30 October, 2017
In October, Dace Sulmane, Adviser to the Secretariat of the Council for the Judiciary, participated in the short-term exchange program organized by the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) in Brussels. The purpose of the program is to promote the capacity and understanding of the employees of the Councils for the Judiciary of Member States on the formation and organization of work agenda of the ENCJ, as well as the work of the institutions in Brussels.
The exchange program was for the first time offered for this short term (2 weeks), which allowed several candidates to apply. The previous proposed term of 2 months proved that it is relatively difficult for the employees to free such a long time period for gaining foreign experience.
Employees of the ENCJ Secretariat explained the operational objectives and actual work coordination and funding issues of the ENCJ. For example, the ENCJ's budget as from 2018 depended on project approval by the European Commission, which resulted in the preparation of audit documents.
During the program, it was possible to work at the ENCJ premises rented by the Belgian Council of Justice. There was an opportunity to visit the Supreme Court of Belgium and to listen to a number of first-instance court hearings in criminal cases and sittings headed by a judge of magistrates' court on family matters and issues regarding disabled persons.
A separate meeting was organized with representatives from the European Commission working with the EU Justice Scoreboard and coordinating progress of the Member States' in the field of justice. The Advisor to the Council for the Judiciary met the representative of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union, as well as visited the European Parliamentary Research Service and participated in the conference "Active Learning on the Charter of Human Rights through National Experience - Achievements and Future Steps".