Cooperation with the School of Magistrates of the Republic of Albania

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

The focus of the bilateral partnership with the partner state Albania in April and May 2021 was on the cooperation with the School of Magistrates. The School of Magistrates is responsible for the training and education of judges and public prosecutors.

Four online events were dedicated to the following subjects:

  • “The structure of public prosecutor’s offices and the role of the Public Prosecutor General” on 9 April 2021
  • “Justice and the media” on 15 April 2021
  • “Personal rights and freedom of speech for judges” on 4 May 2021
  • “Constitutional complaints” on 7 May 2021

The online seminar was attended by the following German experts:

  • Walter Selter, a former Public Prosecutor General
  • Brigitte Koppenhöfer, a former presiding judge at the regional court
  • Prof. Dr. Jan Bergmann, President of the Senate at the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg

Such events have allowed IRZ to expand on its existing trusting working relationship and to offer the appropriate advice. For example, the series of events on the subject of constitutional complaints that began in 2018 has been enriched by the cooperation with the School of Magistrates.

The seminars also tied in with current debates, such as law no. 97/2016 on “the organisation and role of public prosecutors in the Republic of Albania”.

IRZ experts have been following and supporting developments in the partner state of Albania for many years and brought German and European views and experiences into the discussions.

These events were financed as part of the institutional partnership by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV). There are plans to continue the partnership with the School of Magistrates in the course of the year.

Seminar on “State inspections and preventing money laundering in notary services” with the German Federal Chamber of Notaries

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

Following the success of an event organised between the Albanian Chamber of Notaries and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (BNotK) in December 2020, IRZ is now developing this cooperation further. An online seminar on “State inspections and preventing money laundering in notary services” was organised on 12 March 2021 by IRZ together with the German and Albanian chambers of notaries and the EU EURALIUS project. This was the first event in a series of seminars on notarial topics. The seminar was financed by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) and was aimed at 25 or so Albanian notaries.

Alongside the EURALIUS V team leader, Dr. Agnes Bernhard, Fatmir Laçej, Vice-President of the Albanian Chamber of Notaries, Richard Bock, Head of International Affairs at the BNotK (German Federal Chamber of Notaries) and Viktoria Hoebel from IRZ welcomed the participants to the event.

The seminar dealt with the following subjects:

  • Preventing money laundering in notarial services according to the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive
  • Preventing money laundering in notarial practice
  • Inspections in Albanian notarial services

The speakers at the seminar were Martin Thelen, a notary candidate and director at the BNotK, and Dr. Lovro Tomasic, international affairs representative at the BNotK.
Martin Thelen gave a lecture on the first topic and presented in detail the legal framework in place in Germany for the prevention of money laundering. He looked at the money laundering law, presenting risk management, due diligence and reporting obligations in more detail. The next two topics were discussed by Dr. Lovro Tomasic. Using eight case examples, he explained the theoretical and practical aspects of the money laundering law and pointed out the red flags to look out for. He went on to provide an insight into official inspections. With the help of a check-list he had produced, Dr. Tomasic explained the details of an official inspection and looked more closely at the role of certified notaries.

The law on money laundering in Albania is modelled on EU standards. However, no official inspection process has yet been established in Albania, although several inspections did take place over the past year. All the participants in the seminar welcomed the idea of a standardised inspection process and their active involvement in the process.

Discussions were remarkably animated, underlining the participants’ high level of interest in the subject.

Second workshop on writing e-commentary

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

Transparent and uniform jurisdiction under the rule of law is important for the Albanian judicial system to be accepted by law professionals and citizens. It is also essential in view of the negotiations for Albania to enter the EU, which began recently. Within this context, since mid-2019 IRZ has been coordinating a project, which is being financed by the German Foreign Office and has the objective of further developing the first legal online commentary developed in Albania.

The project ties in with the work of national and international experts, who in 2017 developed an electronic platform as part of the EU Action Grant EURALIUS. The budget for the project was increased by the German Foreign Office in April 2020, allowing project managers to expand the group of Albanian commentary writers by five. Since these five people had not taken part in last year’s training session on writing e-commentary and were not yet familiar with the uniform project standards, the training session was repeated on 13 May 2020 in the form of a online seminar.

IRZ experts Prof. Dr. Bernd Heinrich, Prof. Dr. Jörg Kinzig and Prof. Dr. Bernd Hecker from the University of Tübingen and Prof. Dr. Martin Heger from the Humboldt University in Berlin joined the online seminar. They provided some insights into the German tradition of making comments and led discussions with the participants on the advantages and disadvantages of online commentary compared with print commentary, the various citation systems, international commentary standards and a comparison between the Albanian and German methods of commenting.

The following day was all about “lessons learned”. The expert advisory board, made up of the German professors and two Albanian experts, held open discussions with the eight authors on their past experiences of writing and assessing e-commentary. The online event also provided an opportunity to establish the next steps for the project.
By the end of the year, the now expanded group of authors will need to comment on articles of the Albanian code of criminal procedure and the law on the status of judges and public prosecutors. The project will be rounded off with events for the general public in Albania, during which the results of the project will be presented, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of jurisprudential and legal commentary amongst law professionals and public institutions.