Publication of translations of the German StGB (German Criminal Code) into Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

South Eastern Europe

A new translation of the German Criminal Code into Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian has been published by the IRZ, with an introduction written by the Research Director at the Institute for Eastern Law in Regensburg, Prof. Dr Dres. h.c. Friedrich-Christian Schroeder.

The book is part of a series of publications with translations of German laws into the languages of the partner states in South Eastern Europe, which are intended to strengthen the role of German law as an orientation law in legal transformation. The Minister of Justice of Northern Macedonia, Prof. Dr. Nikola Tupancheski, himself a professor of criminal law and a member of the local expert commission for the reform of the criminal code until he took office, recently confirmed the important role of the publication.

The translations are not only used to inform groups of experts working on draft reform laws, but are also used by scholars researching on comparative law, practitioners working across borders and students. They are also a popular tool for learning German legal terminology.

IRZ with the organiser of the 14th National Anti-Corruption Conference in Montenegro

 Graphic: IRZ

The 14th National Anti-Corruption Conference was held in Podgorica (Montenegro) from 9-10 December 2021 as a hybrid event.

The main organiser was the non-governmental organisation "Network for the Strengthening of the Non-Governmental Sector MANS". Other co-organisers were the IRZ and the EU delegation, the embassy of Italy, the Netherlands and the United States and the NGOs "The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)" and the "Balkan Tender Watch Coalition”.

The Prime Minister of the country, Zdravko Krivokapić, and various foreign ambassadors opened the event with words of welcome; a gesture that underpinned the importance attached to the anti-corruption conference.

The first day of the event was dedicated to the topic "Financing of political parties and elections", the second day to the confiscation of property. There were various panels on both topics, which brought together national experts and representatives of NGOs, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. An exchange of experiences also took place between international practitioners.

The IRZ has supported the conference for roughly five years, and Senior Public Prosecutor Dr. Gunnar Greier, who is also a lecturer at the University of Cologne and a specialist author of books on the subject, has worked as an expert in various international projects, and reported on the German experience with confiscation of assets for the IRZ.

In addition to the constitutionality of regulations on the confiscation of assets, the discussion also focused on the question of how appropriate investigative units can be organised in a relatively small state with limited human resources. In connection with corruption in general, some of the participants also stated that the Montenegrin rules on an understanding in criminal procedural law had meant that the facts of the case were not clarified, particularly in cases where prominent persons were suspected of corruption.

This year too, the event attracted broad national and international media interest, and was also broadcast via Facebook.

The national language programs of Radio Free Europe reported on the event among others: and Al Jazeera Balkans and various nationwide media

More information:

Network for the strengthening of the non-governmental sector MANS:

Two seminars on commercial law for judges and notaries

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

IRZ organised two online seminars on commercial law topics together with the Judicial Training Centre (JTC) for judges and public prosecutors in Podgorica:

  • "The new law on commercial companies and European corporate law” on 19 May 2021 and
  • "Intellectual property – copyright and related rights" on 20 May 2021.

The background to the first event was the new Companies Act passed in 2020, which initiated a paradigm shift. The previous law followed the Anglo-Saxon model of deregulation, which resulted in many loopholes. This is because in Montenegro, unlike in the US, there is no case law as a supplementary source of law. This has now been taken into account through increased regulatory density.

In copyright law, the legal situation largely corresponds to that in Germany. However, similar to the USA, punitive aspects are also taken into account when sentencing for damages due to copyright infringement, so that much higher damages are often awarded than in the case of pure compensation for a reduction in assets on the part of the injured party. 

The speakers at both events were German and Montenegrin judges, as well as professors from Montenegro and Serbia who work in comparative law and have gained extensive research experience in Germany, among other places. This not only enabled an exchange between practising legal experts and academics, but also ensured that the perspectives of different national rights as well as that of European supranational law were covered.

In both events, the speakers presented the participants a wealth of materials, further information and case studies. The intensive discussions and questions afterwards prove the considerable need for training in this area.