WHO WE ARE
The Gender Champions in the Judiciary Network (GCJ Network) is a regional network of women and men judges in the Western Balkans committed to advancing gender equality. The Network was founded in 2022 and is the first of its kind in the region.
The GCJ Network was developed as a part of the Equality and Fight Against GBV and Femicides in the Western Balkans project, funded by the UK Government. The project aims to increase access to justice for victims and survivors of GBV through increased understanding of gender issues amongst the judiciary of the Western Balkans. The project aim will be achieved through:
- analytical work aimed to establish gaps in compliance with good practice and international standards;
- increasing the alignment of caselaw in WB6 on GBV and femicides with good practice of the European Court of Human Rights and international standards;
- increasing knowledge and awareness of gender issues amongst judges and other court practitioners;
- mainstreaming gender equality across all court practices.
The GCJ Network operates across the six jurisdictions of the Western Balkans, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
Founded by the AIRE Centre in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institutes in each jurisdiction, the Network is managed by a Regional Board comprising senior experts from across the region and is supported by of a Board of Patrons, made up of eminent jurists, including from the European Court of Human Rights.
WHAT WE DO
The GCJ Network provides opportunities for strengthening links, collaboration and the sharing of best practices amongst judges and legal practitioners in the region. We work closely with Judicial Training Institutes (JTIs) in the region to deliver targeted training, research and publications on gender equality issues and offer a structured networking and mentorship model.
We also collaborate with wider stakeholders, institutions and speakers to deepen the understanding among judicial and legal professionals of the impact of gender stereotypes, and to encourage a holistic approach to achieving the effective implementation of gender equality measures across these institutions.
- Develop awareness of gender issues, the nature and pernicious effects of gender stereotypes in Western Balkan society and the role of the judiciary in tackling these issues
- Strengthen the skills, knowledge and practice of judges in relation to gender equality and gender stereotypes
- Encourage the effective implementation of domestic, European and international legal instruments related to gender equality
- Facilitate the sharing of knowledge, skills, experiences and ideas relating to gender equality amongst judges and legal practitioners across the region
- Advance the professional and personal development of women judges in the region