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Macedonia - annual report 2017

Published: June 1, 2018
Lecture on Hans Litten for the ELSA (European Law Student´s Association) student group of the Faculty of Law in Skopje
Lecture on Hans Litten for the ELSA (European Law Student´s Association) student group of the Faculty of Law in Skopje

Legal Policy Situation

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. From 2015 to May 2017, the country experienced its deepest post-millennial political crisis, during which tens of thousands of wiretap protocols were discovered. On top of that, there were mass protests. Following the election at the end of 2016, it took until June 2017 for a new social-democrat led coalition government to take office. An EU Senior Experts’ Group, headed by the German lawyer Reinhard Priebe, submitted a detailed and highly critical analysis of the situation of the Macedonian legal system in September 2017, which simultaneously highlights tasks that need to be dealt with in the future.

Overall Concept

The IRZ commenced its activities in Macedonia in the year 2000 in the context of the Stability Pact and increased them considerably in the second half of the decade. Since 2007, the year in which the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors was established, for example, regular joint events have been held. The IRZ expanded the target group of its activities in Macedonia and their sustainability, too, by means of legal publications in the country’s language. 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 and academics from the Faculty of Law in Skopje. It is particularly important to improve the quality of the application of law in Macedonia and to ensure a uniform orientation towards Continental European law, which would also be in line with the Macedonian tradition.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

Administration of Justice

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

Basic and Further Training

Outlook

In close consultation with the German Embassy in Skopje, the IRZ is currently examining how it can contribute to the judicial reform planned by the new government. There is a perennial related project already in place to support young lawyers in Macedonia, which began in 2017 and will be continued in 2018. Furthermore, the IRZ will keep on cooperating with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and continue its series of law publications.