Keynote Speakers

Judge Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights, elected to the Court in 2013 with respect to Iceland. Before taking up his judicial office he served as Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland from 2009-2010 and again in 2013. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Iceland, from 2010-2013, and was appointed professor of law in 2006. He was chairman of the Standing Committee of Experts in Criminal Law in the Icelandic Ministry of Justice from 2003-2009 and from 2011-2013. He was also the Icelandic delegate to the European Committee on Crime Problems and an Independent Expert to the Lanzarote Committee of the Council of Europe. Judge Spano is a graduate of the University of Iceland and of the University of Oxford. 

Forum Founders

Biljana Braithwaite is the Western Balkans Programme Director at the AIRE Centre. She has over twenty years’ experience developing, funding and delivering more than fifty rule of law projects, ranging from strengthening national judiciaries and other forms of technical assistance, human rights training, legislative reform, and the fight against corruption, often in partnership with local civil society. A lawyer by training with degrees from Belgrade University and Lund University’s Raul Wallenberg Institute, Biljana began her career at the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and has been associated with the AIRE Centre since 1998. She founded and co-edits the professional legal bulletin, Human Rights in Europe, now over 150 editions.  She has also co-edited a series of guides for judges, decision makers and practitioners in South East Europe on freedom of expression, international child protection, and European asylum law.  She is a member of the boards of the AIRE Centre USA and the International Bridges to Justice. 

Goran Miletić is Director for Europe at Stockholm-based human rights organization, Civil Rights Defenders. Since 2004, he has helped lead the organisation’s efforts in the Western Balkans, cooperating and providing capacity for human rights organisations actoss the region. During this time, he has been particularly engaged in drafting and lobbying for the adoption of inclusive anti-discrimination legislation in the Western Balkans and is a member of the European Commission of Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) and Expert Council of NGO Law within the Council of Europe. Since its establishment, he is member of the Board of Heartefact Foundation.

Forum Panellists

Dr. Pavel Usvatov is the director of the Rule of Law Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation.  Before starting his work for KAS, Pavel Usvatov worked as a freelance consultant and lecturer as well as an associate professor (postdoc) at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. Previously, he worked as a legal consultant and professor of administrative law for GIZ in a project on administrative law reform in the South Caucasus in Baku. Before that, he worked for several years as a commercial lawyer in Hamburg.

Pavel Usvatov studied law and Eastern European studies in Hamburg and Bilbao. He then completed graduate studies at the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law (University of Hamburg) on a full scholarship and received his doctorate there in 2019. His comparative law dissertation on state financial control in Germany and Russia was awarded the Dissertation Prize of the German-Russian Lawyers’ Association in 2020.

Ledi Bianku is an associate Professor at the University of Strasbourg. From 2008-2019 he was Judge at the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Albania. He served previously as Member of the Venice Commission for the Democracy through Law from 2006-2008. He also chaired the National Audio-visual Authority from 2006-2007. He taught Public International Law, EU law and Human Rights law at the Tirana Law Faculty and the Albanian School of Magistrates from 1993-2007. He also served as legal advisor for various national and international bodies.

Mr. Bianku is a graduate from Tirana University and College of Europe in Bruges.

Judge Ksenija Turković is section president as well as vice-president at the European Court of Human Rights. She graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb (1987), holds an LL.M. and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School. She worked as Legal Counsel for Hunton & Williams (New York) and was Associate in General Corporate Practice, Sullivan & Cromwell (New York). Since 1987 she has been lecturing on criminal law, criminology, victimology and health law at the University of Zagreb and she became full professor in 2008. She was a head of the expert team drafting new Croatian Criminal Code (2009-2012). She published four textbooks (co-author), three books (editor with contribution), one law commentary (principal author) and over 50 papers in international and domestic journals in the areas of criminal law, medical law and ethics, criminology, victimology and human rights. 

 Judge Tim Eicke was elected judge in respect of the United Kingdom of the European Court of Human Rights in September 2016. He became a Barrister in London in 1993, a Q.C. in 2011 and a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2014. He formerly served as Junior Counsel to the Crown as well as on the panel of counsel for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Tim Eicke was also long-time editor of the European Human Rights Reports. He studied law at the University of Passau, Germany and the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, where he graduated with an LL.B. (Hons) in English law.   

Judge Ivana Jelić was elected judge in respect of Montenegero at the European Court of Human Rights in July 2018. She is a member of Legal Sciences Committee of Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, as of 2015. Before joining the Court, she was employed as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Montenegro. She studied law at the University of Montenegro, University of Belgrade, Berkeley Law School of the UC Berkeley and Columbia Low School in New York, as a JFDP fellow. She holds LL.M (2004) and PhD (2007) degrees in law, Belgrade Law School of University of Belgrade, Serbia. 

