Montenegro - annual report 2018

Participants in the study visit on judicial negotiations in civil law in the courtroom of the Bavarian Constitutional Court
Participants in the study visit on judicial negotiations in civil law in the courtroom of the Bavarian Constitutional Court

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Independent since 2006, Montenegro is a young state that pursues a policy of political and economic reform within the framework of EU integration. Montenegro has enjoyed the status of an EU accession candidate since 2010. Accession negotiations commenced in June 2012. Chapters 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security) were opened over the course of 2013. Despite this progress, there is still considerable action necessary in regard to legal harmonisation. Montenegro requires particular attention due to its limited human resources, the fact that it did not become an independent state until just a few years ago, as well as in regard to continued EU integration. The country joined NATO in 2017 as yet another step toward convergence with the West.

Overall Concept

The IRZ set up a separate project unit for Montenegro and other partner countries of the Western Balkans in 2007, immediately after the country had gained independence. This soon resulted in the establishment of reliable working relationships with the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Training Centre within the country‘s Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the Special State Prosecutor’s Office to fight organised crime and corruption, and with academics at the Podgorica Faculty of Law. Within the framework of continued development of bilateral relations, a cooperation agreement was signed between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice; IRZ was commissioned with practical implementation of this agreement. The IRZ was also represented in the country by a long-term advisor to the Minister of Justice until the end of 2016. The main priorities of the IRZ’s activities in Montenegro are on cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Centre for Training in Judiciary and State Prosecution. Work with the latter is concentrated mainly on issues of civil law, which is rarely addressed by other foreign organisations.

Foci of Activity in 2018

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional conference “The relationship between constitutional courts and supreme courts“ with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court in Budva
  • Attendance by the President and a judge of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro 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“
  • Attendance by the President and a judge of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro of the regional conference in the Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the topic of “Tax law in the case-law of constitutional courts“

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminars at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topics
    • Judicial negotiations in civil cases
    • Residential ownership
    • Breach of contract and its consequences

Administration of Justice

  • Working visit by Montenegrin judges to Munich and Wolfsratshausen to address issues of judicial negotiations in civil cases (in cooperation with the Bavarian Association of Judges).
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal “Kontinentalno Pravo“ (Continental Law) and “Nova Pravna Revija“ (“New Legal Review“), as well as book publications containing a variety of translations of German laws, each with a technical introduction

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Conference “XII National Anti-Corruption Conference“ in cooperation with the NGO MANS in Podgorica

Outlook

The IRZ will continue its successful work in Montenegro during 2019 as well, for instance by organising additional seminars in collaboration with the Judicial Training Centre on application of the law by the judiciary in conformity with European law. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court will also continue. In addition, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in its other activities on various topics in the region, whereby this will focus mainly on topics relating to EU Pre-Accession Assistance. The IRZ is also willing to provide support in legislative areas.

 

Montenegro - annual report 2017

Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice” in Montenegro: Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court (on the right); Vesna Ilić Prelić, President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia; Dr. Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro (4th and 5 th from right)
Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice” in Montenegro: Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court (on the right); Vesna Ilić Prelić, President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia; Dr. Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro (4th and 5 th from right)

Legal Policy Situation

Montenegro, which has been independent since 2006, is a young state pursuing a course of political and economic reform in a context of EU integration. In 2010, Montenegro was granted official EU-candidate status. Accession negotiations with the EU commenced in June 2012. Chapters 23 (justice and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security) were opened in the course of 2013. Despite this progress, there is still considerable need for action on legal harmonisation. Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention because it only became an independent state a few years ago, but also with a view to further EU integration.

Overall Concept

In 2007, immediately after the independence of the country, and in the subsequent period, the IRZ established and intensified working relations with the Ministry of Justice, the country’s Judicial Training Centre, which is attached to the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the special Public Prosecutor’s Offices to fight organised crime and corruption, and with academics at the Podgorica Faculty of Law. As part of developing bilateral relations further, a cooperation agreement was signed between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice, with the IRZ being commissioned with the practical implementation. The IRZ was also represented in the country by a long-term advisor to the Minister of Justice until the end of 2016. Therefore, the IRZ has excellent connections in Montenegro. The main focus of the IRZ’s activities in Montenegro currently lies on the cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Training Centre. Work with the latter mainly concentrates on the field of civil law, which is rarely addressed by other foreign organisations.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice”, organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court in Budva
  • Participation by the President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court and another judge in the conference on “Constitutional court protection in criminal law”, co-organised by the IRZ and the Serbian Constitutional Court in Zlatibor, Serbia
  • Participation by the President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court and another judge at the regional Constitutional Court in the conference on the topic of “Theory and practice of the independence of constitutional courts”, in Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topic of enforcement law
  • Printing of the translation of the German Commercial Code (HGB), Podgorica
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal “Nova Pravna Revija” (“New Legal Review”)

