Montenegro - annual report 2017

Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice” in Montenegro: Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court (on the right); Vesna Ilić Prelić, President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia; Dr. Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro (4th and 5 th from right)
Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice” in Montenegro: Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court (on the right); Vesna Ilić Prelić, President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia; Dr. Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro (4th and 5 th from right)

Legal Policy Situation

Montenegro, which has been independent since 2006, is a young state pursuing a course of political and economic reform in a context of EU integration. In 2010, Montenegro was granted official EU-candidate status. Accession negotiations with the EU commenced in June 2012. Chapters 23 (justice and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security) were opened in the course of 2013. Despite this progress, there is still considerable need for action on legal harmonisation. Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention because it only became an independent state a few years ago, but also with a view to further EU integration.

Overall Concept

In 2007, immediately after the independence of the country, and in the subsequent period, the IRZ established and intensified working relations with the Ministry of Justice, the country’s Judicial Training Centre, which is attached to the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the special Public Prosecutor’s Offices to fight organised crime and corruption, and with academics at the Podgorica Faculty of Law. As part of developing bilateral relations further, a cooperation agreement was signed between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice, with the IRZ being commissioned with the practical implementation. The IRZ was also represented in the country by a long-term advisor to the Minister of Justice until the end of 2016. Therefore, the IRZ has excellent connections in Montenegro. The main focus of the IRZ’s activities in Montenegro currently lies on the cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Training Centre. Work with the latter mainly concentrates on the field of civil law, which is rarely addressed by other foreign organisations.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional conference “Equality before the law in Constitutional Court practice”, organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court in Budva
  • Participation by the President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court and another judge in the conference on “Constitutional court protection in criminal law”, co-organised by the IRZ and the Serbian Constitutional Court in Zlatibor, Serbia
  • Participation by the President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court and another judge at the regional Constitutional Court in the conference on the topic of “Theory and practice of the independence of constitutional courts”, in Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topic of enforcement law
  • Printing of the translation of the German Commercial Code (HGB), Podgorica
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal “Nova Pravna Revija” (“New Legal Review”)

Public Law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica on the topic of state liability law

Administration of Justice

  • Conference “Presenting the opinions No. 4, 9, 11 of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)”, in cooperation with the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Conference on the topic of “The fight against corruption”, in cooperation with the non-governmental organisation MANS in Podgorica

Outlook

The IRZ will keep up its successful work in Montenegro also in 2018. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. The cooperation with the Constitutional Court, will be continued as well. In addition, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in its other activities on various topics in the region.

Montenegro - annual report 2016

Specialist discussions in Berlin between the Montenegrin Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for fighting organised crime and corruption and the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection: Alexandra Albrecht, Karla Brambati, Dr. Susanne Claus and Beatrix Lindner, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Saša Čadjenović, Montenegro Specialist Public Prosecution Service (from left to right)

Specialist discussions in Berlin between the Montenegrin Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for fighting organised crime and corruption and the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection: Alexandra Albrecht, Karla Brambati, Dr. Susanne Claus and Beatrix Lindner, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Saša Čadjenović, Montenegro Specialist Public Prosecution Service (from left to right)

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Montenegro, which has been independent since 2006, is a young state on course for political and economic reform in a context of EU integration. Accession negotiations with the EU commenced in June 2012. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken on legal harmonisation. In its 2016 Progress Report, the European Commission stresses the significance of the topic of justice for the further accession negotiations. Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention because it only became an independent state a few years ago, but also with a view to further EU integration. This is also expressed in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement, together with a detailed working programme, which was agreed between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegro Ministry of Justice in 2014.

In early new elections held in October 2016, the socialists, who had been in government for a long time, lost their absolute majority, which led to difficulty forming a new government.

Overall Concept

The IRZ established a separate project area for Montenegro in 2007. Long-standing working relationships were subsequently established with the Ministry of Justice, the country’s Judicial Training Centre which is attached to the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the special Public Prosecutor’s Offices to fight organised crime and corruption, and with academics at the Podgorica Faculty of Law. The IRZ has also been represented in the country since 2013 by a long-term advisor to the Minister of Justice. The IRZ therefore has excellent connections in Montenegro. A major focus of the activities is the working plan connected with the Cooperation Agreement between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice.

