreme courts and constitutional courts, directors of judicial training academies and institutions, government agents before the ECtHR, representatives of NGOs and prominent legal experts.’ Over one and a half days, presentations were given and panel discussions and interactive working groups took place giving participants opportunities to meet and contribute.