- Published: June 1, 2017
Legal Policy Starting Point
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Macedonia and the EU has been in force since April 2004. The country has had the status of an EU-accession candidate since December 2005. The European Commission’s Progress Reports, which have been increasingly critical in recent years, continually call to increase efforts in the sphere of the rule of law and for improvements in the quality of the judiciary. Moreover, various domestic political crises and conflicts were also observed in 2016. These amongst other things led to the scheduling of early elections, which have, however, had to be repeatedly delayed.
The initial situation for legal reform is characterised by restricted staffing capacities in the judicial institutions and a tendency towards hybrid statutes which combine elements of continental European and Anglo-American law.
The IRZ commenced its activities in Macedonia in 2000 in the context of the Stability Pact and considerably increased them in the second half of the decade. Regular joint events have, for instance, been held since 2007, the year in which the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors was established.
The IRZ also expanded the target group of its activities in Macedonia and their sustainability by means of legal publications in the country’s language. This includes the series of books “Contributions from the work of the IRZ in Macedonia” and the publication of a Macedonian European Law Journal. In two further publication series, material from the European Court of Human Rights is translated into Macedonian in cooperation with the Case-Law Information and Publications Division of the European Court of Human Rights and the Macedonian Government Agent for the Court in Strasbourg, and disseminated in book form and on the Internet. In this context, a six-monthly information service on the Strasbourg case-law is published in Macedonian and Albanian.
The IRZ’s partners in Macedonia include the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Government’s Agent for the European Court of Human Rights, the Association of Criminal Law and Criminology and academic researchers from the Faculty of Law in Skopje.
It is particularly important to improve the quality of the application of law in Macedonia and ensuring a uniform orientation towards continental European law, which would also be in line with the Macedonian tradition. The IRZ therefore focuses on supporting the application of the law by means of further training events and publications. Further important topics are human rights and their enforceability, as well as maintaining contacts with young lawyers, who constitute a major target group as potential future multipliers. They are also addressed by events on German and European law.
Foci of Activity 2016
Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability
- Publication and promotion of the handbook on European Data Protection Law in Macedonian in Skopje
- Participation by the President of the Macedonian Constitutional Court and by a further judge at the conference on the topic of “Constitutional court review of elections” organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court in Budva, Montenegro
- Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors on the topic of “The significance of Article 1 of the First Supplementary Protocol on the European Convention on Human Rights” in Skopje
- Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors on the topic of “Principles of electoral law”
- Second and third newsletter entitled “Current information on the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Macedonia” in Macedonian and Albanian
Administration of Justice
- Publication of the Macedonian European Law Journal “Evropsko pravo” (European law) in cooperation with academic researchers at the Faculty of Law in Skopje
- Publication of the website www.evropskopravo.online, on which “Evropsko pravo” is offered for downloading along with other publications in Macedonian and other languages of the region, which the IRZ co-publishes
- Distribution of specialist publications in related languages from the IRZ’s project work to selected project partners
- Criminal Law and Penitentiary Enforcement Conference in Skopje entitled “Sentencing and the application of alternative measures in Macedonian law” together with the Association for Criminal Law and Criminology
Basic and Further Training
- Research project in Bonn and Cologne entitled “Abuse of civil law in authoritarian systems”
- Guest lecture entitled “Dealing with the legal past in Germany” in cooperation with the faculty group ELSA (European Law Students’ Association)
The IRZ will continue to focus its activities in Macedonia on European law and human rights in 2017. In this context, it will continue cooperating with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in basic and further training in various fields of law and further seminars on various fields of law with particular practical significance. The IRZ will also continue its series of law publications.
Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.