VIA IURIS is one of the oldest civil society organizations in Slovakia. Established in 1993 under the name Center for Environmental Public Advocacy, its original objective was to support a wide range of civic initiatives and organizations which fought for fairness and voice of citizens in state decision-making process and in key matters of public interest on the local level.
Since its foundation in 1993, VIA IURIS’s mission is to make Slovakia a country where people are not powerless against the powerful and before the law, we are equal. Within its mission, VIA IURIS promotes rule of law, supports civil society and defends civic rights. The organization’s approach is to use the law as an instrument of justice. VIA IURIS brings systemic solutions and promotes the equal application of law for all within all our programs mentioned above.
We are an expert legal organization, and we use legal and campaigning tools to enhance the public interest. We prepare and promote changes to legislation, we elaborate analyses, provide consultations and legal representation in strategic cases, we organize legal conferences and we present our thoughts and ideas to the general public.
Values of the organization stands on following:
VIA IURIS is a professional organization.
VIA IURIS is a strategic organization able to respond to current challenges. We set goals in our topics and use service, advocacy and analytical tools to achieve them.
VIA IURIS is a non-ideological organization founded on respect for pluralism of opinions. We all share two fundamental values that we protect through our activities – democracy and the rule of law. We strive to act in line with them. The organization works in three programmatic areas, each lead by a topic leader:
Citizen: VIA IURIS promotes effective public participation in decision and policy making. The citizens have to be able to participate effectively in various permission procedures that affect their lives. They ought to have access to information and access to justice in matters of public interest, such as the environmental protection and accountability of state institutions and municipalities. We support and provide assistance to people who are threatened while advocating the public interest.
Civil Society: Authentic civil society, as one of the cornerstones of freedom and democracy is being jeopardized by non-systemic legislative proposals, populist statements of politicians and disinformation campaign led by conspiracy media. VIA IURIS critically analyzes civil society and protects the legislative environment so that Slovak citizens also in the future have right to freely express, associate and actively participate and control the administration of public affairs.
Rule of Law: VIA IURIS promotes systemic measures to strengthen the independence and accountability of key institutions of the rule of law (courts, public prosecution, etc.) and eliminate political influence on them. These institutions are the fundamental elements of democracy and crucial in securing equality before the law and enforcing the justice. They ought to guarantee the exercise of public power by elected officials in compliance with the public interest, not the private interests of oligarchs. They have to guarantee that everyone is held accountable for overstepping of the law, even politicians.
These three core programs are interconnected, as the state of rule of law impacts the ability of citizens to exercise their human and civic rights, and safeguards freedom for organized civil society to flourish. Also, authentic civil society, as the cornerstone of freedom and democracy, is built on, and generates, self-confident and “skilled” citizens who can stand up for their rights and advocate their interests.
VIA IURIS is a member of European network Justice & Environment, Slovak Fundraising Centre, the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and a fresh associate member of the CIVICUS. Moreover, the organization is one of the founders and members of Slovak CSOs´coalition – The Voice of Civic Organizations.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/viaiuris