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The IRZ began its bilateral cooperation with Albania this year with a two-day seminar on appraising evidence. Organised together with the School of Magistrates, the Albanian training institute for people working in the justice system, the seminar held on 26 and 27 March 2018 brought together about 25 public prosecutors and judges to discuss the appraisal of evidence, the analysis of testimony and lessons in questioning.
Dr. Friedrich Kies, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein, reported on the truthfulness of witness statements, presented the basics of analysing testimony and rounded off the discussions on the second day with specific features of the examination of witnesses, such as questioning techniques and the involvement of interpreters in the questioning process. From the Albanian side, lecturers at the School of Magistrates, Sokol Berberi, Vangjel Kosta and Ervin Metalla, gave presentations on the relevance and credibility of evidence, and on the collection of evidence in civil and criminal proceedings.
Group work was carried out based on genuine Albanian cases, during which the participants had to reverse roles, discussing and arguing the relevance of the evidence provided. The topics discussed during the seminar were on the curriculum at the School of Magistrates for the first time this year and were therefore extremely popular.
The IRZ will continue its cooperation with the School of Magistrates, which began back in 2000, with further training seminars planned for 2018.
In the first week of December 2017 a two-day seminar on asylum law took place in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Albania.
After the opening of the seminar by the IRZ and Ardian Dvorani, Judge at the Administrative Division of the Albanian Supreme Court, first a presentation on the history and development of asylum law in Albania was given, which also provided an insight into the current challenges in the country. Asylum is a topic becoming also increasingly relevant in Albania and confronting the country with many new challenges.
Dr. Ute Faßnacht, Judge at the Administrative Court of Minden, and Dirk Schäfers, Judge at the Higher Administrative Court of Münster, presented the current development in the asylum procedures in Europe and Germany and gave an overview of the course of the asylum procedure in Germany.
The two German experts could report from their practical experience, which made the presentations very hands-on and led to a lively exchange between the participants and the German side.
The constitutional complaint, which was introduced in Albania in March this year, was developed according to the German model and its legal structure has received a great deal of support from the IRZ in the past. This advice was followed in November by another important element, with the publication of a handbook.
The book entitled “Die Verfassungsbeschwerde – ein Handbuch aus deutscher und albanischer Perspektive” (“The constitutional complaint – a handbook from the German and Albanian perspective”) was presented to a very interested audience of experts on 17 November 2017 in Tirana.
The handbook is intended as a practical guide to applying constitutional complaints and at the same time offers a concise overview of constitutional complaints in Germany and Albania.
The handbook is therefore divided into two sections. The first section introduces constitutional complaints in Germany, including their legal framework conditions and specific features. The second part of the book presents constitutional complaints in Albania. Both sections are not just restricted to classification according to legal doctrine, but also provide the basis for practical and immediate application by readers thanks to assessment methods, case examples and the listing of legal standards.
The book was co-written by German and Albanian authors. The author of the German section is Professor Dr. Jan Bergmann, President of the Senate at the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg. The author of the Albanian section is Dr. Arta Vorpsi, a legal consultant at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania. Both authors have long been active in IRZ projects.
The 60 or so participants in the event included judges and expert employees from the constitutional court. Many Albanian lawyers also attended the book presentation.
The plan is to hand out the book to judges and to lawyers. University libraries in Albania should also be supplied with the handbooks so that future legal practitioners can also familiarise themselves with the legal institution of constitutional complaints.