Opening of the event by the President of the Cour Suprême, Abdel Rachid Tibi:  Abdelmadjid Silini, President of the Bar Association of Algeria.; Dr. Frauke Bachler, Managing Director of the IRZ, and Andreas Fiedler, Envoy of the German Embassy in Algiers (from left to right)
Opening of the event by the President of the Cour Suprême, Abdel Rachid Tibi: Abdelmadjid Silini, President of the Bar Association of Algeria.; Dr. Frauke Bachler, Managing Director of the IRZ, and Andreas Fiedler, Envoy of the German Embassy in Algiers (from left to right)
Algeria

On 28 November 2019, the IRZ, together with the German Federal Bar Association, the Algerian Bar Association and the Algerian Supreme Court (Cour Suprême), organised a conference on the “Appeal decisions of Supreme Courts” in Algiers. The IRZ experts taking part in the conference were Thomas Offenloch, a judge at the German Federal Court of Justice, and Otmar Kury, a lawyer specialising in criminal law.

The reopening and possible review of supreme court decisions is currently a subject of controversial debate in Algeria. The topicality of the subject was reflected in the high media presence at the event. In particular since the resignation of former President Bouteflika and ahead of the elections expected to be held in December, the Algerian Cour Suprême is facing considerable challenges and is under a huge amount of political pressure. The subject of the review of “unlawful verdicts” has a major role to play here. The conditions for the admissibility of appeal proceedings are formulated in very vague terms in the Algerian code of procedure. In addition, there are no reliable “filters” for submission to the court, which would allow only select cases to be handled by the Cour Suprême. The court is therefore significantly overloaded.

The following are some of the main topics discussed by the participants:

  • Appeal arrangements for court decisions at the Supreme Court in Algiers;
  • German appeal proceedings at the example of the German Federal Court of Justice, from the point of view of criminal and civil law: denial of leave to appeal, appeal proceedings, errors of fact or law;
  • German appeal proceedings from the lawyer’s perspective at the German Federal Court of Justice, the German Federal Labour Court, the German Federal Administrative Court, the Federal Social Court of Germany and the German Federal Fiscal Court, with particular consideration for criminal appeal proceedings.

The presentation of the appeal proceedings at the Supreme Court in Tunisia also included a regional comparison.

This event represented the first step in the partnership between the Supreme Court and the Bar Association in Algeria and took place within the framework of the institutional grant from the funds of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The cooperation between the project partners is set to be intensified over the year to come, with the aim of making a contribution towards ensuring legal unity and the continued development of the law in Algeria.