Foci of Activity in 2016

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Regional conference in Budva on “Constitutional court review of elections” together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Preparation of the first volume of the regional “Yearbook on Constitutional Law (“Godišjnak za Ustavno Pravo”)
  • Presentation of this publication with regional participation in Podgorica
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and a further judge at the regional conference organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of “Constitutional court protection of ownership” in Fruška Gora, Serbia
  • Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and a further judge at the regional Constitutional Courts conference on the topic of “Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and their influence on the national constitutional courts” in Sarajevo

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminars at the Judicial Training Centre in Podgorica:
    • Employment law with particular consideration for the prohibition on mobbing
    • Consumer protection law with particular consideration for European aspects
    • Law of property – de facto expropriation and maritime domain
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal “Nova Pravna Revija” (“New Legal Review”)

Administration of Justice

  • Long-term consultation since the start of November 2013 provided by former Secretary of State Michael Haußner to the Montenegrin Minister of Justice, term of the project up to and including 2016
  • Cooperation with the German Section of the International Commission of Jurists and support for it on this year’s study trip to Podgorica
  • Publication of the translation of the opinions of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) in Podgorica

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Working visit by the specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Berlin General Prosecutor’s Office on the topic “Practical application of telecommunication monitoring”
  • Return working visit by the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Montenegrin specialist Public Prosecutor’s Office on the topic “Corruption and organised crime” in Podgorica

Outlook

The IRZ will continue its successful work in Montenegro in 2017. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Centre. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court and the implementation of the working plan connected with the cooperation agreement between the German and Montenegrin Ministries of Justice will also be continued. In addition, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in various topics in its other activities in the region.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Montenegro - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Montenegro2015Regional Constitutional Court conference on freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. The attendees at the conference included: Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ; Mirsad Ćeman, President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Desanka Lopičić, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro; Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, ret.; Elena Goševa, President of the Constitutional Court of Macedonia (1st row, left to right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

Montenegro, which has been independent since 2006, is a young state on course for political and economic reform in a context of EU integration. The accession negotiations with the EU were commenced in June 2012. Despite this progress, considerable action still has to be taken on legal harmonisation. The European Commission stresses in its 2015 Progress Report the significance of the topic of the rule of law for the accession negotiations moving forward. The IRZ is therefore placing a focus of its work in the region on Montenegro. As it only became an independent state several years ago, as well as with a view to further EU integration, Montenegro, which only has limited staff resources, requires particular attention. This is also expressed in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement that was reached between the Ministers of Justice of Montenegro and Germany in 2014.

Overall concept

The IRZ established a separate project area for Montenegro in 2007. Long-standing working relationships were subsequently established with the Ministry of Justice, the country's Judicial Training Center, which is within the remit of the country's Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, and with academics from Podgorica Faculty of Law. The IRZ has also been represented in the country since 2013 by a long-term consultant to the Minister of Justice. The IRZ is therefore very well networked in Montenegro.

Foci of activity in 2015

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Regional conference in Bečići on "Freedom of opinion: Statutory provisions and case-law", together with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Preparation for a publication containing the documentation of this conference as the first volume of the regional "Yearbook on Constitutional Law" (Godisjnak za Ustavno Pravo)
  • Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and by a further judge at the regional conference organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of "Constitutional courts and the media", in Serbia
  • Attendance by the President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro and by a further judge at the international constitutional law conference in Regensburg
  • Attendance by the Deputy President and by a member of the Montenegrin Legal Affairs Committee at the IV International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin

Civil and commercial law

  • Seminar at the Judicial Training Center in Podgorica on the topics of "Labour law with particular regard to the prohibition of workplace mobbing " and "Consumer protection law with particular regard to European aspects"
  • Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications published by the IRZ, in particular the specialist regional journal entitled "Nova Pravna Revija" ("New Legal Revue")

Administration of justice

  • Long-term consultation since the beginning of November 2013 by State Secretary in the Thuringian Ministry of Justice, ret., Michael Haußner, term of the project up to and including 2016
  • Support for the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in preparing a work plan on the cooperation agreement between that Ministry and the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice
  • Accompaniment on the journey undertaken by State Secretary Dr. Stefanie Hubig on discussions with the Montenegrin Justice Minister and on the signing of the abovementioned plan of work
  • Seminar on "Topical issues on IPR and judicial cooperation in civil matters" at the Judicial Training Center in Podgorica
  • Regional workshop on the topic of "International cooperation in civil matters", together with GIZ
  • Translation into Montenegrin of several opinions of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
  • Guest lecture on the topic of "Discrimination against Jews under National Socialism by means of civil law" at Podgorica Faculty of Law

Penitentiary Law

  • Expert talks on the establishment of a specialist anti-corruption public prosecution office in Montenegro
  • Conference on the topic of "The fight against corruption" with the non-governmental organisation MANS (Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector) in Podgorica

Public law

  • Attendance by Montenegrin experts at the 17th International Cartel Conference in Berlin

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing its successful work in Montenegro in 2016. For instance, it will be offering further seminars together with the Judicial Training Center. Cooperation with the Constitutional Court will also be continued. Furthermore, the IRZ will involve Montenegrin legal experts in various topics in its other activities in the region.