Introductory course in German law for Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Serbian students in Sarajevo

Published: August 2, 2016

From 15 to 17 July a three-day introductory seminar for the new students of the supplementary study course in German law took place in Sarajevo. The IRZ and the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo jointly offer this supplementary study course. The topic of the seminar, which like all lectures and seminars of the supplementary course was held in German, was an introduction to German history and culture. This will help the students gain a better understanding of the following legal seminars, in particular with regard to the German state structure.

What was special about this year’s seminar was that also six German-speaking students from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade participated in the course. The participation of Serbian students came about through contacts made during this year's IRZ German Law Summer School in Brühl, Germany.

The seminar covered a very wide range of topics. It dealt with the historical roots of German federalism as well as National Socialism and its historical reappraisal. Further topics were the influence of Luther’s translation of the Bible for the German language, the Carolingian renaissance, Goethe’s “Faust” and Lessing’s “Nathan der Weise” (“Nathan the Wise”). During this last discussion links to current issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina with its three ethnical groups, also differing with regard to religion, could be found.

The seminar was complemented by giving an insight into modern everyday culture. “Sandmännchen” (“Little Sandman”, TV evening programme for young children) and “Augsburger Puppenkiste” (German puppet theatre and TV programme for children) as well as lyrics by Udo Lindenberg were discussed. Dealing with such a great variety of topics was made possible by using audio-visual learning material. Moreover, extensive reference was made to further sources easily available on the Internet.

The evaluations by the participants, in which some of them gave comprehensive comments, proved that the concept of the seminar was suitable for the target group. One of them stated, for example, that “it (is) not enough to study the language and the legal system of the country. You only get a more comprehensive view if you gain an insight into the whole life style of the country.” He concluded his comment with the words that he was “very enthusiastic to discover more about Germany on my own.”

Building on these first positive experiences the IRZ will regularly organise joint seminars for the students of the legal faculties of Sarajevo and Belgrade in the future.