Kosovo: Further support to legal education reform II

5 th Steering Committee Meeting in Pristina: Edita Kusari, EUSR; Laura Liguori, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council; Julia Jacoby, EU Office Kosovo; Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Eric Vincken, Junior Project Leader; Christine Jacobi, Project Leader; Klaus Erdmann, Resident Twinning Advisor; Besim Morina, Kosovan Project Leader; Afërdita Smajli, JSSP; Melihate Rama; Ruzhdi Osmani, Ministry of Justice Kosovo; Valmira Pefqeli, Resident Twinning Advisor counterpart (from left to right)
5 th Steering Committee Meeting in Pristina: Edita Kusari, EUSR; Laura Liguori, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council; Julia Jacoby, EU Office Kosovo; Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Eric Vincken, Junior Project Leader; Christine Jacobi, Project Leader; Klaus Erdmann, Resident Twinning Advisor; Besim Morina, Kosovan Project Leader; Afërdita Smajli, JSSP; Melihate Rama; Ruzhdi Osmani, Ministry of Justice Kosovo; Valmira Pefqeli, Resident Twinning Advisor counterpart (from left to right)

EU Twinning

Project leader: Christine Jacobi
Junior project leader: Eric Vincken (CILC)
RTA: Klaus Erdmann
Responsible at the IRZ: Rita Tenhaft, Katharina Tegeder

The objectives and priorities of this Twinning project are closely linked to the development of the judicial sector in Kosovo. The demands to be made on the improvement of basic and further training and the specific content to be prepared for them depend largely on the progress of the negotiations between Kosovo and the EU (Stability and Association Agreement and the European Agenda for Reform 2016) and the process of rapprochement between Kosovo and Serbia (Brussels Agreement 2013 and subsequent dialogue process) but also on the internal constitution of Kosovo itself.

On 24 February 2017, the Act on establishing the Kosovo Judicial Academy came into force, replacing the Kosovo Institute of Justice. In the same month, this project organised a study visit for the heads of the two Councils of Judges and Prosecutors, the President of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Executive Director of the Judicial Academy and other leading representatives of the Kosovo judiciary in Berlin and Brandenburg to present the fundamentals of German judicial basic and further training.

Since then, project work has focused on three main areas: strategy and organisational development of the Academy, reform of the legal traineeship for the judges and prosecutors (Initial Training Program) as well as drafting a basic and further training programme for administrative staff at courts and prosecutors’ offices. The legal traineeship training is still very academic and is of too little practical relevance.

Since May 2017, monthly workshops and round-table discussions with judges and prosecutors have been held to discuss and test the fundamentals of case-based training. Concrete court documents from Kosovo are being employed for this purpose, translated, didactically transformed and used as training material in “Train-the-Trainer” seminars. The final aim is to produce a training manual that will provide the younger generation of judges and prosecutors with new, more practical opportunities for basic and further training.

Funded by the European Union

Serbia: Policy and Legal Advice Centre (SEPLAC)

EU Technical Assistance

Team Leader: Mojca Grošelj
Responsible at the IRZ: Teresa Thalhammer, Nadine Peetz

The web presence of the project: www.euinfo.rs/plac2/en/

In a consortium led by the Spanish partner Altair, the IRZ was awarded the commission for the “PLAC” project, which falls in the sphere of the financial instrument IPA, in the summer of 2016. The main beneficiary of this project, which is important for the country’s accession to the EU, is the Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia. The project has a budget volume of around EUR 2.6 million and a duration of 30 months. It builds on preceding PLAC projects in Serbia and aims to further approximate Serbian institutions and statutes to the EU: In the course of approximation to the EU, this involves the chapters opened in the accession negotiations with the EU, also including the important Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Safety).

 

Funded by the European Union

 

Georgia: Support for the Independence, Accountability and Efficiency of the Judiciary in Georgia

Conference as part of the EU project “Support to the Independence, Accountability and Efficiency of the Judiciary”: Prof. Dr. Nino Gvenetadze, President of the Supreme Court; Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia; Renate Winter, Project Team Leader (from left to right)
Conference as part of the EU project “Support to the Independence, Accountability and Efficiency of the Judiciary”: Prof. Dr. Nino Gvenetadze, President of the Supreme Court; Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia; Renate Winter, Project Team Leader (from left to right)

EU Technical Assistance

Team leader: Renate Winter
Responsible at the IRZ: Teresa Thalhammer, Felix Plaßmann

Since October 2016, the IRZ has been a partner in another EU-funded contract in Georgia. During the 41-month contract period, the consortium, led by the consulting company Human Dynamics (HD), is supporting the Supreme Court, the High Judicial Council, the High School of Justice, the Constitutional Court and various courts in increasing the independence, efficiency and impartiality of Georgian judiciary. In terms of content, the project partly follows on from the project “Support to the Reform of the Criminal Justice System in Georgia” (2012-2015), which was also completed successfully by the IRZ and HD.

The IRZ is involved intensively in the project through the assignment of short-term experts, but above all through its Georgian long-term expert with a focus on European human rights standards. This expert has already conducted various seminars and workshops for judges and other court staff. In terms of content, the issues discussed included cases of importance for Georgia under the ECHR as well as EU law. However, practical assistance was also offered for day-to-day legal research and the optimisation of legal terminology for the writing of judgments. The work of the IRZ expert – together with the Human Rights Department within the Supreme Court – has made considerable progress in developing a database containing important ECHR rulings. Some of these were also translated into the Georgian language. This is how the understanding of the importance of the ECHR in Georgia is to be further augmented and, at the same time, the ability to apply these standards in a competent manner is to be increased.

Together with the High Council of Justice, the project also developed a comprehensive strategy for judicial reform from 2017 to 2022 as well as an action plan for its implementation for 2017 and 2018, including seminars to enhance the efficiency of the judiciary, joint events for the judiciary and the legal profession, and workshops on public finance management.

Funded by the European Union