Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, during his lecture at the Albanian School of Magistrates.
Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, during his lecture at the Albanian School of Magistrates.
Albania

Following on from its long-standing collaboration with the Albanian School of Magistrates, the IRZ took part in a further training event on 21-22 June on the topic of “Electronic evidence in civil proceedings”.

Twelve judges attended the seminar, which was held against the backdrop of the increasing importance of electronic evidence in the Albanian judiciary and the recent amendments to civil procedural law.

The focus of the measure was a comprehensive comparative legal examination of the common practice when dealing with electronic evidence in Albania and Germany and to identify potential solutions and best practices in the daily activities of the judiciary and Public Prosecutors’ Offices in Albania.

Mr. Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, participated as the German expert on behalf of the IRZ.

The speakers highlighted the importance and appreciation of electronic evidence in civil proceedings in Albania and Germany with the Albanian team of experts, consisting of Dr. Flutura Kola (Professor at the University of Tirana), Emona Muci (Judge at the Tirana District Court), and Dashamir Kore (lecturer at the School of Magistrates). The different legal practices and administrative structures that emerged in this context provoked some lively discussions among the participants.

Christian Schmitz-Justen also gave a detailed explanation of the role of experts and witnesses in civil proceedings, and then presented the electronic file management and the administrative structure of the Cologne Higher Regional Court. He also discussed the influence of artificial intelligence on case law. On the latter topic, he described the US case Loomis vs Wisconsin, in which a defendant was sentenced to a long prison sentence based on a risk of recidivism that had been calculated using software. Mr. Schmitz-Justen emphasised that the use of artificial intelligence is always accompanied by ambiguity regarding the parameters used, which is why case law in Germany and Europe should remain independent of such technology.

The exchange of comparative legal expertise and experience with the School of Magistrates will continue in the future, funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice.