Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals – HELP online courses

22.05.2020

The European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals in the European Union member states (HELP in the EU) supports legal professionals to enhance their capacities to effectively and coherently apply European fundamental rights standards at the national level and through cross-border training, mainly referring to the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights (the Charter), the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter and relevant EU and Council of Europe Law.

The main objective of the Council of Europe Programme on Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) is to enhance the capacity of judges, lawyers and prosecutors, in all 47 Council of Europe member states and beyond, to apply the European human rights standards in their daily work. This is done through the HELP online courses that cover a range of human rights topics.

Legal professionals, who are at the forefront of the protection of human rights, must know the European human rights standards to apply them effectively. Therefore, they deserve high-quality training, which the Council of Europe HELP Programme provides. Furthermore, HELP online courses can be tailored to the different needs of countries, institutions and professionals. Since 2015, other professionals are increasingly interested in accessing HELP courses such as court staff, prison or probation officers or health practitioners.

In one sentence: HELP develops and implements online courses on human rights for legal and other (justice) professionals.

HELP’s three components are:

  • The HELP Network is the only European Network of national training institutions for judges, prosecutors and lawyers in the 47 CoE member States (and beyond).
  • The HELP Human rights online courses for self-study in the HELP e-learning platform. HELP courses (initially developed in English) have the potential to be translated into national languages, adapted to the national legal orders, and tested with selected categories of legal professionals.
  • A human rights training methodology to develop HELP courses that can be later taken in two distinct formats: self-study (free access in the HELP platform) or tutored in groups organised in co-operation with national training institutions or universities.

The Council of Europe HELP e-learning platform hosts our online courses. The courses are free and of the highest quality as they have been developed with the top experts of the Council of Europe, including lawyers from the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights. Partners like EJTN, CCBE or FRA also contribute with their expertise.

The access to the HELP e-learning platform is free and open to anyone who creates an account on it. In January 2020 the HELP online platform had more than 43 000 active users.

The HELP online courses are interactive, visual and practical. They cover various human rights related topics, reflecting the different areas of work of the Council of Europe.