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Macedonia - annual report 2013

Published: May 21, 2014
Länderbericht Mazedonien 2013Presentation of the Macedonian translation of the Guide on Admissibility Criteria for applications to the European Court of Human Rights: Ambassador Gudrun Steinacker welcomes the guests

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Macedonia and the EU has been in force since 1 April 2004. The country has had the status of an accession candidate since December 2005. The European Commission's 2013 Progress Report calls to step up the efforts in the rule of law and for improvements to be made to the quality of the judiciary. The situation continues to be typified by restricted staffing capacities in the judicial institutions and a frequently indifferent attitude taken by local experts vis-a'-vis solutions orientated in line with continental European law and a tendency towards hybrid laws incorporating elements of continental European and Anglo-American law.

Cooperation to date

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, especially by contributing contacts which had been made from a major third party-funded project, as well as following on from the foundation of the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors. Regular joint events have been taking place with the Academy since 2007, as they also have with the Macedonian Bar. The IRZ is also expanding the target group of its activities in Macedonia and their sustainability through judicial publications in the local language. After the series of books entitled "Contributions from the work of the IRZ in Macedonia" had become established, the IRZ launched a further regular series of publications in 2012 through the publication of a Macedonian European law journal. Following on from these activities, it started in 2013 to translate material from the ECHR into Macedonian in cooperation with the Case-Law Information and Publications Division of the European Court of Human Rights, and to disseminate it in the form of books and on the Internet.

Major partners

Strategy and method

It is particularly a matter of improving the quality of the application of the law in Macedonia and of ensuring a uniform orientation towards continental European law, something which would also be in line with the Macedonian tradition. The IRZ is hence concentrating 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, German-speaking lawyers, who constitute a major target group as potential future multipliers. The IRZ also works on suitable topics with other German organisations in situ.

Foci of activity in 2013

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

Civil and commercial law

Administration of justice

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

Basic and further training

Outlook

The IRZ will continue cooperating with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in basic and further training in various legal fields, and will organise further seminars on various fields of law with particular practical significance. The IRZ will also continue its series of judicial publications. The topic of the ECHR will furthermore continue to be significant within the project work in Macedonia.