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On 21 November 2019, the IRZ and the Montenegrin Lawyer’s Association organised a panel discussion in the capital city Podgorica on “Requirements for Lawyers in the 21st Century”. Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, various legal professions, law faculties and students took part in the discussions. The Director General for Civil Legislation at the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro, Ibrahim Smailović, also took an active part in the lively discussions.
The objective of this event was to make projections for the legal field in Montenegro, based on developments in Germany, and to provide recommendations for action based on these forecasts. The general discussions were therefore started off with reports from four German experts. Prof. Dr. Maja Kostic Mandic, Vice-President of the Lawyer’s Association, moderated the panel discussions.
The speakers and their subjects
Winfried Schubert, a former President of the Constitutional Court of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and of the Higher Regional Court of Naumberg, spoke about the soft skills required for working as a judge.
Michael Haußner, the former Secretary of State for Justice and Prublic Prosecutor General in Thuringia and later a permanent advisor to the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro, focussed on explaining the requirements of legal training.
Harald Walther, Local Court Director and a former judge at the Administrative court, as well as a lecturer of Mediation at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer and himself a mediator, looked at the increasing importance of alternative dispute resolution.
Dr. Stefan Pürner, Lawyer and Head of the South Eastern Europe I Section at the IRZ, reported on the key changes in the legal profession that have taken place since his own admission to the bar in 1992.
The subsequent discussions also touched on many different legal topics, reflecting the wide range of issues involved. The discussions relating to the effects of Legal Tech on future legal training and practice were particularly intense. Everyone agreed that legal training needs to be comprehensive and, in particular, nurture the ability to learn new subjects and get used to new tasks. Since we do not yet know how Legal Tech will continue to develop, the new generation of lawyers will need to be well-prepared for the future.
As for the previous events organised jointly by the Lawyers’ Association and the IRZ (e.g. Lecture in Podgorica on training law professionals in Germany) there was a great deal of media interest in the event. Several Montenegrin daily newspapers and the state broadcasting company, RTV CG, reported on this event.
As part of the “Capacity Building of the National Centre for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova” twinning project led by the IRZ, a study visit on data protection took place in Berlin on 23 and 24 September 2019. Participants in the study visit were parliamentarians from the Republic of Moldova and the Director of the National Centre for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova (NCPDP).
The delegation was welcomed to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) by Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMJV. During the subsequent expert discussions, they were informed about legislative projects for the area of data protection in Germany and given an insight into the production and assessment of draft legislation, with a special emphasis on the balance between the interests of data protection and other rights.
The delegation had already visited the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. At these institutions, the delegation held expert talks on the fundamentals and principles of data protection in Germany and Europe, discussed the influence of data protection on legal systems and talked about the relationship between data protection and the interests of the security authorities. The participants were also interested in the role and skills of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection.
The trip to Germany was rounded off with a visit to the German Bundestag and an exchange of experiences with German parliamentarians.
The study visit will continue with a trip to Riga, where the Latvian Ministry of Justice, which has been supporting the twinning project as a junior partner since 2017, will present its experiences on the subject of data protection to the delegation.
From 13 to 15 May 2019, the IRZ’s advisory process on the draft legislation for the new Moldovan law on the prison system was continued in a closed conference in Chișinău.
The working group, made up of members of the prison service and led by the head of the legal department at the Moldovan prison service, Alexandru Crudu, was able to finalize the draft legislation. Dr. Arne Wieben, Director of the Bremervörde penal institution, gave his expert opinion on the draft legislation. The IRZ expert’s recommendations and suggestions for the wording were included in the draft.
The individual articles of sections 1 to 12 (Art. 195 - 257/49 and 303 - 310) were revised during the closed conference. The areas “prisoner employment” and “preparation for release/relaxing imprisonment conditions” were also discussed and included in the draft legislation. Thus, it was possible to delete the section on “incentive measures” from the draft legislation which dates back to Soviet times.
Following on from the presentation of a strategy paper from the Moldovan Ministry of Justice on the reform of the prison system between 2016 and 2020 the IRZ is advising the Ministry of Justice in Moldova on improvements of the prison system. The IRZ will continue to offer advice to the Moldovan MPs during their committee work, if required, as soon as the draft legislation is introduced into Parliament.