Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Conference dealing with the new Property Law

In early March 2014, the new Act relating to rights in rem has entered into effect in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, introducing, inter alia, the land charge along German lines. The Act furthermore removes many relicts from Socialism, which are replaced by regulations along German and/or Austrian lines. Two days after this Act had entered into effect on 7 March 2014, the IRZ organised the conference "The New Property Law in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina" in cooperation with the Law Faculty of the University of Sarajevo and the Regional Austrian Cooperation Office in Science and Culture. This conference covered in particular the German, Austrian and Croatian experience with the new legal institutions of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international speakers were Andreas Luckow of Verband Deutscher Pfandbriefbanken in Berlin, Professor Dr. Tatjana Josipovic of the Law Faculty of the University of Zagreb and University Professor Mag. phil. Mag. Dr. iur. Tomislav Boric of the Law Faculty of the Karl Franzens University of Graz. Furthermore, the Director of the Open Regional Funds for South-East Europe, Legal Reform of GIZ, Mr Christian Athenstädt, gave an overview of the counselling given by his organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the reform of the commercial law, in particular property law.

The representative of the German Embassy, Mr Christian Reissmueller, highlighted the good cooperation of different German organisations with their Austrian counterparts in his address. After all, this shows the high significance which these organisations attach to the setting-up of a system governed by the rule of law in the country. All speakers emphasised the importance of the Act, however, they also pointed out that this Act should have been adopted years before. The event which also generated broad media coverage is another milestone in the long-standing successful cooperation between the IRZ and the Law Faculty of Sarajevo.

“Days of German Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Tag des Deutschen Rechts

Dean Prof. Dr. Milan Tomic giving his opening address on the "5th Day of German Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina"

The series of events headlined "Days of German Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina" celebrated an anniversary on 20 November 2013 as it now took place for the fifth time. Once a year it deals with issues relating to German law and its reception as well as European law and is organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the German-Bosnian-Herzegovinian Lawyers' Association BHJV as well as an alternating law faculty from one of the country's universities. After the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina had hosted the conference during the past years, this year's host was the Law Faculty of the University of the Republika Srpska. The topic of the event was the civil and public-law aspects of anti-discrimination law.

It was opened by the Dean Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Milan Tomic and the IRZ, followed by welcome addresses by the Permanent Representative of the German Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Adran Pollmann. He pointed out that this series of events illustrates the German bilateral support of the transformation of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina which has been provided for half a decade. The speakers were

  • Prof. Dr. Goran Markovic,
  • Prof. Dr Dijana Marković-Bajalović,
  • Prof. Dr. Ranka Račić,
  • Prof. Dr. Jasminka Gradaščević-Sjierčić
  • Prof. Dr. Meliha Povlakic,
  • Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Zlatan Meškić, Zenica,
  • as well as the bilingual German attorneys at law Dr. Karolina Mihaljevic-Schulz, Berlin, and Doc. Dr. Darko Samardžić, Hanover.

It was positively highlighted several times at the event that this event focused exclusively on legal aspects, whereas the anti-discrimination law in Bosnia and Herzegovina was mainly being discussed in a political context. This facilitated a factual discussion even of controversial topics among the participants, comprising law experts from all ethnic groups of the country. As the speakers were bilingual a spontaneous and direct discussion without the need for interpreters was possible.

Support of German-Speaking Young Law Professionals and Strengthening of the Role of German Law

In June 2013, the project work of the IRZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina mainly focused on the support of German-speaking young law professionals and those interested in German law. The events were kicked-off by a one-week block seminar on the didactics/teaching of law terminology and the translation of legal texts at the Law Faculty of the University of Sarajevo. The participants of this seminar included the lecturers teaching the subject German Law Terminology within the supplementary study course in German law organised jointly by the IRZ and the Law Faculty in Sarajevo as well as students of the supplementary study course. The main organiser of this seminar supported by the IRZ was the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, with which the IRZ cooperates in many projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This seminar was followed by the event "Legal Work in Practice" for the students of the supplementary study course, which dealt with the importance of so-called "soft skills" in the daily routine of a law professional, amongst other issues. Furthermore, the participants were trained in communication techniques and in preparing application documents. What was outstanding was the lively participation of the course participants in the events held in German. The law terminology seminar has even led to the founding of a respective Facebook group by one participant.

Furthermore, the IRZ sent a large number of books to the "IRZ Library of German Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Sarajevo". This library complements the supplementary studies and enables the many German-speaking young law professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss topics of German law in their seminar papers, MA as well as doctoral theses. Almost 400 kg of literature (standard commentaries and text books, but also monographs and journals) have meanwhile been transported to Sarajevo in total. These could be purchased thanks to a major donation of the German Insurance Association GDV.

The IRZ's invitation to the Annual Round Table of the "Library of Law and Related Subjects in Southeast Europe" (meaning the territory of former Yugoslavia) in Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was also related to German law and its role as a law of orientation in the region. This event, which was attended by representatives of the university library as well as other libraries from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, was part of the international conference "Current Developments in Civil and Commercial Law" already organised for the eleventh time by the Law Faculty of Mostar. Upon the request of this association, the IRZ presented its numerous publications in the languages of the region (amongst them also the "Edition of German law" and the "Journal for Regional, German and European Law"). Moreover, a further cooperation was agreed on this occasion, which includes the dissemination of the IRZ publications in the languages of the region via this library network.