- Published: July 10, 2019
Legal Policy Starting Point
Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU entered into force on 1 June 2015 and that submitted an application for accession to the EU in the following year, started late with the transformation of its legal system due to the war. Implementation of standards that uphold the rule of law must therefore proceed as a matter of particular urgency. The distinctly federal system whose entities cooperate only to a limited extent and therefore provide fertile ground for a fragmentation of the law presents particular challenges for project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, the persistence of internal conflict at political level continues to cause a reform standstill. Given that the legal system in Bosnia and Herzegovina bears strong resemblance to its counterparts in continental Europe, advice from German partners would be especially sensible and sustainable.
The IRZ works closely with the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Contacts to the country‘s EU delegation also exist and are used to transfer experience of German federalism to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is because the cantons there are responsible for many areas in which EU legal harmonisation must take place. At present, the IRZ has placed a particular priority on the education and training of lawyers in order to continue providing ongoing legal advice, irrespective of the current obstructions at political level. The IRZ supports education and further training in the areas of civil und commercial law at the education centres for the magistracy and public prosecutors within the two entities and in the faculties of law at the universities in Sarajevo and Zenica in particular.
The legal aid organisation Vaša Prava is an important partner for the IRZ.
Finally, the IRZ has, in recent years, issued a series of law publications in the national language that also target readers in other countries within the region.
As part of its activities, the IRZ consciously seeks to create opportunities for members of different ethnic groups to meet as a means of counteracting internecine conflict.
Foci of Activity in 2018
Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability
- Organisation of a regional conference with the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina “Tax law in constitutional case-law“ in the Brčko District
- Publication of the talks at the above conference and other materials (including a presentation of case-law by the European Court of Human Rights on questions of tax law) by the IRZ and the Constitutional Court in a separate conference transcript
- Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and another judge at the Constitutional Court of the regional conference organised with the Montenegro Constitutional Court in Budva, Montenegro, on the relationship between the constitutional courts and the supreme courts
- Attendance by the President and a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the regional conference organised in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court in Belgrade, Serbia, on the topic of “Decisions by the constitutional courts in the area of abstract judicial review as a contribution to promoting the rule of law“
- Publication of the anthology of case-law by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2017
Civil and Commercial Law
- Regional conference on the topic of “Property consequences of familylaw relationships“ during the traditional annual international conference on family law, organised in cooperation with the Faculty of Law at the Djemal Bjedic University of Mostar
- Seminars in the education programme at the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on the topics
- Protection of Human Rights in the EU and in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Influence of European law on national law
- Seminars in the education programme at the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka on the topics
- Introduction to European law for recently appointed judges
- Influence of European law on national law
- Recent developments in the field of property law
- Conference on anti-discrimination law with the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava in Sarajevo
Administration of Justice
- Continued publication of the journal “Nova pravna revija – časopis za domaće, njemačko i evropsko pravo“, NPR for short (New Legal Review – a journal of regional, German and European law)
- Operation and development of the website for the above journal (www.nova-pravna-revija.info) with an extensive download area
Basic and Further Training
- Continuation of the supplementary studies (third generation) 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
- Attendance by a Bosnian participant of the eighth “IRZ Summer School on German Law“ in Bonn
- Further expansion of the supporting German language law library
- Seminar “Introduction to legal methodology“ with regional participation in Zenica
In 2019, the IRZ will push ahead with and consolidate its project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in close cooperation with its partners. A particular focus will be to move forward in its cooperation with the country‘s Constitutional Court and the two centres for judicial and prosecutorial training. Moreover, the IRZ will remain supportive of legal harmonisation, in particular by contributing its experience of German federalism in regard to the legislation that the cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are required to harmonise.