Macedonia - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Mazedonien 2015First block seminar "Introduction to German law" in Skopje: students solve cases in group work

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 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.

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 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"

Public law

  • 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

Penitentiary law

  • 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

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 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.

Macedonia - annual report 2013

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

  • Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • Council of Europe
  • Constitutional Court
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Bar
  • Academics from the Law Faculty in Skopje
  • Office of the Ombudsman

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

  • Multilateral symposium on constitutional law at the University of Regensburg with the participation of a judge from the Macedonian Constitutional Court
  • Translation of the "Guide on Admissibility Criteria for applications to the European Court of Human Rights" into Macedonian
  • Publication of this Guide in book form as well as on the websites of the ECHR and of the Macedonian Bar
  • Conference on the European Convention on Human Rights with the participation of the Macedonian judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Dr. Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, organised in cooperation with the Macedonian Bar, the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors as well as the Office of the Ombudsman

Civil and commercial law

  • Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topic of "Public Procurement Law in Macedonia and in the EU"
  • Participation by the Chairman of the Macedonian Competition Authority at the 16th International Cartel Conference in Berlin
  • Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topic of "Dealing with mobbing under labour law"

Administration of justice

  • Conference entitled "Judicial ethics and combating corruption in the judiciary: Comparative experience and joint challenges", together with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and the German Association of Judges in Skopje and with the participation of the head of the German delegation of the Group of States against Corruption, GRECOPublic law
  • Participation of members of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Macedonian Parliament at the III International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin
  • Publication of two editions of the Macedonian-European law journal entitled "Evropsko pravo" (European law) in cooperation with academics at the Law Faculty of Skopje
  • Distribution of this journal in electronic form via the website of the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and of the Harmonius Network of Legal Scholars in South-East Europe

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Seminar at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topic of "Criminal investigations in economic and fiscal criminal cases"

Basic and further training

  • Participation by young Macedonian lawyers at the "German law" summer school in Brühl
  • Distribution of specialist publications which were drawn up in the context of the IRZ's project work in other countries of the region with related languages to selected project partners

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.

Macedonia - annual report 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

  • Participation of the President of the Macedonian Constitutional Court and the Macedonian judge in Strasbourg in the regional conference entitled "Fundamental rights and human rights issues in the context of measures involving deprivation of liberty and prohibition of torture" organised in Serbia together with the Serbian Constitutional Court
  • Book publication on the case-law of the ECtHR on Art. 5 as well as Art. 10 of the ECHR (continuation of the joint translation and publication project with ECtHR/Council of Europe)
  • Conference on Art. 5 and Art. 10 of the ECHR organised in cooperation with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Macedonian Bar

Civil and commercial law

  • Participation of Macedonian experts in a conference held by the Serbian Society for Insurance Law Administration of justice
  • Joint conference with the GIZ on the planned amendments to the Notaries Act, in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries and the German Association of Notaries
  • Publication of two editions of the Macedonian-European law journal entitled "Evropsko pravo" (European law) in cooperation with academics at the Law School of Skopje
  • Distribution of this journal in electronic form, including via the websites of the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and of the Harmonius Network of Legal Scholars in South-East Europe
  • Publication of the website www.evropskopravo.info, on which "Evropsko pravo" is offered, as well as other publications in Macedonian and other languages of the region which the IRZ co-publishes for download 
  • Distribution of legal publications in related languages from the IRZ's project work to selected project partners

Basic and further training

  • Seminars at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topics
    • "The influence of European law on national law"
    • "Performance evaluations of judges"
  • Participation of young Macedonian lawyers in the "German law" summer school in Brühl

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.