Study trip for Kosovan judges to Trier and Koblenz

Expert talks at the Koblenz Higher Regional Court as part of the study trip for Kosovan judges from 19-24 February 2023 in Trier and Koblenz.
Expert talks at the Koblenz Higher Regional Court as part of the study trip for Kosovan judges from 19-24 February 2023 in Trier and Koblenz.

In February 2023, a delegation of recently appointed Kosovan judges was able to exchange ideas with their German colleagues during a study trip and to gain a practical insight into the workings of German courts. The study trip was funded by the Federal Foreign Office, and took place in Trier and Koblenz from 19-24 February 2023 and was organised with the Kosovo Judicial Academy.

The 22 members of the delegation was accommodated in the German Judicial Academy in Trier for the duration of the study trip. To start the week, the Director of the Academy, Dr. Stephan Jaggi, presented the historical role and working methods of the German Judicial Academy and the basics of further training for judges in Germany, before giving a general overview of ordinary jurisdiction in Germany. The participants then discussed aspects of judicial conduct of negotiations, questions of judicial ethics and alternative dispute resolution options in Germany with Mr. Uwe Stark, a Judge at the district court of Siegen.

The intensive exchange of experiences continued the next day when Dr. Bruno Menhofer, Presiding Judge at the Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court, gave the participants a comprehensive insight into German civil procedural law. The initially theoretical explanations on the procedural principles of German procedural law were illustrated with the help of the IRZ educational film “Vista 2020”. In the afternoon, the participants visited the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier and received an introduction to the tasks and role of the ERA from Mr. Jean-Philippe Rageade, Director of the Academy of European Law and Luc Doeve, Acting Director of Finance.

Following the expert talks and theoretical introductions at the start of the study trip, on the third day the delegation had the opportunity to participate in a criminal hearing at the Trier Regional Court and were then able to ask the Presiding Judge, the Public Prosecutor and the jury some general questions about the course of the procedure. This practical insight continued in the afternoon by more expert talks on German criminal procedural law and the role of the investigating judge.

The four-day study trip ended with a visit to the Koblenz Higher Regional Court. After a ceremonial welcome by Mr Thomas Henrichs, the President of the Higher Regional Court, the delegation exchanged views with their German colleagues on the basics of family court proceedings and aspects of commercial court proceedings.

The numerous working and expert talks, the court visits, and the participation in the verbal hearing provided the participants with valuable experiences and insights from German practice. The study trip therefore not only offered an opportunity to strengthen German-Kosovan relations, but also to take away some important findings to implement in their own professional practice.