Graduates of the supplementary course in German law are ambassadors for the good relations between Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: February 4, 2019
Graduates and professors of the supplementary course with Christian Sedat (2nd from right) from the German Embassy
Graduates and professors of the supplementary course with Christian Sedat (2nd from right) from the German Embassy

On 29 January 2019, an award ceremony was held at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo for the third generation of graduates from the German-language supplementary course in German law. The setting for the presentation was an event on the influence of German law on the law of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on issues concerning the translation of the law from German into Bosnian and vice-versa.

The event was opened by the Vice Dean for International Cooperation, Prof. Dr. Zinka Grbo, who also presented an overview of the various activities that have taken place throughout the almost 20-year partnership between the Faculty and the IRZ. Afterwards, Christian Sedat, representing the German Ambassador Christine Hohmann, gave a welcome speech on the significance and sustainability of support for the training of future law professionals. He also said that the graduates of the supplementary course are special ambassadors for the cooperation between Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The specialist tutor for the supplementary course, Professor Dr. Meliha Povlakic, then gave a lecture on the influence of German law on the law of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She started by pointing out that previous graduates of the programme have reported on the considerable advantages it has given them when applying for jobs. With regard to the influence of German law on that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, she stressed that this was subject to economic fluctuations. She also expressed her regret that reform measures, which were clearly oriented towards German law, had subsequently been reversed. She talked about a “circulation of legal models” in this context.

In the subsequent lecture on “Selected problems with translation in the field of law”, Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ Head of Section for Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries, pointed out that German source language texts should be prioritised over English for the translation of EU legal texts into the Bosnian language. The reason for this, he said, is that Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina are more compatible in terms of both the legal system and the language, compared with the English language and Common Law. As such, it is an advantage for aspiring law professionals from Bosnia and Herzegovina to learn the German language.

The main focus of the event was on the progress report given by Kanita Purscanovic, a graduate of the supplementary course, who now works as an assistant in a criminal law department. She presented the study course, the additional knowledge gained as a result and the joint events with students from other succession states of former Yugoslavia.

At the event, the considerable practical advantages of the “IRZ German law library at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo”, which was set up thanks to a generous financial contribution from the German Insurance Association (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft or GDV), were highlighted once again.

The curriculum for this additional course was inspired by expert knowledge gained from the supplementary course on Eastern European Law at the University of Regensburg, which was developed by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Friedrich-Christian Schroeder. Professor Schroeder is the Scientific Director at the Munich Institute for Eastern European Law based in Regensburg (IOR), with which the IRZ has a close working relationship.