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Panel Discussion: International Law from a Visegrád Perspective

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On 7 November, 2017 the Embassy of Hungary in the Netherlands organized a panel discussion entitled “International Law from a Visegrád Perspective” at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. The event was organized in the framework of the Hungarian presidency of the Visegrád Group with more than 130 participants attending from diplomatic missions, international courts and think tanks in The Hague.

At this panel discussion, a distinguished panel of judges from all the Visegrád countries discussed the legal traditions in Visegrád countries and their current influence on international law, as well as how the national experience of judges influences the international courts and tribunals in The Hague.

Ms. Réka Varga, Head of the International Law Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, moderated the event.

The first panellist, the Polish judge of the International Criminal Court, Piotr Hofmański gave an introductory speech on the influence of Central European judges and experts on the development of the international criminal justice. The Hungarian judge of the International Criminal Court, Péter Kovács shared his thoughts on the development of international law in former Soviet-influenced countries. In his statement, he gave a fine overview on how the attitude of the Visegrád countries changed towards the international law in the past decades.

Ivana Hrdličková, the Czech President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon spoke about the current challenges facing international courts. She identified the political and financial credibility as the biggest challenge. To manage this challenge transparency, efficiency and accountability are the best remedies.

From the Slovak Republic, Judge Peter Tomka working at the International Court of Justice enumerated the most influential jurists of the Visegrád countries who shaped the world of international law. He highlighted that Poland was the most active country at the Permanent Court of International Justice, the predecessor of the International Court of Justice. He emphasized that the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established in December 1966 upon Hungarian initiative.

The Ambassador of Hungary to the Netherlands His Excellency Mr. András Kocsis concluded the event by thanking the panellists and participants for their insightful comments and remarks.

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