Data protection notice: Protection of personal data is an important concern for us. Therefore, usage data are collected and stored only in an anonymized form on this website for the purpose of optimization.
On 28 and 29 May 2019, a two-day seminar on judicial ethics was held at the “Pavel Shatev” Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje. The event was organised by the Academy in partnership with the IRZ.
The seminar was opened by Dr. Pavlina Jankukovska from the Academy, who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Academy’s Director. The local IRZ representative, Natasha Andreevska, spoke on behalf of the IRZ.
This was followed by speeches by Fidancho Stoev, a former judge at the Supreme Court of North Macedonia, and by Dr. Pavlina Jankulovska, a public prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bitola. Dr. Gerhard Kircher, former President of the Higher Regional Court in Oldenburg, was the German speaker.
The participants in the first day of the seminar were:
The presidents of various courts,
the heads of various public prosecutor’s offices and
members of the Judicial and Public Prosecutors’ councils.
On the following day, employees of the courts and public prosecutor’s offices from all the judicial districts in the country attended the event.
The main focus of the seminar was on the theoretical and practical aspects of professional ethics, with an emphasis on the particular responsibility of representatives of the third state authority. The speeches each led on to lively discussions, which focussed above all on judicial independence and impartiality in accordance with article 6 of the ECHR.
The position of judges and their exposure to corruption was also discussed. In this respect, the participants came to the conclusion that the independence of the judiciary needs to be backed up by the executive authority and policy. This is particularly important because an unreliable justice system is considered to be an obstacle for the foreign investment that is urgently required in North Macedonia.
Judicial ethics are becoming increasingly significant in the context of the current judicial reform in North Macedonia. The event ties in with the previous activities of the IRZ in this area. It also supplements the advice given by the IRZ recently for the revision of the conditions for the qualification of future judges.
On 17 December 2018 the IRZ, the representative of Macedonia to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Judicial Academy jointly organised an event in Skopje on the case law of the ECHR. After the welcome address of the German ambassador Thomas Gerberich, the former Macedonian judge in Strasbourg, Dr. Mirjana Lazarova Traijskovska, gave a talk about the analysis of the ECHR case law to date and its consequences with regard to Macedonia. This analysis had been carried out on the occasion of the 20-year membership of the country in the Council of Europe. On the same occasion a further issue of then newsletter on ECHR case law of particular importance for Macedonia was presented. The newsletter is published in Macedonian as well as in the language of the Albanian minority.
As well as Dr. Trajkovska the former President of the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, Winfried Schubert, was a speaker at the conference. Together with the publications presented, the talks gave a detailed picture of topics needing to be tackled in the future.
On the following day a workshop, organised in cooperation with the Non-Governmental Organisation “Institute for Democracy”, took place dealing with issues regarding the introduction of constitutional complaints in Macedonia. Valuable input was provided by the experience of the Republic of Serbia in this context, where the IRZ had successfully supported the introduction of constitutional complaints.
These events, as well as the talks held at the Constitutional Court on the same occasion, are part of the IRZ’s activities in the field of human rights. Human rights, as well as the rule of law, are focal points in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Western Balkans.
Additionally, the professional appraisal of judges according to the German model will be included in the draft of a new court act which will soon be discussed during government consultations. This is based on suggestions by the IRZ. The same applies to several IRZ proposals regarding the drafting of a new administrative procedure act.
From 23 to 27 September 2018, the Macedonian special prosecution office was in Berlin to learn about “The criminal investigation process in Germany”. The working visit was organised by the IRZ as part of a project financed by the German Foreign Office. The special prosecution office was set up at the instigation of the EU, after approx. 600,000 phone calls made by at least 20,000 Macedonian citizens had been illegally recorded. The special prosecution office also resolves other criminal investigations involving high-ranking politicians and other officials.
The delegation led by special prosecutor Katica Janeva was made up of six employees from the special prosecution office, who completed an extensive programme. The working visit began with a welcome to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection by senior government official Dr. Christiane Unland-Schlebes, INT-KOR department, and two expert lectures by regional court judges Dr. Lasse Dinter, department RB2/RB3, and EStA Dr. Frank Böhme, department II A4.
These were followed by other lectures and expert talks by and including (in chronological order):
Former Head of Criminal Investigations, Hans-Dieter Hilken,
Senior Public Prosecutor Frank Seidel, Frankfurt/Oder,
Senior Public Prosecutor Björn Kelpin, Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office, and
Police Chief Superintendent, Frank Pein, Berlin.
Former Senior Public Prosecutor, Ralf Rother, Berlin, was also available for an exchange of thoughts and experiences.
The official Foreign Office representative for South-East Europe, Turkey and the EFTA countries, Ambassador Dr. Christian Hellbach, also welcomed the delegation to the Foreign Office.
Thanks to the speakers’ expertise in a broad range of subjects, as well as their extensive practical experience, the Macedonian guests were able to gain an insight into the criminal investigation process in Germany. They were particularly interested in learning about the fight against corruption, money laundering and asset recovery.
Two examples from the latest German legislation, namely § 299a of the penal code “Corruption in healthcare” and § 73 of the penal code in the version resulting from the law on the reform of the recovery of criminal assets from 2017, were seen by the participants in the delegation de lege ferenda as solutions for Macedonian law.
Since the IRZ is currently having the German penal code (StGB) translated into Macedonian as part of another project, these standards and the translated excerpts from the reasoning of the law will be made available to the Macedonian Ministry of Justice and other disseminators in the country.
The event was also supported by the German Federal Bar, which provided the premises for the expert talks, since the meeting room in the “home of the law”, the headquarters of the Berlin subsidiary of the IRZ, was not available due to ongoing renovation work.