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Montenegro - annual report 2018

Published: July 15, 2019
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

Civil and Commercial Law

Administration of Justice

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

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.