On 14 July 2022, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, the international Justice Leaders’ Forum “Accountability and Innovation in a Time of Change” will be held in Riga, where justice leaders from several countries will discuss how to ensure the development of the justice sector in today’s changing environment. Special attention will be paid to the Russian war crimes investigation.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice J.Bordāns states: “Today, every country faces challenges at national and cross-border level, caused by the pandemic in the recent years and, for many countries, the national security threat posed by the Russian-led war in Ukraine. The future of justice is also unpredictable and the question of how to operate in times of change is a pressing one, hence the need to discuss with justice leaders from other countries how to build capacity among justice policy makers and justice service providers”.
The Forum will focus on the ability of leaders to take responsibility in times of change, ensuring the development of the justice sector in a changing environment. At the same time, the Leaders’ Forum will focus on the governance of justice institutions and access to services, sharing examples of best practice. Discussions will focus on lifelong learning and research opportunities to support the implementation of justice reforms. The discussions will focus in particular on what justice leaders can do to end the war in Ukraine and contribute to the restoration of the rule of law.
On 14 July, the first International Riga Justice Leaders Forum “Accountability and Innovation in a Time of Change” will take place, bringing together more than 35 justice leaders from around the world, the European Commission and major international organisations.
In response to the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, for the first time academics, decision-makers and legal practitioners will gather in Riga to discuss the ability of justice leaders to take responsibility and ensure the development of the justice sector in a changing environment. One of the core issues of the Forum is what needs to be done to restore the international legal order.
On 14 July at the House of the Blackheads in Riga, justice leaders will shape the future of the justice sector in three discussion sessions.
- The Forum will kick off with a session on “Innovation and Strategic Leadership for an Achievable Justice Sector in 2022: a Leaders’ Perspective”, where participants will discuss the questions: What are the challenges facing the justice sector? What shapes leadership at national and international level? What drives the development of the justice sector? Do the usual decision-making pathways work in extreme situations? Does the rule of law allow for deviations and to what extent? What shapes the next generation of leaders?
- In the second Forum discussion “Critical Factors for Successful Change”, participants will discuss the rule of law in the digital environment - are new standards of justice needed? What are the elements of a successful change process? What are the necessary resources for successful change management? How to foster a supportive environment for the sustainability of learning outcomes?
- The Forum will conclude with a discussion on “War Crimes Investigations and Sanctions Mechanisms towards Restoring the Rule of Law”. Justice leaders will seek legal instruments to contribute to ending the war and rebuilding Ukraine. War crimes investigations at international and national level. Does force create rights? Is there an obligation to respect rights also against those who flagrantly violate them? Is indirectly supporting war, including by financing an aggressor state, a war crime? Have all tools been used against the aggressor?
The Forum will also be streamed live on 14 July from 9.30 to 18.00 on the Ministry of Justice’s YouTube account.
For the agenda and a list of discussion participants, please see below.
The Riga Justice Leaders Forum is organized by the ESF project “Justice for Development” (No. 126.96.36.199/16/I/001).