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Launch event for the regional project “Implementation of European anti-discrimination standards”: Ambassador Pius Fischer talking with Duško Marković, Montenegrin Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice
General – Conceptual orientation
Legal policy starting point
Montenegro, which declared its independence in 2006, is a young state on course for political and economic reform within the framework of EU integration. The country was officially awarded the status of an EU candidate on 17 December 2010. Further progress towards EU accession was made on 12 October 2011, when the European Commission proposed in its annual progress report on the candidate countries to take up accession negotiations with Montenegro. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken in legal harmonisation. Furthermore, the European Commission stresses that further efforts are needed in the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. Because it only became a separate state some years ago, as well as with regard to the abovementioned progress that has been made in EU Integration, which is accompanied by corresponding tasks in the field of law, Montenegro, which only has a limited amount of staff resources of its own, requires particular attention within the IRZ's project work in the region.
Cooperation to date
The IRZ's activities in Montenegro have been implemented in a separate project area since 2007. Long-standing working relationships have now been established with the country's Judicial Training Centre and the Constitutional Court.
The country's Judicial Training Centre
Prime Minister's Permanent Advisor for Human Rights and Protection Against Discrimination
Academics from the Law Faculty of Podgorica
Strategy and method
For reasons of economic expedience, the project work in Montenegro, which with a population of 600,000 is very small, has taken place in the past especially by involving Montenegrin legal experts in activities in neighbouring countries where the same language is spoken, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Serbia. In view of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Montenegro, which has been ratified by all the Member States of the EU, the activities were stepped up in 2010 once more. In line with the Federal Republic of Germany's focus on democracy promotion in Montenegro, the emphasis was placed in this regard on support for the judiciary as a sub-area of legal reform. The fact that the country officially received the status of an accession candidate to the European Union at the end of 2010 confirmed that this approach was right.
Foci of activity in 2013
Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability
Participation by Montenegrin constitutional court judges in the international conference supported by the IRZ on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of "The situation of and prospects for constitutional courts" in Belgrade
Launching event of the regional project "Implementation of European anti-discrimination standards in Montenegro and other states in the region" in Podgorica in cooperation with the Montenegrin Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Montenegro, Duško Marković, in cooperation with the Government of Montenegro as well as with the Judicial Training Centre of the Supreme Court
Presentation of the book publication entitled "Practical introduction to European anti-discrimination standards" at the above mentioned event and publication on the website of the Montenegrin Government
Civil and commercial law
Seminars for judges at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topics of "Property law" and "Private international law"
Participation by Montenegrin legal experts at the 16th Cartel Conference in Berlin
Administration of justice
Long-term consultation for the Montenegrin Minister of Justice by State Secretary, ret., Michael Haussner
Regional workshop "Basic and further training of legal trainees, judges and public prosecutors – experience in the development and implementation of training programmes" in Podgorica together with the Judicial Training Centre
Distribution of specialist publications drawn up in the project work of the IRZ to selected project partners in other countries of the region where related languages are spoken
The IRZ will be continuing its successful work in Montenegro in 2014. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court will also be continued. The IRZ will also involve Montenegrin legal experts in various topics in its other activities in the region.