- Published: July 15, 2019
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.
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
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.