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Macedonia - annual report 2014

Published: May 5, 2014
Länderbericht Mazedonien 2014Ambassador Dr Christine Althauser opening the conference on the ECHR. Also attending: Dr Lazarova Trajokvska, Macedonian judge in Strasbourg (podium, 2nd from left)

Strategic framework

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 accession candidate since December 2005. The European Commission's highly critical 2014 Progress Report calls once more 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 tendency towards hybrid laws incorporating elements of continental European and Anglo-American law.

Overall concept

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 taken place since 2007, the year in which the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors was established. The IRZ has also expanded 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 European Court of Human Rights into Macedonian in cooperation with the Court's Case-Law Information and Publications Division, and to disseminate it in the form of books and on the Internet 

The IRZ's partners in Macedonia include the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Constitutional Court, the Chamber of Notaries, the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as researchers from the Law School in Skopje. Furthermore, the IRZ is working together with the ECtHR on training and publications on the ECHR. 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, Germanspeaking lawyers, who constitute a major target group as potential future multipliers. On suitable topics IRZ also cooperates with other German organisations in situ.

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

Civil and commercial law

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 in 2015, 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 ECHR will furthermore continue to be significant as a topic within the project work in Macedonia.