The topic for this year’s programme is justice and fellows are investigating subjects as diverse as privatisation, organised crime, employment law, rape convictions and extradition treaties.
Applicants should explore issues surrounding justice in their country – in government, in business, within society, among interest groups, between individuals and within families – and draw parallels to the situation in neighbouring countries and the EU.
As Balkan states adjust to new economic and political realities, are all citizens equal before the law? Are all laws just? What of the impact on social justice issues such as access to education, equal opportunities and employment? Has the road to EU membership provided adequate protection for citizens at home and abroad?
With the establishment of international courts and tribunals, and the existence of myriad extradition agreements, jurisdictions now cross borders. While some may find it more difficult to dodge justice, do all criminals now have fewer places to hide? Does the threat of international legal action deter the abuse of human rights by governments?
The transitional economies of the western Balkans have, in the main, developed systems, values and legal frameworks that are broadly in line with those in the EU. However, unequal access to justice, haphazard investigation, weak enforcement and corruption are everyday realities. The task for our 2011 fellows will be to pitch fresh story ideas, which shed new light on regional and international justice.