During the period from 25 to 28 October 2016, members of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council visited the North Rhine-Westfalia region of Germany, by invitation of the IRZ, to learn about the structure and organisation of public prosecutor’s offices in Germany and to find out about the cooperation between public prosecutor’s offices and the courts.

The high-ranking Kosovan delegation, which was led by Prosecutor General Aleksander Lumezi, started their visit at the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westfalia region. After the delegation has been welcomed by Dr. Michael Scholz, Head of the International Cooperation division, Dr. Claudia Gotzmann, a judge at the local court, gave a lecture on the following subjects:

  • Authorities under the laws relating to staff matters,
  • Job requirements for public prosecutors (in general) and
  • Disciplinary measures and assessment guidelines.

The guests were particularly interested in German disciplinary law. There was a lively exchange of experiences on issues concerning the responsibility for recruiting and promoting public prosecutors.

The knowledge gained here was expanded still further on a visit to the Prosecutor General’s offices in Düsseldorf that afternoon. After all, the Prosecutor General’s offices are responsible for recruiting public prosecutors in the North Rhine-Westfalia region. Prosecutor General Emil Brachthäuser welcomed the guests in person and gave a lecture on the subjects “Structure of the Prosecutor General’s office” and “Assessing public prosecutors.”

The last port of call for the fact-finding mission was the Higher Regional Court of Cologne on the following day. Here, the Deputy Chairman of the 1st Criminal Division, Dr. Oliver Mertens, and Dirk Schreiner, a judge at the Higher Regional Court and member of the 2nd Criminal Division, provided some interesting insights into the work of the criminal divisions of the higher regional court and the cooperation in this respect with the Prosecutor General's office.

The visit to Germany provided the foreign guests with plenty of valuable inspiration and showed them how important it is to keep informed about practical local conditions, as well as the theoretical framework.