- Published: December 4, 2019
On 4 December 2019, the IRZ and the Institute for Democracy “Socitas Civilis” held a joint event in Skopje on the subject of constitutional complaint. In view of the fact that North Macedonia is the only country in the region that has still not introduced a comprehensive constitutional complaint, this event was held to inform participants about the benefits of this important legal institution, as well as the legal means of introducing it and the organisational measures required for its implementation.
The event was opened by the President of the Institute for Democracy, Marko Trošanovski, and Dr. Stefan Pürner, representing the IRZ as responsible Head of Section. The welcome speech was given by Secretary of State Faton Selami, representing the Minister of Justice, Prof. Dr. Renata Deskoska, who was abroad at the time.
An internal workshop on the subject had preceded this event. The results of the workshop, which had been summarised in a policy document, were presented by the following authors:
- Dr. Mirijana Lazarova Trajkovska, a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights,
- Winfried Schubert, a former president of the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, and
- Dr. Denis Prešova, an assistant working for the Department of Constitutional Law and Political Systems at the University of Skopje, whose work focusses on German law.
The results of the internal workshop should continue to provide specialist support for public discussions.
During the event, it became clear that introducing the constitutional complaint would significantly improve the legal protection of the citizens of North Macedonia, as well as reducing the workload of the European Court of Human Rights. However, considerable preparations will need to be made before the constitutional complaint can be introduced in North Macedonia. Since there is not yet any constitutional court law in this country, experts believe that there would need to be changes to the constitution before the constitutional complaint could be introduced. Considerable organisational preparations would also be required. These include a considerable increase in staff numbers, as well as providing training for the required new judges and new research staff.
The participants in the event pointed out that the relationship between the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court in the country would change with the introduction of the constitutional complaint. The Constitutional Court in particular would need to adhere to its intended role and only assess the judgements of the Supreme Court for potential violations of basic rights and not with regard to any other incorrect applications of the law. Another prerequisite for the introduction of the constitutional complaint would also be for the general public and specialist groups to be provided with detailed information on the subject. This event has already made a significant contribution towards this.