Bosnia and Herzegovina - annual report 2019

Seminar on “The prevention of money laundering“ in cooperation with the Bar Association of the Republika Srpska; during the lecture by Harriet Krüger (on the left, at the lectern): Borislav Čvoro, investigator with SIPA, Rita Linderoth, IRZ, and President of the Bar Branislav Rakić (from left to right)
Seminar on “The prevention of money laundering“ in cooperation with the Bar Association of the Republika Srpska; during the lecture by Harriet Krüger (on the left, at the lectern): Borislav Čvoro, investigator with SIPA, Rita Linderoth, IRZ, and President of the Bar Branislav Rakić (from left to right)

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which submitted an application for accession to the EU in 2016, started late with its transformation process due to the war. Implementation of the standards of the rule of law is therefore a matter of particular urgency. Given that the legal system in Bosnia and Herzegovina is traditionally orientated towards the continental European law, advice from German partners is especially sustainable. The distinctly federal system, whose entities cooperate only to a limited extent, presents particular challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Overall Concept

IRZ is currently prioritising basic and further legal training in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provides support for measures in the areas of civil and commercial law in particular. IRZ also cooperates closely with the Constitutional Court of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of its activities, IRZ consciously seeks to create opportunities for members of different ethnic groups to meet as a means of counteracting ethnic tensions.

In addition to the Constitutional Court, the most important partners in the country include the education centres for judges and public prosecutors, the faculties of law at the universities of Sarajevo and Zenica and the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava.

Focus of Activity in 2019

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional Conference “Religious freedom in constitutional case-law“ together with the Constitutional Court of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BaH) in Teslić
  • Publication of the presentations from the aforementioned conference in a conference transcript
  • Participation of the President of the Constitutional Court of BaH and another judge in the Regional Conference “Separation of powers and balance of powers“ in Podgorica
  • Publication of selected decisions of the Constitutional Court of BaH in 2018

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Publication of the journal “Nova pravna revija - časopis za domaće, njemačko i evropsko pravo“, for short: NPR (New Legal Review a journal of regional, German and European law), administration and expansion of the NPR website (www.nova-pravna-revija.info) with an extensive download section
  • Seminars in the further training programme at the FBaH Judicial Training Centre in Sarajevo on the topics
    • “The collective legal protection system in BaH law in light of EU law (consumer protection and non-discrimination)“
    • “Relationship between EU law and national law with particular reference to consumer law“.
    • “Preparation of judges for court hearings“
    • “Conducting proceedings and issuing decisions“

Administration of Justice

  • Regional conference on “Human rights protection as a driving force for the development of family law“ together with the Faculty of Law at the Djemal Bjedic University in Mostar as part of the traditional annual international “Family Law Days“
  • Publication of the presentations from the aforementioned conference in a conference transcript
  • Experts‘ discussion for judges and public prosecutors on the subject of “Disciplinary law for judges and public prosecutors“ at the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor, an independent organisational unit within the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council
  • Distribution of further IRZ publications in the regional languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Preparation of an expert opinion for the EU Delegation in Sarajevo on effective legislation in federal states using the example of the Federal Republic of Germany

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Seminar “Preventing money laundering – the application of legal regulations governing the practice of lawyers in the Republika Srpska in comparison with German lawyers‘ duties with regard to preventing money laundering“ as the first joint event between IRZ and the Bar Association of Republika Srpska

Basic and Further Training

  • Seminar “Disputes under labour law – application in practice of the new regulations under labour law, with particular consideration of occupational safety, mobbing and discrimination“ in cooperation with the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava in Sarajevo
  • Event on the influence of German law on the law of BaH during the graduation ceremony for the third generation of students of the German-language supplementary studies in German law at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo
  • Popularisation of German and European law through further expansion of the “IRZ Library of German Law“ at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo and provision of literature for researchers and students at the Faculties of Law in Eastern Mostar and Zenica

