Meeting of the Network of Young Judges in Montenegro Network of Young Judges in Montenegro: New generation stands guard over the rule of law The coastal town of Budva has hosted today a meeting of the Network of Young Judges in Montenegro, an informal group of newly-elected judges brought together to support an exchange of opinion, promote good practice and implement education programmes to enhance the application of law and build up judicial skills. Today and tomorrow 26 members of the Network are joining the conference in Budva. The Network is the result of cooperation between the London-based AIRE Centre and the Centre for Training in Judiciary and State Prosecution Service, underpinned by the UK government. The British ambassador to Montenegro, Karen Maddocks, launched the event with her opening remarks. “The role of young people is important in any system – you bring the new energy that can reshape the way systems operate, and respond to the needs of new generations. This is particularly important in Montenegro. The past few months have made it clear that a functional judiciary is key to your progress on the path to the European Union. You are the individuals accelerating the process. The expectation is that you will act independently and gain the trust of the citizens. It’s not an easy feat, but you can rely on our support,” Ambassador Maddocks underlined in her speech. Speaking at the conference are the judges Dušanka Radović, Senka Danilović, Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, Zlatko Knežević, Miroslav Bašović and Milorad Popović – the prominent experts in their respective fields, who will share their knowledge, experience and best practices with the young judges. The Network of Young Judges involves the judges elected under a new election and appointment system, who have completed our Initial Training Programme and have under four years of work experience as judges. It is our duty to enhance the knowledge of judges in order to build the capacity of courts to try cases, honouring the accepted standards of international law and human rights. The goal is to help young judges at the early stages of their career to gain new knowledge and skills and, by facilitating an exchange of opinions between them, make it easier for them to respond to all the challenges lying ahead,” said the president of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Training in Judiciary and State Prosecution Service, Ljiljana Lakić. Judges are expected to demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and ethics, along with the knowledge of not only national legislation, but also sources of international law and practice of relevant international institutions. The AIRE Centre, playing an important role in supporting this initiative of young judges in Montenegro, has recognised this. “It is encouraging that we have a new generation of judges having a keen interest in developing best practices in the fight against corruption and organised crime. It is very important that experts from across the region have joined us today. We can learn a lot from each other, and I am confident that the region will soon adopt the good practice arising from what the judges of Montenegro have already initiated through the Network. Seminars, workshops, research papers and, above all, building ties and discussing dilemmas, challenges and issues practitioners have been facing, constitute a foundation upon which to build the Network in the future,” Secretary of the Network Tijana Badnjar shared information on conference activities, opening the working part of the event. “The Network of Young Judges has been born as a type of support to our work, but it is very important for us that the Network is a way to recognize the potential of Montenegro’s young judiciary,” Badnjar underlined. The programme continues tomorrow, when the members of the Network will reach a consensus as to how to continue their activities, expand membership and solidify plans for 2022.