Judge Faris Vehabovic was elected judge in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the European Court of Human Rights in 2012. From 1996 to 2000 he worked as a legal advisor in the office of the Bosnian ombudsman for human rights issues. From 2001 to 2007 he worked as the Registrar of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2005 he obtained the title Master of European Studies as part of an interdisciplinary course at the Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna. From 2007 to 2012 Vehabović was a judge at the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 2008 also its vice-president.  He studied law at the University of Sarajevo from 1987, where he graduated in 1993.

Judge Erik Wennerström was born in Sweden in 1962. </span></sup><sup><span lang=”EN-GB”>He is a Doctor of Laws in International law, EU law and legal jurisprudence. He has been Director for International Relations and EU affairs at the Ministry of Justice, and Head of International Law Enforcement Affairs at the Ministry of Justice and Interior (2007-2011) and Principal Legal Adviser on International Law at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2007-2012). From 2012 he has served as Director General at the National Council for Crime Prevention. Erik Wennerström has also served as board member in numerous international organisations. He was elected judge at the European Court of Human Rights in April 2019.

Judge Paul Lemmens is the elected judge in respect of Belgium at the European Court of Human Rights. He was a member of the Brussels bar and later a judge at the Council of State (supreme administrative court) of Belgium. He is an emeritus professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he teaches human rights law since 1986. He has been a member of the UNMIK Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo from 2007 till 2012.

Judge Branko Lubarda was elected judge in respect of Serbia at the European Court of Human Rights in January 2015. From 2013-2015 he served as President of the Board of Anticorruption Agency in Serbia. Previously was a member of the Serbian State Board for the prevention of conflict of interests between 2005 and 2009. He graduated, completed his Masters and PhD from the Law School of the University of Belgrade, where he became an Assistant Professor in 1992.

Judge Jovan Ilievski was elected judge in respect of North Macedonia at the European Court of Human Rights in February 2017. From 2004 to 2017, he was Representative of the Public Prosecutors Office in the South East European Prosecutors Advisory Group (SEEPAG) from its founding; as of 1 January 2012, a chairman of this body. From 2006 to 2017, he was Member of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) within the Council of Europe. In 2013, he obtained his Ph.D in criminal law from the University of Skopje. Previously, he spent much of his career with the Public Prosecution Office in Skopje, serving as the head of the Basic Public Prosecution Office for prosecuting organised crime and corruption from 2012 to 2017. From 2013 to 2017, he was Professor at the State University of Štip. In 2015, he served as President of the Commission for harmonization of penal policy.

Judge Darian Pavli has served as judge of the European Court of Human Rights, elected in respect of Albania, since January 2019. Before joining the Court, Judge Pavli had an extensive human rights law practice, which included litigation before leading international and regional human rights mechanisms. His practice maintained a strong focus on freedom of expression and association, and national security-related restrictions of rights, among others. He has also contributed to various standard-setting efforts in Europe, the Americas and other regions. In recent years, Judge Pavli advised the Parliament of Albania on matters related to major justice reforms, as well as defamation and freedom of information law reforms. Judge Pavli holds advanced law degrees from Central European University and New York University Law School.

Krešimir Kamber obtained a Master of Laws diploma from the Rijeka University Faculty of Law (Croatia) where he also finished further studies in criminal sciences and criminal law. He obtained his PhD from the Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology (Belgium) after completing a research in the field of human rights law and procedural criminal justice. 

He works as a lawyer in the Directorate of Jurisconsult of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, and holds the position of a postdoctoral research fellow in the Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology. Previously he worked as a legal officer in the Zagreb Municipal State Attorney’s Office (Croatia).

He has published several papers and co-authored several books and regularly gives lectures on various issues of human rights law and criminal justice. He also participates in various initiatives of the Council of Europe, as well as those of the governmental and non-governmental sectors on the issues related to human rights and criminal justice.

Mr Thomas Markert recently retired as Director and Secretary of the Venice Commission. He studied at the University of Tübingen, the College of Europe in Bruges and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, USA. He obtained a Doctorate of Law of Tübingen University in 1989. He joined the Council of Europe in 1989 and worked for the Venice Commission as from 1992. He was appointed Head of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission in 2010. Thomas Markert took part in the drafting of the Constitution of Albania, various constitutional texts for Kosovo, the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro, the Ohrid Framework Agreement in Macedonia as well as proposals to amend the Dayton Constitution in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska was elected to the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia in March 2020.  From February 2008- February 2017, she was Judge, at the European Court of Human Rights. From November 2015 – February 2017, she was President of First Section of the European Court of Human Rights. From 2003 to 2008 she was a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia. From 2001- 2003, she was the Head of Department on Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2002 to 2003 she was President of the State Election Commission in the Republic of Macedonia. In May 2018, she was visiting Professor of Human Rights at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. In 2017, she was a visiting fellow to the Faculty of Law at the Birmingham University, UK and Faculty of Law at the Catholic University in Lille, France.

 She was a Member of the European Commission on Democracy true Law (Venice Commission). She was a Deputy Chair of Council of Democratic Elections, Member of Steering Committee on Human Rights at the Council of Europe; Member of the Working group of the COE Committee of Experts on Nationality (CJ-NA-GT) working on the Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State Succession.