The seminar group with lawyer Jens Dieckmann
The seminar group with lawyer Jens Dieckmann

Following on from other seminars held successfully over the past two years, once again this year the IRZ, in cooperation with the BMJV (German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection), organised a two-day seminar on an “Introduction to German law” for Arabic-speaking refugees from a legal background on 10 and 11 December 2018 in Bonn.

With this event, the IRZ aims to make a contribution towards the integration of Arabic-speaking refugee law professionals. Most of the eight participants had completed law studies and some of them used to work as lawyers in Syria.

The two-day workshop included an introduction to the basic principles of German constitutional law, the structure of the judicial system in Germany and the basics of general civil and criminal law. Subjects in the areas of social and asylum law were also discussed intensively. The focus of the course was on using illustrative case examples, which related to the everyday experiences of the refugees. This led to animated exchanges and plenty of interesting questions. The Syrian law professionals were frequently able to draw parallels between the German and Syrian legal systems.

The event was translated consecutively, which was very much appreciated by the participants, since it meant that they could test and develop their understanding of the language.

The prospects for refugees from a legal background to gain a foothold in a legal profession in Germany may be limited, but this project offers them a chance. Having completed the course, the participants can start working in an advisory capacity in a private environment and serve as intermediaries with the German authorities.

This year, the IRZ was supported by experienced speakers, Uwe Stark, a judge at the Local Court of Siegen, Eda Yürüktümen, a judge at the Regional Court of Bonn, and Jens Dieckmann, a lawyer specialising in asylum and criminal law at the Becher & Dieckmann law firm.