Seminar in Graçanica on media work carried out by public prosecutors’ offices

A seminar on “Press work / dealing with the media” was held in Graçanica on 17 and 18 May 2017 for members of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), the council of public prosecutors for the Republic of Kosovo. Founded in 2011, the KPC is a stand-alone, independent council charged with managing and supervising public prosecutors. Amongst other things, the KPC is responsible for recruiting and appointing public prosecutors.

An analysis of requirements carried out by the IRZ last year revealed that, throughout the entire prosecutorial system in Kosovo, only a few public prosecutors are involved with press and media work. There is also a lack of skilled and experienced press officers.

The objective of the two-day seminar, which was financed by funds from the German Federal Foreign Office, was to give participants a clearer insight into how public prosecutors should deal with the media and to focus specifically on the role of press officers.

The IRZ expert, Professor Dr. Jan Bergmann, Presiding Judge at the Administrative Court of Mannheim, started his lecture with a descriptive presentation of the reasons behind and practical advantages of active, professional press work and went on to explain the fundamental structures of this work, using the German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe as an example. Afterwards, the requirements of media representatives at court were outlined and discussed. Topics such as “Interpreting case law in the press” and “Litigation-PR” were also the subjects of lively discussions.

Interactive seminar on European perspectives of Human Rights protection

On 30 and 31 March 2017, Professor Dr. Jan Bergmann, the Presiding Judge at the Higher Administrative Court of Baden-Wurttemberg, gave a lecture on “European Human Rights Protection under ECHR and CFREU” to expert employees of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of the Republic of Kosovo in Pristina.

The objective of the seminar, which was financed by funds from the German Federal Foreign Office, was to hold an interactive discussion with participants on European perspectives of Human Rights protection and to practise legal work based on selected cases and case solutions.

Professor Bergmann started the two-day seminar with a vivid presentation of the theory behind human rights and individual human rights categories. He then went on to present test schemes, which are used to solve cases involving the violation of rights to freedom and justice and of the fundamental right to equality and are basic tools for law professionals. Using interesting examples taken from the current case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the participants worked intensively on the case solutions.

On the second day of the seminar, there was a short introduction to the protection of Human Rights at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the protection of fundamental rights in the European Union. The area of application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU CFR) was also discussed. As on the previous day, the participants were once again called upon to work interactively on case solutions based on the current case law of the ECJ. A high level of expert discussions resulted from this work on individual cases.

First Steering Committee meeting for the twinning project in Kosovo

The first Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) for the EU funded twinning project “Strengthening policy formulation and legislative drafting” was held at the Kosovan Ministry of Justice in mid February 2017. The existing cooperation and future objectives were discussed at the meeting.

Attending the SCM were Kosovan, German and EU project managers, as well as employees of the IRZ and of the Kosovan Ministry of Justice. During the meeting, positive comments were made in particular about the opening event held in November 2016 and the contributions already made by German experts from the judiciary in Pristina. The potential for more effective cooperation between project managers and all the institutions involved in the project was also discussed.

These meetings take place at the end of each project quarter. They serve not only to ensure that project objectives are reached and thereby guarantee the ongoing implementation of the project, but also to improve coordination between the parties involved.

This project is being led by the IRZ. Its main objective is to support the Kosovan Ministry of Justice and its subordinate institutions as they strengthen their skills in policy formulation and legislation. This includes the drawing up of political policy documents and draft legislation. The twinning project is therefore subdivided into the following four components:

  • Development of policy-making expertise
  • Support with forming a closer relationship with the EU and legal structuring
  • The effective implementation of legislation
  • Justice and Public Relations.