Outlook

In 2020, IRZ will push ahead and consolidate its project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in close cooperation with its partners. A particular priority will be to continue cooperation with the country‘s Constitutional Court and the two education centres for the judges and public prosecutors. As a means of supporting legal harmonisation, IRZ is also willing to return to providing legislative advice once the current reform backlog has been cleared. In this regard, it is particularly interested in contributing its experience with federalism in regard to the legislation that the cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are required to harmonise.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - annual report 2018

Participants at the regional conference by the constitutional court on the topic of “Tax law in constitutional case-law“ in Brčko
Participants at the regional conference by the constitutional court on the topic of “Tax law in constitutional case-law“ in Brčko

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU entered into force on 1 June 2015 and that submitted an application for accession to the EU in the following year, started late with the transformation of its legal system due to the war. Implementation of standards that uphold the rule of law must therefore proceed as a matter of particular urgency. The distinctly federal system whose entities cooperate only to a limited extent and therefore provide fertile ground for a fragmentation of the law presents particular challenges for project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, the persistence of internal conflict at political level continues to cause a reform standstill. Given that the legal system in Bosnia and Herzegovina bears strong resemblance to its counterparts in continental Europe, advice from German partners would be especially sensible and sustainable.

Overall Concept

The IRZ works closely with the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Contacts to the country‘s EU delegation also exist and are used to transfer experience of German federalism to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is because the cantons there are responsible for many areas in which EU legal harmonisation must take place. At present, the IRZ has placed a particular priority on the education and training of lawyers in order to continue providing ongoing legal advice, irrespective of the current obstructions at political level. The IRZ supports education and further training in the areas of civil und commercial law at the education centres for the magistracy and public prosecutors within the two entities and in the faculties of law at the universities in Sarajevo and Zenica in particular.

The legal aid organisation Vaša Prava is an important partner for the IRZ.

Finally, the IRZ has, in recent years, issued a series of law publications in the national language that also target readers in other countries within the region.

As part of its activities, the IRZ consciously seeks to create opportunities for members of different ethnic groups to meet as a means of counteracting internecine conflict.

Foci of Activity in 2018

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Organisation of a regional conference with the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina “Tax law in constitutional case-law“ in the Brčko District
  • Publication of the talks at the above conference and other materials (including a presentation of case-law by the European Court of Human Rights on questions of tax law) by the IRZ and the Constitutional Court in a separate conference transcript
  • Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and another judge at the Constitutional Court of the regional conference organised with the Montenegro Constitutional Court in Budva, Montenegro, on the relationship between the constitutional courts and the supreme courts
  • Attendance by the President and a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina 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“
  • Publication of the anthology of case-law by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2017

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Regional conference on the topic of “Property consequences of familylaw relationships“ during the traditional annual international conference on family law, organised in cooperation with the Faculty of Law at the Djemal Bjedic University of Mostar
  • Seminars in the education programme at the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on the topics
    • Protection of Human Rights in the EU and in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Influence of European law on national law
  • Seminars in the education programme at the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka on the topics
    • Introduction to European law for recently appointed judges
    • Influence of European law on national law
    • Recent developments in the field of property law

Public Law

  • Conference on anti-discrimination law with the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava in Sarajevo

Administration of Justice

  • Continued publication of the journal “Nova pravna revija – časopis za domaće, njemačko i evropsko pravo“, NPR for short (New Legal Review – a journal of regional, German and European law)
  • Operation and development of the website for the above journal (www.nova-pravna-revija.info) with an extensive download area

Basic and Further Training

  • Continuation of the supplementary studies (third generation) on German law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo by regular lectures held in German by local lecturers, as well as block lectures by German speakers
  • Attendance by a Bosnian participant of the eighth “IRZ Summer School on German Law“ in Bonn
  • Further expansion of the supporting German language law library
  • Seminar “Introduction to legal methodology“ with regional participation in Zenica

Outlook

In 2019, the IRZ will push ahead with and consolidate its project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in close cooperation with its partners. A particular focus will be to move forward in its cooperation with the country‘s Constitutional Court and the two centres for judicial and prosecutorial training. Moreover, the IRZ will remain supportive of legal harmonisation, in particular by contributing its experience of German federalism in regard to the legislation that the cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are required to harmonise.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina - annual report 2017

