International private law with a regional outlook

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The online seminar “Conflict of Laws Issues in Status, Family and Inheritance Law” was held jointly by IRZ and the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 29 June 2022.

As speakers, the organisers were able to recruit three experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia with an outstanding track record of relevant publications and research stays at various institutions in Germany.

Prof. Zlatan Meskić from the Faculty of Law at the University of Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, opened the seminar. He jointly authored a textbook on international private law (IPR) with the next speaker, Prof. Slavko Djordjević from the Faculty of Law at the University of Kragujevac, Serbia, which was published as a joint project between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The third talk was held by Prof. Maya Kostić Mandić from the Faculty of Law at the University of Montenegro in Podgorica.

International private law plays a significant role in family and inheritance law due to the intricate nature of cross-border personal relationships, which are typical in the region of former Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina also faces problems related to competing legal systems within the country. For instance, inheritance law in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina recognises testamentary contracts, which are void under the law of Republika Srpska as the second entity. This means that many decisions with far-reaching significance for the affected persons hinge on the ‘technical’ question of applicable law. The participants addressed these issues during the discussions as well.

The status of legal transformation in the three participating countries also differ: while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia adhere to IPR law that used to apply to all of former Yugoslavia, Montenegro has already implemented a new law that integrates the unified EU conflict-of-law rules into national law. The presentation on Montenegro therefore provided – from the perspective of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian participants – initial insight into changes to their own legal system that can be expected going forward.

Resumption of face-to-face lectures in Sarajevo with the participation of the IRZ

Dr Stefan Pürner (IRZ)
Dr Stefan Pürner (IRZ)
Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 26 April 2022, face-to-face lectures were resumed at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sarajevo after an interruption of two years due to Covid-19.

The IRZ was represented by attorney Dr. Stefan Pürner, Head of Section for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia.

The latter gave an opening lecture on the development of civil justice in Germany with a special focus on mediation as an option that is increasingly used for alternative dispute resolution.

The attendees also included lawyers, so that aspects of practice in Bosnia and Herzegovina were also discussed. The participants from academia and practice engaged in an interesting round of questions and lively exchanges after the lecture.

Current questions on the law of property

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Over 100 participants from the judiciary and the bar association and junior staff took part in the online seminar "Current Issues in Property Law" on 30 and 31 March 2022. The seminar focused on various issues of real estate case law.

IRZ organised the event with the Centre for the Education of the Judiciary and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The speakers included

  • Dr. Larisa Velić, Dean of the Faculty of Law in Zenica
  • State Attorney Ismet Velić and
  • Goran Nezirović, Judge at the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The practical relevance of this event was ensured, as the participants were able to submit questions from their own work in progress, which the speakers addressed in their presentations. Participants also asked questions or commented on the legal views presented in the chat during the ongoing events.

A number of legal problems were addressed during the event which the case law of Bosnia and Herzegovina solves differently in some certain aspects These include the inadequate documentation of legal relationships to land in the past, the former Yugoslav titular property form of "social property", and questions of succession to former state property within the framework of the various levels of the complicated state structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It became apparent that the frequent, uncoordinated legislative changes in the area of law of property raise many competition problems. It is therefore no surprise that the event ended with an intense discussion, during which court decisions and statements from the scientific literature were also quoted extensively.

In view of the abundance of disputed legal issues and the economic importance of the topic, further training measures are required in this area to standardise case law and thus increase legal certainty.