Event to celebrate the end of the EU Twinning Light Project “Strengthening the capacities of the authorized bodies for fight against crime”

Project Manager Norbert Koster; Nicola Bertolini, EU Delegation for North Macedonia; Project Manager Gordana Smakjoska; Public Prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska,  Specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia (from left to right)
Project Manager Norbert Koster; Nicola Bertolini, EU Delegation for North Macedonia; Project Manager Gordana Smakjoska; Public Prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska, Specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia (from left to right)
North Macedonia

On 22 November 2019, the IRZ successfully concluded the EU Twinning Light Project “Strengthening the capacities of the authorized bodies for fight against crime” with a closing conference held in Skopje. During the course of this project, which was completed in just eight months by the IRZ in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Public Prosecutor's Office of North Macedonia, all the main objectives in the area of applying special investigation methods were achieved, including the assessment and analysis of the Criminal Procedure Law, the Penal Code and the Law on Confidential Information. At several meetings and round table discussions, the German experts discussed the existing problems with North Macedonian representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Financial Police, the Customs Authority and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and worked on recommendations for changes to the law.

A second component of the project dealt in particular with providing the employees of the beneficiary institutions with the relevant training. To achieve this, two German public prosecutors devised a training programme, which was then applied in ten two-day training sessions by trainers from North Macedonia. With the support of German and Austrian public prosecutors, more than a hundred representatives of North Macedonian public prosecutor’s offices were trained in this way.

In order to get an insight into the practical work involved in applying special investigation methods in Germany, in October a group of North Macedonian investigators travelled to Germany for talks at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Düsseldorf (Specialist Department of Organised Crime and Cconomic Crime), the Local and Regional Courts and the State Office of Criminal Investigation for North Rhine-Westphalia.

The closing conference was opened by:

  • Nicola Bertolini, Head of the International Cooperation Department, EU Delegation for North Macedonia,
  • Gordana Smakjoska, Public Prosecutor at the Specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia and a Project Manager, and
  • Norbert Koster, a Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Hamm and a Project Manager.

Afterwards, the main results of the projects were presented once again by the following experts from Germany and North Macedonia, and further light was shed on these results through lectures on financial investigation from the point of view of police and customs authorities.

  • Vilma Ruskovska, Public Prosecutor at the Specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia;
  • Bojan Dukovski, Legal Advisor at the Specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia;
  • Dr. Stefan Trunk, Senior Public Prosecutor, Head of the Department for Economic Crime and Legal Assistance at the Duisburg Public Prosecutor’s Office;
  • Andreas Stüve, Senior Public Prosecutor, Head of the Department for Organised Crime at the Duisburg Public Prosecutor’s Office;
  • Detlef Kreutzer, former Head of the Department for Organised Crime, Money Laundering and Cybercrime at the Hamburg Police;
  • Iris Rebe-Plößer, German Central Customs Authority, Customs Criminal Investigation Office.

The project tied in with the EU Twinning Project “Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centres” in North Macedonia, which was also carried out by the IRZ in partnership with Croatia. This means that the results of the project will be put to further use. The IRZ will also be able to continue its successful partnership with those investigators who have already attended their training sessions. Both of these will contribute towards the success of the project. 

Project description: Strengthening the capacities of the authorized bodies for fight against crime

Funded by the European Union

Two seminars on lawyer liability held in North Macedonia

Lawyer Bertin Chab, lawyer Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ, lawyer Jelena Ristikj, Vice-President of the North Macedonia Bar Association and lawyer Prof. Dr. Zoran Mihajlovski (from left to right)
Lawyer Bertin Chab, lawyer Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ, lawyer Jelena Ristikj, Vice-President of the North Macedonia Bar Association and lawyer Prof. Dr. Zoran Mihajlovski (from left to right)
North Macedonia

On 3 and 4 October 2019, two seminars were held in Skopje, which both covered the same subject of the civil liability of lawyers. The first seminar was aimed at judges and lawyers, whilst the target group for the second seminar was those who had passed the introductory course to the justice system for prospective judges and public prosecutors. The events were organised jointly by the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors “Pavel Shatev” and the IRZ.

Once the Director of the Academy, judge Natasha Gaber-Damjanovska, and lawyer Dr. Stefan Pürner from the IRZ had opened the seminar, lawyer Jelena Ristikj gave an introductory lecture. The Vice-President of the North Macedonia Bar Association provided a general overview of the law on lawyers in North Macedonia, during which she focussed in particular on the disciplinary law for lawyers as opposed to the subsequent civil law issues.

The lecture by Jelena Ristikj was followed by speeches from the lawyer from Skopje, Prof. Dr. Zoran Mihajlosk, and the lawyer Bertin Chab, who is Chief Counsel at Allianz Insurance in Munich. They each presented the proprietary side of professional errors made by lawyers in the laws of their own home countries.

Cases of lawyer liability are still rare in North Macedonia. This means that there is a lack of dogmatic understanding of these matters. This is precisely why knowledge from German legal practice could be helpful for the application and development of the law.

During the discussions at both seminars, it became clear that the high requirements imposed by German case law on legal diligence are seen as unusual by other countries but that the subject of lawyer liability is an important aspect of consumer protection.

Opening event of the EU Twinning Project ”Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centre“

Mr. Ljubomir Joveski, Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia
Mr. Ljubomir Joveski, Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia
North Macedonia

On 13 of September 2019 - after a four-month project implementation - the kick-off event for the EU twinning project "Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centre " (see project description) took place in Skopje, North Macedonia.

The event was opened by the following high-ranking officials of the Republic of North Macedonia:

  • Ljubomir Joveski (Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia),
  • Renata Deskoska (Minister of Justice) and
  • Oliver Spasovski (Minister of Interior),

who underlined the importance of the project for their country’s further progress towards implementing the rule of law and thus strengthening the justice system in general and public confidence in the judiciary in particular in their keynote speeches.

Further speakers were

  • Samuel Žbogar (EU Ambassador in Skopje),
  • Dr. Stefan von der Beck (State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lower Saxony, Germany),
  • Otto Graf (German Deputy Ambassador in Skopje) and
  • Ivan Crnčec (Assistant Minister, Ministry of Justice of Republic of Croatia and also Junior Project Leader of the Twinning project),

who underlined the importance of the ongoing twinning project which will run until May 2021.

Dr. Stefan von der Beck, State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lower Saxony, Germany

Dr. Stefan von der Beck, State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lower Saxony (Germany) during his speech

The analysis of the current situation with regard to the investigation centres in North Macedonia has already started within the framework of the Twinning project and will be continued in the coming months in accordance with the work plan prepared by the twinning partners.

In the second part of the kick-off event, the two project leaders Gordana Smakjoska (Public Prosecutor, Basic Public Prosecutor's Office for combating Organised Crime and Corruption, Skopje) and Dr. Stefan Trunk (Senior Public Prosecutor, Head of the Departments for Economic Crime and Legal Assistance, Duisburg) presented the first outcomes and details of the project components.

Funded by the European Union