Half a decade of international “Days of Family Law” in Mostar

During the discussion: Prof. Dr. Suzana Bubić (centre)

During the discussion: Prof. Dr. Suzana Bubić (centre)

On 31rd March and 1st of April 2017, the 5th international conference headlined “Days of Family Law” took place in Mostar.  The event was organised by the Law Faculty of the Džemal Bijedić University and the IRZ. This year’s topic was the impact of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on national family laws.

The conference covered the following issues:

  • Legal relationhips of relatives,
  • Legal issues regarding same-sex civil partnerships,
  • Legal issues regarding abortion,
  • Domestic violence,
  • Legal status of trans-sexual persons,
  • Impact of the ECtHR case law on national legislations in the region.

The lecturers were experts from different state faculties of Bosnia and Herzegovina and scientists from the faculties of Kragujevac, Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia and from Rijeka and Zagreb in Croatia.

The practical relevance of the issues covered was underlined by the fact that the conference was also attended by judges of local courts and legal staff members of the social welfare centres besides university members. With this in mind, Prof. Dr. Suzana Bubić pointed out in her introductory words that this collaboration between academia and practitioners has been existing for half a decade now.

As in many other events in which the IRZ is involved, the results of this conference will later be published in a conference transcript, thus reaching a wide circle of experts.

Legal methodology with regional involvement in Zenica

Over the first weekend in March, another workshop organised jointly with the IRZ was held at the Law Faculty in the industrial Bosnian city of Zenica for postgraduate students from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from neighbouring countries. The regional aspect was further strengthened by the fact that two of the speakers came from Serbia. Germany was represented by a qualified lawyer who is fluent in the local language, a former university assistant and lecturer.

The workshop was interactive. This meant that the participants, who numbered almost thirty, had plenty of opportunities to ask questions. The focus was on the comprehensive planning and writing of doctorates and master’s theses, including the associated technical issues. The participants also had to discuss legal issues in groups, based on articles in the local language as well as in English and German, and work out some solutions. Topics such as dealing with the pressure to perform and frustration whilst working on theses were also discussed.

This event forms part of the activities of the IRZ in South-East Europe, supporting law faculties in particular with regional programmes.

IRZ NPR publication – “a journal uniting South-East Europe”

For seven years now, the IRZ has been using funds from the German Federal Foreign Office allocated to the Stability Pact for South-East Europe to publish the „Neue juristische Umschau: Zeitschrift für regionales, deutsches und europäisches Recht“, alongside the German-Bosnian-Herzegovinian Lawyers' Association (DBHJV) and the Society for the Study and Reception of German Law based in Serbia, in the former Yugoslavian states. This is a journal of regional, German and European law known locally as “Nova pravna revija: časopis za domaće, njemačko i evropsko pravo” or NPR for short.

When last year’s issue came out, a comprehensive and very positive review written by Slobodan Vukadinović appeared in the well-reputed Serbian legal journal “Pravni Zapisi”. One of the members of the international Board of Editors for the journal is the Serbian judge at the ECtHR in Strasbourg, Dragoljub Popović, (for more information on the journal see here). You can find a complete German translation of the article in the download area: Neue juristische Umschau - anniversary edition of a journal that unites.

The review confirms that the NPR is a successful and well-reputed expert journal, which has been established for more than five years now and is also extremely useful for practitioners. It represents a medium for lasting regional cooperation, bringing together in particular the young legal talents of the future.

The author Slobodan Vukadinović points out in his review that

  • the NPR is a “journal that unites” and which “has become well-known in expert circles in several countries over a short space of time and has deservedly.... earned a reputation for itself”.
  • He emphasises in particular that the NPR “bridges the gap for legal dialogue and the exchange of experiences between states of the former Yugoslavia and countries in the region on the one hand and Germany on the other hand”.
  • The author reaches the conclusion that in terms of contents, “requirements....are not only fulfilled, but compared with the usual standards are even exceeded.”

The NPR is just one of several publications produced or jointly produced by the project team for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia at the IRZ. As well as publishing books, such as the recent translation of the German law on limited liability companies (GmbHG), mention should also be made of the journal “Evropsko Pravo” (European law).

All these publications are available for download from the IRZ and from various project partners: