- Published: June 1, 2017
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.
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
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.