During the seminar
During the seminar

In collaboration with the Kosovo Bar and UNICEF Kosovo, the IRZ conducted a seminar on rights protecting juveniles and legal counsel representing them at all stages of court proceedings on 11 and 12 July 2019. The event was attended by 25 Kosovar lawyers.

Dr. Toralf Nöding, IRZ expert and lawyer from Berlin, kicked off the seminar with an introductory look at practice in the area of German juvenile criminal law using case studies. He addressed general and specific requirements for legal representation of juvenile delinquents by counsel, the work performed by institutions involved in juvenile criminal proceedings and the effective participation of juveniles. Dr. Nöding also described the underlying educative strategy aimed at changing behaviour in all phases of criminal proceedings: in the arrest procedure, police questioning, possibly pre-trial detention, during court hearings, the pronouncement of sanctions and, possibly, subsequent detention.

A further complex of topics focused on guidelines laid down by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for a Child-Friendly Justice and their implementation in EU Directive 2016/800. This Directive incorporates the fundamental principles of justice for children and young persons, such as the best interests of the child and protection against discrimination, as well as the rights of young people, ranging from participation in court proceedings to the right to parental assistance. In this context, Dr. Nöding also explored possible problems that may arise in the course of implementation of the Directive. 

The IRZ expert also explained what kinds of communication are in line with the needs of children and adolescents in every phase of the procedure. Finally, he offered the participants some valuable tips in connection with specific situations, drawing on experience from his own legal practice. The seminar was well received by the participants. There was a lively discussion. 

The event was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office as an additional contribution to Kosovo's convergence with EU jurisdiction over the long term.