Azerbaijan - annual report 2017

Legal Policy Situation

Talks were held in 2017 with the Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice and other judicial institutions in Baku in order to discuss the resumption of bilateral measures and possible projects. The interlocutors on the Azerbaijani side expressed their appreciation of the IRZ’s earlier work and expressed their interest in a resumption of the cooperation. As already reported in the Annual Report 2016, there have been no events held in Azerbaijan since 2015. The background is a complicated legal situation that makes it difficult for foreign institutions to implement their projects on the ground. This is regrettable because, since 2010, the IRZ has been charged with implementing projects on the rule of law and supporting legal reforms in this member state of the EU’s Eastern Partnership within the framework of a joint declaration between the Ministries of Justice of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As a result, between 2010 and 2014, the IRZ held various consultations, further training events and conferences with its Azerbaijani governmental and non-governmental partners, particularly in the areas of criminal law and the penitentiary system as well as on constitutional and human rights.

Current situation and outlook

It is a concern of the IRZ to remain in a dialogue with government representatives of Azerbaijan also in the future. This is the only possibility of clarifying the legal framework of cooperation in the foreseeable future in order to be able to decide on the continuation of the projects. In the meantime, however, contacts should be maintained with the numerous qualified legal practitioners.

Fortunately, it was possible to recruit an Azerbaijani civil judge in the year under review for the English-language internship programme for civil and commercial judges conducted by the IRZ in Germany.

Azerbaijan - annual report 2016

The IRZ has been instructed with the implementation of projects for the rule of law and support for legal reform in Azerbaijan on the basis of a Joint Declaration by the German Federal Ministry of Justice at the time and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since 2010, numerous consultations, training sessions and conferences have taken place in cooperation with state and non-state partners in Azerbaijan, mainly focusing on the areas of constitutional law/human rights, criminal law and the penitentiary system.

In 2016, the IRZ carried out no new events in Azerbaijan, as in the preceding year. The reason for this is the continuingly difficult situation for foreign organisations wishing to implement projects in Azerbaijan. It is nevertheless important for the IRZ to maintain its legal cooperation with the country. This was successful in the reporting year through the involvement of interested lawyers who participated in multilateral programmes of the IRZ:

Firstly, the IRZ invited a young lawyer to the IRZ summer school on “German law” in Brühl and Bonn. In addition to this, two judges from Azerbaijan participated in an English-language internship of the IRZ for civil and commercial judges in Germany.

As in the preceding year, the IRZ hopes for a change in the local framework conditions in order to be able to continue its earlier work.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Azerbaijan - annual report 2015

The IRZ has been working with governmental and non-governmental partners in Azerbaijan since 2010 in order to enhance rule-of-law structures and advance important reforms, for instance in the prison system. This took place on the basis of a joint declaration on the part of the Ministries of Justice of the Federal Republic of Germany and of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which the IRZ has been tasked to implement. The IRZ can look back on many successful discussions and events, including on the following topics.

Foci of activity of the cooperation to date

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Seminars and summer schools on the ECHR in Baku, in Lenkoran and in the exclave of Nakhchivan for members of the judiciary and of the administration of justice

Penitentiary law

  • Consultations on the penitentiary system in Baku and Sheki Prisons, over a period of several years
  • Working visits by Azerbaijani delegations to Bruchsal Prison
  • Specialist discussions and seminar in Baku and Cologne on the fight against cybercrime

Civil and commercial law

  • Specialist exchange in Baku and Berlin between Azerbaijani and German notaries on private notary practice

Basic and further training

  • Financing of German courses in Baku for staff of the Constitutional Court
  • Publication of several legal manuals

It was not possible to implement any further measures in Azerbaijan in 2015. A meeting was held between the Management of the IRZ and the Justice Minister of Azerbaijan, Fikrat Mammadov, in Baku. At this meeting, the Minister confirmed his Ministry's interest in continuing cooperation with the IRZ. Nonetheless, measures that had been planned were not implemented in the following weeks due to the difficult political framework. Cooperation with non-governmental institutions also did not appear to be suitable against this background.

Outlook

The IRZ very much hopes that the local framework will become easier so that the constructive cooperation which has taken place in recent years can be continued in the near future.