- Published: June 1, 2017
Legal Policy Starting Point
The IRZ has regarded Bosnia and Herzegovina as one of its priorities since 2000 due to the country’s specific situation. As the country, whose Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU entered into force on 1 June 2015, was late starting with the transformation of its legal system as a result of the war, the implementation of the standards of a state based on the rule of law is particularly urgent here. As the law in Bosnia-Herzegovina is traditionally orientated towards the continental European model, consultation provided by Germany is particularly meaningful and sustainable.
Difficulties arise in the project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the distinctly federal system, the entities of which only work together to a limited extent, which also leads to a fragmentation of the law. In addition, domestic political conflicts also result in reform standstill.
In the light of this situation, the IRZ is currently focussing its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular on the basic and further training of lawyers. In addition to cooperation with practising legal professionals, in particular judges from the ordinary courts and the constitutional courts, the focus is on supporting young lawyers. This is intended to prevent a further brain drain. Furthermore, particular importance attaches to young lawyers, because they can create important impetus for the reform process in the future. In addition, many of them have lived in Germany as war refugees, speak German at native speaker level and feel committed to West European legal standards due to their experience abroad.
The focus of the IRZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the years has been on the rule of law and justice. It supports basic and further training in the field of civil and commercial law at the Faculties of Law and at both education centres for judges and public prosecutors.
Activities in the study and reception of German law have also been added in recent years, each linked to the initiatives of project partners in the country. Finally, the IRZ has issued a number of legal publications in the local language in recent years which also target lawyers in other countries in the region. Last but not least, the subject of human rights remains on the IRZ agenda in the post-conflict area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The IRZ’s partners in the country particularly include the Constitutional Court of the entire country, the further training centres for judges and public prosecutors of both entities and the Faculties of Law at the Universities of Mostar, Sarajevo and Zenica, as well as the pro bono legal aid organisation “Vaša Prava”. In the course of its activities, the IRZ deliberately also creates opportunities for members of different population groups to meet one another, in order to counteract ethnic tensions which have recently resurfaced once again.
Foci of Activity 2016
Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability
- Regional Constitutional Court Conference in Sarajevo entitled “Deci-sions of the European Court of Human Rights and their influence on the national constitutional courts”
- Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and another judge at the conference in Budva, Montenegro, entitled “Constitutional Court review of elections” organised together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
- Participation by judges of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the conference entitled “Ownership rights protected by the Constitutional Court” organised in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court in Fruška Gora, Serbia
- Publication of the collection of case-law of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2015
- Regional conference entitled “Adulthood law, support care, protection against premature declaration of loss of legal capacity, etc.” organised together with the Faculty of Law of the Dzemal Bijedic University in Mostar
Civil and Commercial Law
- Seminars within the training programme of the Judicial Training Centre of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on the sub-jects:
- Interpretation and application of the new Property Act
- Influence of European law on national law
- Bankruptcy and liquidation
- Seminars in Banja Luka within the training programme of the Judicial Training Centre of Republika Srpska on the subjects:
- Application of international law in business law disputes/focus: UN law of sale
- Medical liability law
- Employment law with special consideration for the prohibition on mobbing
- Publication of a translation of the Limited Liability Companies Act (GmbHG)
- Preparation of an introductory volume on the Limited Liability Companies Act (GmbHG) in Sarajevo
- Conference entitled “Prohibition on discrimination in employment law with special consideration for the prohibition on discrimination” together with the NGO “Vasa Prava” in Sarajevo
- Regional roundtable discussion on insurance law at the Faculty of Law at Zenica University
Administration of Justice
- Participants at the event on legal protection in employment law
- Continuation of the publication of the NPR
- Event entitled “Influence of the German legal tradition” together with the University of Mostar and SEALL (South East European Association of Law and related libraries)
- Guest lectures on “Dealing with the legal past in Germany” at the Faculties of Law of the Universities of Sarajevo and Zenica
Basic and Further Training
- Continuation of the supplementary studies on German law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo by regular lectures held in German by local lecturers, as well as block lectures by German speakers
- Further expansion of the supporting German language law library and graduation of the first generation of successful graduates
- Legal terminology course entitled “German for lawyers” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo
- ELSA (European Law Students’ Association) EX-YU Conference in Sarajevo entitled “Legal challenges in the fight against terrorism”
- Participation by Bosnian-Herzogovinian lawyers and students at the IRZ-“German law” summer school in Brühl and Bonn
The IRZ will be continuing and intensifying its project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017 in close cooperation with its partners. The focus here will continue to be on human rights and support for young lawyers, as well as regional cooperation.
Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.