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.

Montenegro - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Montenegro2015Regional Constitutional Court conference on freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. The attendees at the conference included: Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ; Mirsad Ćeman, President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Desanka Lopičić, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro; Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, ret.; Elena Goševa, President of the Constitutional Court of Macedonia (1st row, 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. The accession negotiations with the EU were commenced in June 2012. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken on legal harmonisation. The European Commission stresses in its 2015 Progress Report the significance of the topic of the rule of law for the accession negotiations moving forward. The IRZ is therefore placing a focus of its work in the region on Montenegro. As it only became an independent state several years ago, as well as with a view to further EU integration, Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention. This is also expressed in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement that was reached between the Ministers of Justice of Montenegro and Germany in 2014.

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 Center, which is within the remit of the country's Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, and with academics from Podgorica Faculty of Law. The IRZ has also been represented in the country since 2013 by a long-term consultant to the Minister of Justice. The IRZ is therefore very well networked in Montenegro.

Foci of activity in 2015

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Regional conference in Bečići on "Freedom of opinion: Statutory provisions and case-law", together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Preparation for a publication containing the documentation of this conference as the first volume of the regional "Yearbook on Constitutional Law" (Godisjnak za Ustavno Pravo)
  • Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and by a further judge at the regional conference organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of "Constitutional courts and the media", in Serbia
  • Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and by a further judge at the international constitutional law conference in Regensburg
  • Attendance by the Deputy President and by a member of the Montenegrin Legal Affairs Committee at the IV International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin

Civil and commercial law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Center in Podgorica on the topics of "Labour law with particular regard to the prohibition of workplace mobbing " and "Consumer protection law with particular regard to European aspects"
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal entitled "Nova Pravna Revija" ("New Legal Revue")

Administration of justice

  • Long-term consultation since the beginning of November 2013 by State Secretary in the Thuringian Ministry of Justice, ret., Michael Haußner, term of the project up to and including 2016
  • Support for the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in preparing a work plan on the cooperation agreement between that Ministry and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice
  • Accompaniment on the journey undertaken by State Secretary Dr. Stefanie Hubig on discussions with the Montenegrin Justice Minister and on the signing of the abovementioned plan of work
  • Seminar on "Topical issues on IPR and judicial cooperation in civil matters" at the Judicial Training Center in Podgorica
  • Regional workshop on the topic of "International cooperation in civil matters", together with GIZ
  • Translation into Montenegrin of several opinions of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
  • Guest lecture on the topic of "Discrimination against Jews under National Socialism by means of civil law" at Podgorica Faculty of Law

Penitentiary Law

  • Expert talks on the establishment of a specialist anti-corruption public prosecution office in Montenegro
  • Conference on the topic of "The fight against corruption" with the non-governmental organisation MANS (Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector) in Podgorica

Public law

  • Attendance by Montenegrin experts at the 17th International Cartel Conference in Berlin

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing its successful work in Montenegro in 2016. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Center. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court will also be continued. Furthermore, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in various topics in its other activities in the region.

Montenegro - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Montenegro 2014
Representatives of the Montenegro Chamber of Notaries discussing on the premises of the IRZ

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. The country was officially awarded the status of an EU candidate on 17 December 2010. It made further progress towards EU accession in 2012, when the European Commission’s proposal to take up accession negotiations with Montenegro was confirmed at the summit of heads of state and government. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken in legal harmonisation. Furthermore, the European Commission sees that further efforts are needed in the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The IRZ is therefore placing a focus of its work in the region on Montenegro. As it only became an independent state several years ago, as well as with a view to further EU integration, Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention. This is also expressed in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement that was reached between the Ministers of Justice of Montenegro and Germany in 2014.

Overall concept

The IRZ established a separate project area for Montenegro in 2007. Longstanding working relationships were subsequently established with the Ministry of Justice, the country’s Judicial Training Centre, which is incorporated into the country’s Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and academics from Podgorica Law School. The IRZ has also been represented in the country since 2013 by a long-term consultant to the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. The IRZ is therefore very well networked in Montenegro.

For reasons of economic expedience, the project work in Montenegro, which with a population of 600,000 is very small, has particularly taken place in the past 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 IRZ stepped up its activities once more in 2010 and placed the emphasis on support for the judiciary. This approach was successful and led to further approximation to the EU.

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Working visit by the Montenegrin Constitutional Court to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and to Brandenburg Constitutional Court prepared in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection on the topic of “The individual constitutional complaint – significance, case-law and the preliminary examination procedure”
  • Participation of the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro in the regional conference entitled “Fundamental and human rights issues in the context of measures involving deprivation of liberty and prohibition of torture”, organised in Serbia in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court
  • Seminar entitled “The impact of constitutional court rulings on the caselaw of the ordinary courts” in cooperation with the judicial training centre

Administration of justice

  • Long-term advisor Mr Haußner, State Secretary, ret., with the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice
  • Participation of Montenegrin judges in a seminar on judicial ethics at the Serbian Judicial Academy
  • Translation of statements Nos. 12-17 of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) regarding the independence, impartiality and competence of judges
  • Support for two working visits to Bonn and Cologne by Montenegrin notaries on notary practice in Germany, co-organiser: Rhine Chamber of Notaries
  • Support for the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in preparing a cooperation agreement between that Ministry and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice
  • Dissemination of regional specialist legal publications (e.g. “Nova Pravna Revija”, “New Legal Revue”) and of a translation of the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG) published by the IRZ

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Expert talks on the establishment of a specialist public prosecution office on the fight against corruption and organized crime in Montenegro
  • Participation of a German expert in the 8th national conference on the fight against corruption and organised crime, which was organised by the NGO MANS
  • Participation of a penitentiary law expert in a regional justice conference in Budva (follow-up activity to the twinning project in the field of the prison system, which was ended in 2014)

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing its successful work in Montenegro in 2015. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court will also be continued. Furthermore, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin lawyers in various topics in its other activities in the region.