Group shot of the “Introduction to German law” block seminar in Zenica
Group shot of the “Introduction to German law” block seminar in Zenica

Legal Policy Situation

Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU entered into force on 1 June 2015, and which applied for accession to the EU in 2016, was late in starting with the transformation of its legal system as a result of the war. Thus, the implementation of the rule-of-law standards of a constitutional state is particularly urgent here. As the law in Bosnia and Herzegovina is traditionally orientated towards the Continental European model, consultation provided by Germany is particularly meaningful and sustainable. Difficulties arise in the project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the distinctly federal system. The entities of that only work together to a limited extent, which also leads to a fragmentation of the law. In addition, domestic political conflicts also result in a standstill of the reforms. In the light of this situation, the IRZ is currently focussing its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular on the basic and further training of lawyers.

Overall Concept

The IRZ supports basic and further training in the field of civil and commercial law at faculties of law and at both training centres for judges and public prosecutors. Furthermore, the foundation is involved in the field of constitutional law. Finally, the IRZ has issued a number of legal publications in the local language in recent years, which also target readers in other countries of the region. The partners in the country include, in particular, the Constitutional Court on the state level, the Centres for judicial and prosecutorial training of both entities and the faculties of law at the universities of Mostar, Sarajevo and Zenica, as well as the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava. In the course of its activities, the IRZ also creates opportunities deliberately for members of different population groups to meet one another, in order to counteract ethnic tensions.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional Constitutional Court Conference in Jahorina entitled “Theory and practice of the independence of constitutional courts”
  • Publication of a separate conference volume published comprising the presentations of the above-mentioned conference jointly by the IRZ and the Constitutional Court
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and another judge in the regional conference in Budva, Montenegro, entitled “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court Practice” organised together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Participation by judges of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the regional conference entitled “Constitutional Court protection in criminal law” organised in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court in Zlatibor, Serbia
  • Publication of the collection of case-law of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2016

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Hosting the regional conference on the topic of “The impact of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on national family laws” organised in conjunction with the Law Faculty of the Džemal Bijedić University in Mostar
  • Seminars within the training programme of the Judicial Training Centreof the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on the subjects:
    • “Factoring”
    • “Training the Trainer in European law” and
    • “Influence of European law on national law”
  • Seminar within the training programme of the Judicial Training Centre of the Republika Srpska in Banja Luka on the topic “Influence of European law on national law”
  • Preparation of an introductory volume on the Limited Liability Companies Act (GmbH), Sarajevo

Public Law

  • Conference “Right to asylum and the European influence on national legislation” with the legal aid organisation Vaša Prava in Sarajevo

Administration of Justice

  • Continuation of the publication of the “Nova pravna revija – časopis za domaće, njemačko i evropsko pravo”, abbreviated as NPR (New Legal Review – a journal of regional, German and European law)
  • Developing an own website for the above-mentioned journal (http:// nova-pravna-revija.info), including a comprehensive download section
  • Publication of a translation of the German Act on Senior Judicial Officers with an introductory commentary as part of the IRZ book series with translated and reviewed German laws
  • Participation by a scholar from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the interdisciplinary symposium “Legal transformation in South-East Europe using former Yugoslavia as an example: prerequisites, parties involved, failures and successes” organised jointly by the IRZ and the South-East Europe association in Berlin
  • Participation by a legal scholar from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the regional workshop “Methods of coming to terms with the past” in collaboration with the Munich Institute for Eastern European Law held in Munich, Nuremberg and Regensburg

Basic and Further Training

  • Continuation of the supplementary studies on German law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo with regular lectures held in German by local lecturers, as well as block lectures by German speakers
  • Further expansion of the supporting German language law library and graduation of the first generation of successful graduates of this supplementary studies on German law
  • Seminar “Introduction on legal methodology” with regional involvement in Zenica
  • Regional block seminar “Introduction to German law” at the Faculty of Law of Zenica
  • Legal terminology course entitled “German for lawyers” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sarajevo

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing and intensifying its project work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 in close cooperation with its partners. The focus here will be on the continuation of the cooperation with the Constitutional Court at the state level and the two training centres for judges and Public Prosecutors.