Forum Chair, Mrs. Sevdije Morina, and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Dhurata Hoxha opened the conference with welcoming remarks. The conference continued with greetings from each participating delegation. The Norwegian Ambassador Per Strand Sjaastad held a speech sharing experiences from Norway and his reflections. Norway has for many years been a strong supporter of the establishment of Rule of Law and implementation of human rights in Kosovo. These efforts have included cooperating and supporting the activities of Forum of Women Judges and Prosecutors of Kosovo.
During his speech, the Ambassador highlighted that “gender equality makes every society stronger, more productive and fair.” For this reason, it should be an overriding objective that “women are represented on an equal basis in all strands of society, have equal opportunities and enjoy real influence in decision-making processes”.
The Norwegian Ambassador giving his speech about contribution of women for justice.
It is important that decision-makers are representative of the entire population. In all democratic nations, this necessitates women leading our institutions on equal terms with men. For Norway, the first significant milestone was in 1884, with Maren Cathrine Dahl became the first female student to study law and graduate in Norway. Almost 100 years later, in 1983, Norway had its first female Public Prosecutor. Her name was Ellen Holager Andenæs. Before that, in 1968, Lilly Bølviken took seat as the first female Supreme Court Judge.
Norwegian Supreme Court Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen gave a speech at the conference. In 2012, she presided over the trial of Anders Behring Breivik following the 2011 Norway terror attacks. This was the biggest and most difficult case since the Second World War. Judge Arntzen shared her personal reflections regarding the responsibility she felt and all the different considerations that had to be made regarding media, the public and those affected.
Norwegian Supreme Court Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen sharing her experiences.
In conclusion, the conference was a constructive and inspiring event. Hopefully it will serve as an arena for further cooperation regarding rule of law and gender equality.
You can read the ambassadors full speech here: Women's Contribution to Justice.