• Attendees at the international conference of the Memorandum Group of the judges’ associations in Yerevan. Also attending: Arman Mkrtumyan, President of the Armenian Court of Cassation (1st row, 5th from left)

    Attendees at the international conference of the Memorandum Group of the judges’ associations in Yerevan. Also attending: Arman Mkrtumyan, President of the Armenian Court of Cassation (1st row, 5th from left)

  • The attendees of the internship programme for notaries at the concluding event

    The attendees of the internship programme for notaries at the concluding event

  • The attendees of the internship programme for lawyers

    The attendees of the internship programme for lawyers

  • Introductory seminar on the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

    Introductory seminar on the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

  • Introductory seminar on the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

    Introductory seminar on the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

  • The attendees of the internship programme for civil and commercial court judges at the concluding event

    The attendees of the internship programme for civil and commercial court judges at the concluding event

Overall concept

The IRZ Foundation has also been operating at multilateral level since 1993, organising symposia and conferences and offering internship programmes. 

The symposia and conferences offer attendees from the partner states the opportunity to grasp new developments in legal reforms. Since European integration and the accession processes are at different stages, it is also possible to use such multilateral events to intensify exchanges between the partner states and enlarge the target group. Furthermore, the IRZ helps to create and enhance working contacts between the partner states by these means.

Multilateral basic and further training has a similar effect to conferences when it comes to creating networks. The IRZ's internship programmes should be primarily mentioned in this context, within which the participants are given the opportunity to observe work in German law firms and notaries' offices, in courts and in public prosecution offices, and thus to obtain an impression of their German colleagues' working methods, as well as to expand their knowledge of German and European law. Furthermore, the contacts that have been made in the multilateral field frequently continue at bilateral level.

There has also been a website since 2008 to maintain contacts for the former participants of the multilateral internship programme for solicitors (www.irz-netzwerk.eu), which has been running since 1994. In addition to the former participants, the German lawyers and law firms participating in the programme may also register in the integrated database. 

Foci of activity in 2014

International conference of the Memorandum Group of Judges' Associations in Armenia

This year's meeting of the "Memorandum Group of Judges' Associations" took place in Yerevan, Armenia, from 29 June to 1 July 2014. This was the fourth conference of the Memorandum Group, an association of Judges' Associations from various countries via multilateral cooperation which has been supported by the IRZ since it was established in 2010. The topic of this year's conference was judicial independence.

The conference, which was held in Armenia, was attended by representatives of the Judges' Associations of Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine. The conference was attended on the German side by Senior Public Prosecutor Dr. Peter Schneiderhan, member of the Executive Committee of the German Association of Judges (DRB), as well as by Dr. Helmut Palder, former head of division at the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and member of the DRB. Their speeches on the special situation of the independence of the judiciary in Germany, as well as on the significance of sound training for judges with regard to an independent judiciary, were very well received. Their contributions and those from Armenia and the Republic of Moldova were followed by controversial debates. The Memorandum Group also met in the sidelines of the conference to discuss the group's further development and future orientation. The attendees agreed here amongst other things to hold the next conference in 2015 in the Republic of Moldova, also with the support of the IRZ.

Internships

  • Six-week internship programme for lawyers in the fields of civil and commercial law in cooperation with the Federal Bar and the German Bar Association
  • Three-week internship programme for notaries in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries
  • Three-week internship programme for civil and commercial court judges, together with the German Association of Judges and the Land administrations of justice
  • Three-week internship programme for public prosecutors and criminal court judges together with the German Association of Judges and the Land administrations of justice

Outlook

The IRZ intends to continue to offer the internship programmes for legal experts from the above specialist areas, which have now become an established institution. It will also continue to hold multilateral conferences and symposia as well as regional conferences on various topics in 2015.