- Published: May 2, 2016
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 Progress Reports, which have been increasingly critical in recent years, continually call to step up the efforts concerning the rule of law and for improvements to be made to the quality of the judiciary. Moreover, various domestic policy crises and conflicts were observed this year. The technical starting situation is typified by restricted staffing capacities in the judicial institutions and a tendency towards hybrid laws combining 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 taken place 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. 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 ECtHR into Macedonian in cooperation with the "Case-Law Information and Publications Division" of the European Court of Human Rights, and to disseminate it in book form and on the Internet. These activities were supplemented this year by the establishment of a six-monthly information service on the Strasbourg case-law in Macedonian and Albanian, which is published together with the Macedonian Government's representative to the ECtHR.
The IRZ's partners in Macedonia include the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Government's representative to the ECtHR, the Chamber of Notaries, as well as researchers from the Faculty of Law in Skopje.
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. When it comes to suitable topics, the IRZ also cooperates with other German organisations on the spot. Furthermore, it addresses young lawyers, including through events on German and European law.
Foci of activity in 2015
Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability
- Publication and promotion of the information service on "Topical information on the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights relating to Macedonia", together with the Macedonian Government's Agent before the ECtHR, Skopje
- Translation of the manual on European data protection law into Macedonian in cooperation with the ECtHR and the Council of Europe
- Attendance by the President of the Macedonian Constitutional Court and by a further judge at the conference on the topic of "Freedom of opinion: Legal provisions and case-law", organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court in Bečići, Montenegro
- Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topic of the "Significance of Article 1 of the 1st Protocol on the ECHR"
Civil and commercial law
- Seminars at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topics:
- judicial issues related to the recognition of arbitral rulings
- labour law, taking into account the prohibition of workplace mobbing
- Block event for Masters students entitled "Introduction to German and European law" in Mavrovo, together with Skopje Faculty of Law
Administration of justice
- Publication of the Macedonian European law journal entitled "Evropsko pravo" (European law) in cooperation with academics at Skopje Faculty of Law
- Publication of the website www.evropskopravo.info, on which "Evropsko pravo" is offered for downloading, as are 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
- Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topic of "Judicial ethics, in particular conflicts of interest"
- Seminars at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topics of:
- procurement law, particularly focussing on the fight against corruption
- mediation, settlements and contracts in administration procedures and administrative court proceedings
- Attendance by young Macedonian lawyers at the 17th International Cartel Conference of the Federal Cartel Office in Berlin
- Conference in Skopje entitled "The law on the execution of criminal sanctions against juveniles and the importance of resocialisation", together with the Association for Criminal Law and Criminology
Basic and further training
- Attendance by young Macedonian lawyers at the "German law" summer school in Brühl and Bonn
The IRZ will continue cooperating with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in basic and further training in various legal fields in 2016, 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. Finally, the IRZ is planning to work together more intensively with the non-governmental sector.