- Published: November 26, 2019
On 19 and 20 November 2019, a seminar on “Alternative dispute resolution in Germany, particularly mediation: legal foundations and practical application” was held in the capital Podgorica. The seminar was the first event organised jointly by the IRZ and the Montenegrin Centre for Mediation.
Once the event had been opened by the Director of the Centre for Mediation, Marina Lutovac, and IRZ Head of Section, Dr. Stefan Pürner, welcome speeches were given by German Ambassador Dr. Robert Weber and Ibrahim Smailović, Director of the Department of Civil Law at the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro. Both speakers stressed the importance of work on the rule of law for preparing Montenegro's accession to the EU and the important role played by the IRZ in this process.
Ibrahim Smailović and Marina Lutovac then went on to present the legal regulations and current situation regarding mediation in Montenegro, providing the initial foundations for very intense discussions to compare legal situations and a fruitful exchange of experiences.
These presentations made it clear that Montenegro is working intensively, in line with the relevant references from the EU country reports, to enhance the possibilities of alternative dispute resolution. The speakers reported on legislative initiatives, such as the reform of mediation law, and on organisational measures, such as the development of the current Centre for Mediation into a Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution in general and on training measures in this area.
A second basis for general discussion was provided by presentations on mediation and arbitration in Germany by the following IRZ experts:
- Harald Walther, Director of the Local Court of Rüsselsheim and Mediator BM® Mediator,
- Michael Haußner, former Secretary of State and Ombudsman for the German Savings Bank Association (Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband) and a former advisor to the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro, and
- Winfried Schubert, a former President of the Constitutional Court of Saxony-Anhalt and Ombudsman for the German Savings Bank Association.
The presentations by the IRZ experts covered, amongst other things, the Mediation Act of 2012, the arbitration judge in courts, training for mediators and quality assurance in mediation. They also spoke about the work of arbitration bodies, in particular in the area of consumer protection.
Overall, the event not only dealt in-depth with various practical areas within the field of mediation, it also provided a comprehensive overview of various alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
During the seminar, the participants also discussed related topics from the area of civil proceedings. Just as they had on a previous working visit by Montenegrin judges to Bavaria some time ago, the speakers once again stressed the importance of judicial support for consensual dispute resolution by the parties.
The importance attributed to this event by Montenegro is reflected in the fact that it was attended by the President of the Administrative Court of Montenegro, Branka Lakocević, and by the Director General for Civil Legislation, Ibrahim Smailović. Director General Ibrahim Smailović also took the opportunity to give an extensive lecture of his own, for which we would like to thank him very much once again.