Recently Media Law Institute (MLI, www.medialaw.kiev.ua) in partnershipwith International Media Support (IMS, www.i-m-s.dk) organized a studyvisit for 15 selected media lawyers from Ukraine to international institutions andnon-governmental organizations, situated in Strasbourg, France.
MLI selected the most active students of its annualInternational Media Law Summer Schools, who are experienced in legal issues ofthe freedom of expression and media. The aim of their visit to Strasbourg wasto broaden their professional knowledge and skills by direct communication withthe representatives of European organizations, dealing with freedom ofexpression.
During November 13-18, 2011, thegroup visited the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights, the European Ombudsman and the European AudiovisualObservatory. The participants have also met Ms. Hanna Yudkivska, the Ukrainianjudge of the ECHR.
The presentations and discussions within the said visits dealt with theinternational standards of the freedom of speech and information protection,the practical aspects of the institutions’ work, proceedings in the court casesetc.
One of the most interesting events was the attendanceof the ECHR hearing in the case MouvementRaelien Suisse v. Switzerland. This case gathered the unique audience ofmore than 500 people, who watched the hearing. The Ukrainian group had an opportunityto observe all the proceeding and share their views on the case circumstances.
Everybody in the group expressed their satisfaction with the study visit. Explorationof the European standards and practices of freedom of speech protection is amatter of big importance for Ukrainian media lawyers. Hopefully, this newknowledge will help them achieve greater success in their future work.