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On 28 May 2019 the IRZ took part in expert discussions in Sarajevo on “Disciplinary law for judges and public prosecutors“ at the Disciplinary Public Prosecutor’s Office for Judges and Public Prosecutors. The Disciplinary Public Prosecutor’s Office is an independent organisational unit within the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. The IRZ was welcomed by several discplinary public prosecutors led by the Disciplinary Public Prosecutor General, Mirza H. Omerović. The Director of the Local Court of Wolfratshausen and President of the Bavarian Association of Judges, Andrea Titz, took part in the expert discussions as German expert.
The event was organised against the background of the recommendations of the Venice Commission to amend the disciplinary law for judges and public prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina in essential points. Therefore, the hosts wanted to learn about the respective provisions in Germany and their implementation in practice.
On 27 and 28 May 2019 the IRZ, in cooperation with the Centre for Education of Judges and Public Prosecutors of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzgovina (CEST BiH), organised a two-day event on the topics “Preparation of judges for the court hearing” and “Conduct of court hearings and delivery of judgements”. The local co-speaker was Adnan Baručija, Judge at the Cantonal Court in Zenica. Andrea Titz, Director of the Local Court of Wolfratshausen and President of the Bavarian Association of Judges, attended the event as IRZ expert.
The event dealt with the similarities and differences in procedural law in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The approximation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s civil procedure law to the German regulations was also addressed using the example of the revised version of Article 7 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which now also provides for the principle of producing evidence.
Another topic which was covered in detail was that civil courts were obliged to contribute to settlements to expedite proceedings. The focus of the discussions was therefore on the question in which areas it was justified to speak of the guiding principle of a passive or active law. Comparing the two countries, however, it also became clear that a revision of the procedural law alone would not lead to an acceleration of proceedings, as there are other factors which play a major role here: These are, amongst others, the different mentalities of the judges, the parties or the law concerning lawyer’s fees.
On 26 February 2019, an event on “Collective legal protection in the legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in light of EU Law (consumer protection and non-discrimination)” was held in partnership with the IRZ at the Centre for Education of Judges and Prosecutors of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The main speaker at the event was Professor Dr. Zlatan Meskic, who completed his legal training at the University of Vienna, where he wrote his thesis on “European Consumer Legislation, with a particular Focus on the 2007 Green Paper”.
This allowed him to compare European regulations with national legislation, as well with the jurisdiction of national courts and of the Competition Council, which is responsible for various complaints from associations. The lively discussions, which followed on from the introductory presentations on various sub-topics, focussed on protection against unreasonable general contract terms and collective legal protection in consumer rights. The latter should have been improved by the 2015 reform to the code of civil procedure, involving the introduction of a “claim to protect collective interests (article 453 a to h) to the code of civil procedure for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In practice, however, there are still various shortcomings in the implementation of these reforms. These range from a lack of knowledge amongst judges of the consumer protection legislation to insufficient legal provisions and a lack of organisational prerequisites, such as a register for consumer complaints.
At the start of the event, the former President and current Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirsad Ćeman, also presented his book on an “Introduction to the Reasons given for Court Decisions”. According to the author, this is one of the few works in the region, which is devoted to this important, but often neglected, topic. With this book, Mirsad Ćeman wants to contribute towards improving the quality of reasons given for court decisions in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond.