- Published: July 5, 2019
On 20 and 21 June 2019, two events were staged in Skopje addressing the role of presidents of courts and heads of public prosecutor's offices. The events were organised jointly by the Academy for Judges and Prosecutors, "Pavel Shatev", and the IRZ.
The kick-off event was entitled "The role of presidents of courts in the administration of courts - management and organisation of the work performed by judges and staff". Presidents of courts, their vice presidents and members of the Council of Judges were invited to attend the event.
Otto Graf, Permanent Representative of the German Ambassador to Northern Macedonia, welcomed the participants in an opening address to the conference, in which he underscored the role played by rule of law in preparations for EU membership.
Judge Shefajet Hajdari, President of the Gostivar Court of Appeal, then provided an overview of the legal foundations as well as actual practice in the management of courts in Northern Macedonia, while involving the participants in the discussion right from the outset. This allowed a comprehensive picture to be sketched of the problems facing the judiciary in Northern Macedonia, such as the lack of staffing or excessive workloads on judges. It became clear that the assignment and posting of personnel required is also influenced by statutory provisions, e.g. relating to the amount of detail to be contained in records of proceedings, or the use of dictating programs in the national language.
The German speaker was Winfried Schubert, former President of the Constitutional Court of Saxony-Anhalt and former President of the Higher Regional Court. In his remarks, the far-reaching competencies of the court presidium in Germany aroused considerable interest. In Northern Macedonia, some of its tasks, including the official assessment of judges' work, are performed by the Judicial Council.
The second day's event, which addressed the role played by heads of public prosecutor's offices, was intended for senior public prosecutors, their assistants and members of the Public Prosecutor's Council.
Presentations were given by Liljana Spasovska, Northern Macedonia Public Prosecutor's Office, and Winfried Schubert, former Prosecutor General.
Both events were characterised by intensive discussions. Another main topic was also the institution of the budget officer or officers. The participants discussed tools like benchmarking and cost-benefit analyses as well as how information obtained using these tools can be used.
The participants were surprised to learn that, according to surveys, trust and confidence in the judiciary is particularly salient in states which do not have a judicial council or where the judicial council only performs an advisory function.