About Us

The German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation e.V. (IRZ) was established in 1992 at the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) as a registered non-profit association with headquarters in Bonn. The establishment was preceded by requests, with which the then countries in a state of transition of Central, East and partly also South-East Europe requested the BMJ for support in the upcoming reforms.

Since then, IRZ presently supports around 20 partner states in their legal and judicial reform projects. In the process, the focus of the activity is on advancement of constitutional and market-oriented structures as well as the alignment of national law with the EU law.

Against this backdrop, IRZ provides legislative advice and supervises the preparation of draft laws, it provides support in setting up and developing institutions and promotes the education and training of lawyers across all disciplines. For this purpose, expert discussions, seminars, workshops and conferences take place in Germany and in the respective partner states.

Work visits, practical trainings and internships in Germany are offered to enable direct, practice-oriented interchange with German specialists.

As part of its possibilities, IRZ also promotes legal trainees wherein they collaborate with universities, be it through accompanying studies or seminars and lectures.

The activity of IRZ is currently concentrated on the priority regions of Western Balkans, Africa, Middle East, South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Central Asia.

The IRZ bodies are the General Meeting and the Board of Trustees. These include personalities from politics, economy, administration, academia, trade unions and non-governmental organisations, legal professional associations, umbrella organisations of the economy as well as companies. In its work, IRZ can also rely on numerous experienced experts from a variety of legal fields of work.

The international team of IRZ has sound expertise of the different national legal systems and inter-cultural competence as well as language skills in 18 languages at present.

IRZ operates on behalf of the Federal Government and in this process is financed essentially from the budget of the BMJ and through project support of the Federal Foreign Office. Besides, IRZ also carries out projects on behalf of the European Union.

The association is based in Bonn, with an additional office in Berlin.