Speakers at the conference on the podiumSpeakers at the conference on the podium

The use of German law as a point of reference for legislation and for the application of the law requires as full access as possible to German law. Well aware of this, the IRZ is continuing its cooperation with the "South East European Association of Law and related Libraries" with a conference held on 15 and 16 September 2016 on the subject of “The influence of the German legal tradition on law libraries and library stocks". Another topic was the exchange of experiences between the network of libraries. The event was organised jointly by the University of West Mostar and the Kemal Bakaršić Foundation, named after the librarian from Sarajevo who died in 2006.

Representing the organisers were:

  • Prof. Dr. Vesna Kazazic, Dean of the Law Faculty,
  • Edita Bačić, President of the Association of Librarians,
  • Violetta Bottazzo, General Secretary of the Association of Librarians,
  • Dragan Marković, Kemal Bakaršić Foundation
  • Dr. Stefan Pürner, Head of Section at the IRZ.

People came from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia to participate in the event

Discussions focussed on the role played by law libraries in the era of digitalisation and globalisation. The intense discussions on this subject were stimulated by a keynote by the former Library Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Holger Knudsen. In his speech, he suggested that easy access to literature via the Internet has also led to significant changes in the role played by libraries and the experts working in them.

At the event, as well as discussing the objectives of the exchange and enhancing current stocks, an impressive review of German law literature in the libraries of the participating countries was also carried out. It also became clear that libraries in South-East Europe not only use German legal databases, but that they also evaluate this use.

During the expert presentations, many interesting and yet little known historic details also came up. For example, the large quantity of historic German law literature in Serbia is due to the fact that the German Reich paid a proportion of its reparation payments after the First World War in legal literature. This was of great interest, since Serbia had already used German law for guidance earlier in its history. Towards the end of the 19th century, for example, the Serbian government had financed research visits made by promising young experts to Germany, where they graduated in German law in the German language.

The commitment of the IRZ in the field of legal publications and libraries was also widely acknowledged during the event, for example the IRZ Library of German Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Sarajevo.

The conference was also topic in various media. Even the public TV of the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina broadcasted a report in its news: U Mostaru otvorena konferencija bibliotekara iz regije.