Public Law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topic of state liability law

Administration of Justice

  • Conference “Presenting the opinions No. 4, 9, 11 of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)”, in cooperation with the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Conference on the topic of “The fight against corruption”, in cooperation with the non-governmental organisation MANS in Podgorica

Outlook

The IRZ will keep up its successful work in Montenegro also in 2018. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. The cooperation with the Constitutional Court, will be continued as well. In addition, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in its other activities on various topics in the region.

Montenegro - annual report 2016

Specialist discussions in Berlin between the Montenegrin Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for fighting organised crime and corruption and the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection: Alexandra Albrecht, Karla Brambati, Dr. Susanne Claus and Beatrix Lindner, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Saša Čadjenović, Montenegro Specialist Public Prosecution Service (from left to right)

Specialist discussions in Berlin between the Montenegrin Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for fighting organised crime and corruption and the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection: Alexandra Albrecht, Karla Brambati, Dr. Susanne Claus and Beatrix Lindner, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Saša Čadjenović, Montenegro Specialist Public Prosecution Service (from left to right)

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Montenegro, which has been independent since 2006, is a young state on course for political and economic reform in a context of EU integration. Accession negotiations with the EU commenced in June 2012. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken on legal harmonisation. In its 2016 Progress Report, the European Commission stresses the significance of the topic of justice for the further accession negotiations. Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention because it only became an independent state a few years ago, but also with a view to further EU integration. This is also expressed in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement, together with a detailed working programme, which was agreed between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegro Ministry of Justice in 2014.

In early new elections held in October 2016, the socialists, who had been in government for a long time, lost their absolute majority, which led to difficulty forming a new government.

Overall Concept

The IRZ established a separate project area for Montenegro in 2007. Long-standing working relationships were subsequently established with the Ministry of Justice, the country’s Judicial Training Centre which is attached to the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the special Public Prosecutor’s Offices to fight organised crime and corruption, and with academics at the Podgorica Faculty of Law. The IRZ has also been represented in the country since 2013 by a long-term advisor to the Minister of Justice. The IRZ therefore has excellent connections in Montenegro. A major focus of the activities is the working plan connected with the Cooperation Agreement between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice.

Foci of Activity in 2016

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Regional conference in Budva on “Constitutional court review of elections” together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Preparation of the first volume of the regional “Yearbook on Constitutional Law (“Godišjnak za Ustavno Pravo”)
  • Presentation of this publication with regional participation in Podgorica
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and a further judge at the regional conference organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of “Constitutional court protection of ownership” in Fruška Gora, Serbia
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and a further judge at the regional Constitutional Courts conference on the topic of “Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and their influence on the national constitutional courts” in Sarajevo

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminars at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica:
    • Employment law with particular consideration for the prohibition on mobbing
    • Consumer protection law with particular consideration for European aspects
    • Law of property – de facto expropriation and maritime domain
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal “Nova Pravna Revija” (“New Legal Review”)

Administration of Justice

  • Long-term consultation since the start of November 2013 provided by former Secretary of State Michael Haußner to the Montenegrin Minister of Justice, term of the project up to and including 2016
  • Cooperation with the German Section of the International Commission of Jurists and support for it on this year’s study trip to Podgorica
  • Publication of the translation of the opinions of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) in Podgorica

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Working visit by the specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Berlin General Prosecutor’s Office on the topic “Practical application of telecommunication monitoring”
  • Return working visit by the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Montenegrin specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office on the topic “Corruption and organised crime” in Podgorica

Outlook

The IRZ will continue its successful work in Montenegro in 2017. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the implementation of the working plan connected with the cooperation agreement between the German and Montenegrin Ministries of Justice will also be continued. In addition, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in various topics in its other activities in the region.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.