Moderator Prof. Dr. Maja Kostic Mandic, Vice-President of the Lawyer’s Association
Moderator Prof. Dr. Maja Kostic Mandic, Vice-President of the Lawyer’s Association

On 21 November 2019, the IRZ and the Montenegrin Lawyer’s Association organised a panel discussion in the capital city Podgorica on “Requirements for Lawyers in the 21st Century”. Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, various legal professions, law faculties and students took part in the discussions. The Director General for Civil Legislation at the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro, Ibrahim Smailović, also took an active part in the lively discussions.

The objective of this event was to make projections for the legal field in Montenegro, based on developments in Germany, and to provide recommendations for action based on these forecasts. The general discussions were therefore started off with reports from four German experts. Prof. Dr. Maja Kostic Mandic, Vice-President of the Lawyer’s Association, moderated the panel discussions.

The speakers and their subjects

Winfried Schubert, a former President of the Constitutional Court of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and of the Higher Regional Court of Naumberg, spoke about the soft skills required for working as a judge.

Michael Haußner, the former Secretary of State for Justice and Prublic Prosecutor General in Thuringia and later a permanent advisor to the Ministry of Justice for Montenegro, focussed on explaining the requirements of legal training.

Harald Walther, Local Court Director and a former judge at the Administrative court, as well as a lecturer of Mediation at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer and himself a mediator, looked at the increasing importance of alternative dispute resolution.

Dr. Stefan Pürner, Lawyer and Head of the South Eastern Europe I Section at the IRZ, reported on the key changes in the legal profession that have taken place since his own admission to the bar in 1992.

The subsequent discussions also touched on many different legal topics, reflecting the wide range of issues involved. The discussions relating to the effects of Legal Tech on future legal training and practice were particularly intense. Everyone agreed that legal training needs to be comprehensive and, in particular, nurture the ability to learn new subjects and get used to new tasks. Since we do not yet know how Legal Tech will continue to develop, the new generation of lawyers will need to be well-prepared for the future.

As for the previous events organised jointly by the Lawyers’ Association and the IRZ (e.g. Lecture in Podgorica on training law professionals in Germany) there was a great deal of media interest in the event. Several Montenegrin daily newspapers and the state broadcasting company, RTV CG, reported on this event.