Second seminar on the “introduction into German law” designed for Arabic-speaking refugees with a legal background in Bonn

Veronika Keller-Engels (at the centre), IRZ General Director, and Mohamed Montasser Abidi (left), Head of Section for Northern Africa / Middle East, welcoming the particpants of the seminar
Veronika Keller-Engels (at the centre), IRZ General Director, and Mohamed Montasser Abidi (left), Head of Section for Northern Africa / Middle East, welcoming the particpants of the seminar

Based on the first positive experience from last year, the IRZ together with the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, organised a second seminar on the “introduction into German law” designed for Arabic-speaking refugees with a legal background in Bonn on 10 and 11 October 2017.

The objective of the follow-up event was to provide information for the Arabic-speaking refugees and facilitate their integration. To this end, the IRZ organised an introduction into German law and the fundamentals of the asylum system in Germany.

The invited group was made up of partly very experienced Syrian and Iraqi judges, lawyers, law professionals, civil servants and young law graduates.

The IRZ was supported by the experienced lecturers Uwe Stark, a judge at the local court of Siegen, Dr. Arnd Weishaupt, a presiding judge at the higher regional court of Düsseldorf, and Jens Dieckmann, a lawyer specializing in asylum and criminal law from the law firm Becher & Dieckmann.

On the first day of the seminar, the participants were welcomed by the IRZ General Director Veronika Keller-Engels and the Head of Section for Northern Africa / Middle East, Mohamed Montasser Abidi.

At the two-day event, the participants dealt with key questions of refugees’ residence in Germany. The topics under discussion were political asylum, subsidiary status, exceptional leave to remain, departure, subsequent immigration of family members and general procedural issues.

Further issues dealt with were:

  • The fundamentals of the German constitutional law and the importance of fundamental rights,
  • the organisation of the courts in Germany including general structures and procedural principles and
  • the fundamentals of general civil law, social law and German criminal law.

It was particularly important for the participants of the seminar to learn about opportunities of working as legal professionals in Germany.

Just like in the previous year, the event met with a very positive response by all parties involved. The participants were very interested and committed and discussed many practical issues from their every-day life.

The IRZ will continue and follow up on this project due to the unanimously positive feed-back.

Seventh IRZ Summer School on "German Law" in Bonn

  • The IRZ Summer School was hosted by the Regional Court of Bonn: Welcome speech by Regional Court Judge, Dr. Tobias Gülich

    The IRZ Summer School was hosted by the Regional Court of Bonn: Welcome speech by Regional Court Judge, Dr. Tobias Gülich

  • Participants in the IRZ Summer School in front of the University of Bonn

    Participants in the IRZ Summer School in front of the University of Bonn

From 2 to 7 July 2017, the IRZ organised its seventh “Summer School on German Law”. This year's school was held in Bonn.

Originally devised as an addition to the German-language supplementary study course on the introduction of German law at the Ivan Franko University of Lviv (Western Ukraine), the summer course has appealed to numerous IRZ partner states for many yeas now and every year is increasingly in great demand. Participants must have a very good level of German.

This year, eleven IRZ partner states were involved: Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam. Albania, Syria and Vietnam were represented for the first time.

The Summer School included lectures on the following legal fields:

  • Civil law, in particular property law/collateral securities,
  • Company law,
  • Insolvency law,
  • Arbitration,
  • European civil and commercial law,
  • Criminal law and criminal procedural law,
  • Constitutional court law,
  • Case law,
  • Law on lawyers and
  • Human rights (the protection of fundamental rights by the German Constitutional Court and by the European Convention on Human Rights / European Court of Human Rights).

The lecture and exercise on methodology, which had been very popular the previous year, was also back on the programme. The Summer School once again also included a visit to hearings at a civil and criminal division of the Regional and Local Courts of Bonn, as well as talks at the University of Bonn, during which participants could find out about the opportunities for study courses for foreign students and post-graduates.

Due to the great response and with a view to encouraging young legal talent, the IRZ Summer School, which is predominantly aimed at students and young law professionals, is set to continue in years to come.

25 years of the IRZ

  • Guests at the ceremony held in the inner courtyard of the BMJV 

    Guests at the ceremony held in the inner courtyard of the BMJV 

  • Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection during his speech 

    Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection during his speech 

  • Dr. Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth, President of the IRZ 

    Dr. Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth, President of the IRZ 

  • Keynote speaker Christoph Flügge, a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 

    Keynote speaker Christoph Flügge, a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 

On 16 May 2017, the IRZ celebrated its 25th anniversary at a ceremony held at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV). Around 250 people from Germany and abroad took part in the celebrations, by invitation of Minister Heiko Maas.

Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and Vice-President of the IRZ, opened the celebrations in the courtyard of the Ministry. During his speech, Christian Lange emphasised the global importance of law and justice and noted that freedom, peace and prosperity can only exist in a state governed by the rule of law. This is precisely where the tasks of the IRZ lie – in supporting the development of democratic states under the rule of law – and has become active in almost 30 states since its foundation in 1992.

During his welcome address, the President of the IRZ, Dr. Jörg Freiherr von Fürstenwerth, outlined the tasks and challenges involved in international legal cooperation, which the IRZ has had to face and overcome, against the backdrop of historical events in the year the IRZ was founded. Afterwards, the Managing Director of the IRZ, Veronika Keller-Engels, talked about the many years of intensive and trusting cooperation with the partner states, in which many representatives of IRZ member associations and other experts have played an important role. She thanked all the experts for their involvement and all members and supporters for their constant support for the work of the IRZ.

In his subsequent keynote speech, Christoph Flügge, a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, outlined the fundamental considerations in the struggle for the state governed by the rule of law amongst IRZ partner states and elaborated with details of his personal experience gained during many years of involvement in international legal cooperation. Christoph Flügge painted a very vivid picture of the work of the IRZ and of what has been achieved so far and, at the same time, pointed out the new tasks and challenges in new partner regions.