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


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.