• The participants of the internship programme for notaries on an excursion to Cologne

    The participants of the internship programme for notaries on an excursion to Cologne

  • Participants of the internship programme for lawyers with the representatives of the German Bar Association, attorneys Franz Peter Altemeier (7th from right) and Christian Schwörer (over on the right)

    Participants of the internship programme for lawyers with the representatives of the German Bar Association, attorneys Franz Peter Altemeier (7th from right) and Christian Schwörer (over on the right)

  • Participants of the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

    Participants of the internship programme for criminal court judges and public prosecutors

  • Participants at the IRZ’s fifth “German law” summer school in Brühl and Bonn

    Participants at the IRZ’s fifth “German law” summer school in Brühl and Bonn

  • The participants of the internship programme for administrative court judges at the concluding event in the IRZ’s conference room

    The participants of the internship programme for administrative court judges at the concluding event in the IRZ’s conference room

  • Group photo of the participants of the internship programme for civil and commercial court judges

    Group photo of the participants of the internship programme for civil and commercial court judges

Strategic framework

Overall concept

The IRZ 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 a forum for an exchange on current issues in the field of legal reforms.

Since the reform processes differ from one partner country to another, such events are usually characterised by lively discussions, which are highly inspirational for the further work in the home country. Furthermore, the IRZ thus enables the participating states to re-establish or step up working contacts with one another.

The IRZ's internship programmes have a similar effect when it comes to creating networks. They offer to participants the opportunity to share their German colleagues' everyday work in German law firms and notaries' offices, in courts and in public prosecution offices. This provides them with an insight into their working methods, as well as with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of German and European law. The contacts that have been made in the multilateral field frequently lead to cooperation being continued at bilateral level.

There has also been a website since 2008 to maintain contacts for the former participants of the multilateral internship programme for lawyers (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 on this site.

Foci of activity in 2015

Fourth International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs on the topic of "Protection of fundamental rights and their possible restrictions, as well as consumer protection on the web" in Berlin

Parliamentarians from more than fifteen IRZ partner states in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia and in North Africa, as well as in the Middle East, took up the invitation to attend the Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs which was held in Berlin on 1 and 2 June, which the IRZ held together with the Bundestag's Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection.

The focus was placed on the challenges arising for the legislature when it comes to the protection of citizens' fundamental rights within the context of the fight against terrorism and the digitalisation of business transactions. The discussion focussed on the following topics, amongst other things:

  • The range of fundamental rights and their restrictability,
  • Possibilities of judicial legal protection,
  • The tension between individual freedoms and the fight against terrorism,
  • Protection of privacy in digital media and with legal transactions on the Internet.

The conference was opened by Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and deputy head of the IRZ's Board of Trustees, as well as Renate Künast, Chairperson of the German Bundestag's Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection, who chaired the meeting together with Dirk Mirow, Director of the IRZ, Dr. Bernhard Dombek, President of the Federal Bar, ret., and the Member of Parliament Dr. Jan-Marco Luczak. Senior representatives of the German judiciary, of Academia and of the German Bundestag spoke. The focus was also on the reports and experience of Parliamentarians from the IRZ's partner states, as well as on an exchange of ideas between all those attending the conference.

Fifth IRZ "German law" summer school in Brühl and Bonn

The IRZ celebrated a minor anniversary with the fifth IRZ "German law" summer school, which took place in Brühl and Bonn from 5 to 11 July. This year, the summer school also addressed law students from many partner states of the IRZ, and is still very much in demand.

The event was originally meant to complement the German-language supplementary introductory studies in German law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov in Western Ukraine. In the subsequent years, the summer school was also opened up for participants from other states. This year, it was attended by students from eight IRZ partner states: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.

In addition to lectures on a wide variety of legal fields, the items which appear on the programme of the summer school every year also include an opportunity to attend a civil and a criminal chamber at Bonn Regional and Local Courts, as well as discussions on opportunities to study for foreign students and postgraduates at the University of Bonn.

XVII International Constitutional Law Conference in Regensburg

This already traditional multilateral conference on constitutional law took place at the University of Regensburg on 16 and 17 October on the topic of "The relationship between constitutional courts and ordinary courts", and was attended by representatives from constitutional and other courts from many of the IRZ's partner states. This congress has become established as a major forum for an international, practice-orientated exchange of experience between constitutional court judges.

Internships

  • Three-week internship programme for administrative court judges in cooperation with the German Association of Administrative Court Judges
  • Three-week internship programme for notaries in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries
  • 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 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 will continue to offer the internship programmes for members of the judiciary and of the administration of justice, which have now become an established institution, since the practice-orientated professional exchange of experience effectively supports the partner states in their efforts to reform. This applies in equal measure to the IRZ summer school. The IRZ will also continue to hold multilateral conferences and symposia on selected topics in 2016.