Kosovo: Further support to legal education reform II

5 th Steering Committee Meeting in Pristina: Edita Kusari, EUSR; Laura Liguori, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council; Julia Jacoby, EU Office Kosovo; Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Eric Vincken, Junior Project Leader; Christine Jacobi, Project Leader; Klaus Erdmann, Resident Twinning Advisor; Besim Morina, Kosovan Project Leader; Afërdita Smajli, JSSP; Melihate Rama; Ruzhdi Osmani, Ministry of Justice Kosovo; Valmira Pefqeli, Resident Twinning Advisor counterpart (from left to right)
5 th Steering Committee Meeting in Pristina: Edita Kusari, EUSR; Laura Liguori, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council; Julia Jacoby, EU Office Kosovo; Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Eric Vincken, Junior Project Leader; Christine Jacobi, Project Leader; Klaus Erdmann, Resident Twinning Advisor; Besim Morina, Kosovan Project Leader; Afërdita Smajli, JSSP; Melihate Rama; Ruzhdi Osmani, Ministry of Justice Kosovo; Valmira Pefqeli, Resident Twinning Advisor counterpart (from left to right)

EU Twinning

Project leader: Christine Jacobi
Junior project leader: Eric Vincken (CILC)
RTA: Klaus Erdmann
Responsible at the IRZ: Rita Tenhaft, Katharina Tegeder

The objectives and priorities of this Twinning project are closely linked to the development of the judicial sector in Kosovo. The demands to be made on the improvement of basic and further training and the specific content to be prepared for them depend largely on the progress of the negotiations between Kosovo and the EU (Stability and Association Agreement and the European Agenda for Reform 2016) and the process of rapprochement between Kosovo and Serbia (Brussels Agreement 2013 and subsequent dialogue process) but also on the internal constitution of Kosovo itself.

On 24 February 2017, the Act on establishing the Kosovo Judicial Academy came into force, replacing the Kosovo Institute of Justice. In the same month, this project organised a study visit for the heads of the two Councils of Judges and Prosecutors, the President of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Executive Director of the Judicial Academy and other leading representatives of the Kosovo judiciary in Berlin and Brandenburg to present the fundamentals of German judicial basic and further training.

Since then, project work has focused on three main areas: strategy and organisational development of the Academy, reform of the legal traineeship for the judges and prosecutors (Initial Training Program) as well as drafting a basic and further training programme for administrative staff at courts and prosecutors’ offices. The legal traineeship training is still very academic and is of too little practical relevance.

Since May 2017, monthly workshops and round-table discussions with judges and prosecutors have been held to discuss and test the fundamentals of case-based training. Concrete court documents from Kosovo are being employed for this purpose, translated, didactically transformed and used as training material in “Train-the-Trainer” seminars. The final aim is to produce a training manual that will provide the younger generation of judges and prosecutors with new, more practical opportunities for basic and further training.

Funded by the European Union

Romania: Cooperation between the EU Member States for the purposes of solving the civil cases regarding the wrongful removal or retention of a child

EU Action Grant

Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Frank Hupfeld
Project Partners: Ministry of Justice of Romania, Judicial Academy of Croatia, Ministry of Justice Lof atvia, Federal Office of Justice

Download: Project Manual

This project aims to improve cooperation between the relevant authorities in the EU Member States in regard to the implementation of the Directive 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility.

A seminar is planned for March 2018 that will rather take on the magnitude of a conference as regards the number of 150 participants. Representatives of the judiciary and other professional groups dealing with the implementation of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction are invited from all EU Member States. Partners in this project are the Croatian Judicial Academy, the Latvian Ministry of Justice, the German Federal Office of Justice and the IRZ, with the Romanian Ministry of Justice taking the lead.

Within this two-day conference, it is above all the following topics that shall be addressed in individual contributions: “Child abduction”, “Exercising parental custody” and “Enforcing a judgment on the return of a child by a court of another EU Member State”. Based on current scheduling, the project will terminate in spring 2018.

Funded by the European Union

Moldova: Support to the Constitutional Court of Moldova

Gabor Attila Tóth, Olesea Garbuz, Team Leader Volkmar Theobald, Toma Birmontienė, Mamuka Jgenti and Ana Rotari (from left to right)
Gabor Attila Tóth, Olesea Garbuz, Team Leader Volkmar Theobald, Toma Birmontienė, Mamuka Jgenti and Ana Rotari (from left to right)

EU Technical Assistance

Team leader: Volkmar Theobald
Responsible at the IRZ: Teresa Thalhammer, Maike Ruhlig

The web presence of the project: Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova

This project with a volume of almost EUR 1.4 million ended in September 2017 after a period of 19 months. The four-member international team of experts supported the Moldovan Constitutional Court in its efforts to improve the internal organisation of the court and to restructure the working and research methods, in particular of its academic staff. This was done, among other things, by means of training courses on the methodological working methods and a series of further training courses on the interpretation of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and established European constitutional courts as well as on the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. In addition, the judges of the Moldovan Constitutional Court visited the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe and the Lithuanian Constitutional Court in Vilnius. In doing so, they were able to exchange information with their colleagues on the different workflows and on the interaction between the European and national levels. In the legislative consultation component, two project experts were represented in the Commission of the Ministry of Justice, that had to draw up proposals for the revision of the law on the Constitutional Court. This legislative reform could not be completed during the course of the project. Many activities also served to improve the court’s public relations strategy. For example, seminars were held for employees of non-governmental organizations and journalists in order to improve the quality of Moldovan media coverage of the Constitutional Court. The last Steering Committee meeting and the closing event in September 2017 made it clear how positively the project was assessed by all sides. The Lithuanian Constitutional Court and the German School of Law in Warsaw participated in this project as consortium partners.

Funded by the European Union