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Ministers from Nordic and Baltic countries unanimously seek ways of providing legal aid to Ukraine, Dobrowolska says

Date

2022 11 30

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The Justice Ministers from Nordic and Baltic countries are meeting in Vilnius; the ministers’ discussion focused on the measures aimed at responding to the challenges posed by both the war in Ukraine and the pandemic in the Baltic and Nordic countries, i.e., the development of digitalisation and ensuring the efficiency of remote court hearings, the prevention of cyber-crime and hate speech, as well as the challenges posed by violence against women. 

According to Justice Minister Ewelina Dobrowolska, the most important item on the Ministers' agenda concerns using all potential ways of providing legal support to Ukraine and its people. 

„Both Baltic and Northern European countries are very well aware of the cost of freedom, this is the reason why our discussions with the ministers centre on the possibilities of joining efforts aimed at pursuing all possible formats of the administration of justice that could help restoring justice and security across Europe, including the possibility of using the frozen assets of the aggressor for the reconstruction of Ukraine," Ms Dobrowolska says.

The meeting also focused on the implementation of online justice in the work of the courts and the issue of a rise of virtual crime in the context of digitalisation, and, in particular, on measures of the prevention of hate speech online.  
 
According to Ms Dobrowolska, the issues of ensuring respect for human rights are high on the agendas of the ministers in all the Nordic countries. The pandemic has proved that the search for ways of the implementation of online justice is currently a challenge faced by the international community as a whole, especially in the field of online crime and hate speech or hate crimes, therefore, appropriate national legislation needs to be adopted and accountability needs to be enhanced, besides, targeted international action needs to be taken on the global scale.

„Hate destroys the very foundations of our societies; for this reason, we need to take strategic actions to prevent racist or homophobic hate speech by drawing on the best practices of our Baltic neighbours and the countries of Northern Europe," Ms Dobrowolska emphasised.

The Estonian Minister of Justice Lea Danilson-Järg, the Finnish Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, the Icelandic Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson, as well as representatives of the Ministries of Justice of Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and a representative of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Secretariat are paying a working visit to Vilnius.

Meetings of Justice Ministers from Nordic and Baltic countries are held every two years; each time they are hosted by a different country. This year, the Ministers are meeting in Lithuania.