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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.
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) 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.
Since reforms are planned in the areas of substantive criminal law and criminal procedure law in North Macedonia and the IRZ wants to support this process with various measures for supporting legislation, it has now published translations of the German Criminal Code and the German Code of Criminal Procedure in book form. Each translation is introduced by an expert in criminal law and Eastern European law.
The introduction to the translation of the German Criminal Code was written by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Friedrich-Christian Schroeder, Scientific Director at the Munich Institute for Eastern European Law based in Regensburg. The introduction to the translation of the German Code of Criminal Procedure was written by Dr. Ulrike Phieler-Mohrbach, currently a presiding judge at the Regional Court of Potsdam and formerly an assistant working for the Department of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Eastern European Law at the University of Regensburg.
With the publication of translations of relevant German legal texts, the IRZ wants to reinforce the role played by German law in guiding legal transformation, as well as address those law professionals in the relevant partner country who are not directly involved in the development of draft legislation.
Minister of Justice expresses her thanks for successful support with legislation
The IRZ is providing extremely intensive support for the judicial reform process in North Macedonia. Some time ago now, IRZ experts gave various opinions on the draft texts for a new Regulatory Offences Act and on changes to the Rules of the Administrative Courts and the Law on Courts, which were largely taken into account in the new legal provisions. Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Renata Deskosoka has written a long letter to thank the IRZ experts for their support.