Five-day course for lawyers from the Middle East in Berlin

Participants on the five-day course for lawyers from the Middle East in Berlin.
Participants on the five-day course for lawyers from the Middle East in Berlin.

The IRZ welcomed 16 lawyers from the Middle East region to Berlin from 31 July to 4 August 2023. The five-day event was part of the funding program for the sustainable support of young lawyers from the Middle East and was financed by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The participants came from Iran, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria. Some had completed their legal studies in their home country and had already worked in legal advisory professions in their respective countries. Others had studied at a German university and completed a master's degree (LL.M). 

The priorities were state organisational law and the basic principles of a functioning constitutional state, labour law and residence and asylum law. The participants also received important information about soft skills for lawyers and legal argumentation skills. The group also visited the German Bundestag and held an expert talk with a speaker from the office of a member of parliament.

The following experts took part in the course from the IRZ:

  • Annette Krause, lawyer in labour law
  • Inga Matthes, fully qualified lawyer
  • Arnd Weishaupt, presiding judge at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court
  • Uwe Stark, judge at the Siegen Local Court
  • Ursula Groos, lawyer and mediator
  • Karola Roßmy, qualified psychologist

In addition to the expert lectures, this year focused in particular on professional

orientation. The IRZ organised an expert talk with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the Federal Ministry of Justice, and discussed potential career opportunities for the participants. In addition, the participants took part in an application training and received individual feedback on their CVs from the expert, Ms. Roßmy.

The positive response has prompted the IRZ to plan to invite a group of lawyers from the Middle East to Berlin again next year. This training concept also includes the internship program, which will take place this year from September to December 2023.

Online seminar for Middle Eastern lawyers on administrative law


On 12 April 2023, the IRZ organised an online seminar for lawyers from the Middle East to discuss administrative and administrative court procedure law, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice. The event was the first part of a two-day series of seminars on citizenship law, naturalisation procedures and related legal remedies.

As part of the funding programme for the long-term support of young legal professionals in the Middle East, the participants learned about the basics of administrative law and administrative court procedure law and expanded their knowledge in the selected topics. Knowledge of general administrative law and court procedure law is of great importance for the target group.

The series of seminars specifically addressed these issues, as topics relevant to migration law such as nationality, residence and asylum law and general administrative and administrative court procedure law are particularly relevant for the participants. The event also explored the basics and principles of administration and the related procedures, which are also included in general administrative law.

The expert from the IRZ, Eva Wiglinksi, Judge at the Minden Administrative Court, explained the basics of general administrative law to the participants and the important types of lawsuits. The following topics were discussed in detail:

  • Forms of administrative action, the administrative act and the notification of such
  • The differentiation between facts and legal consequences of a norm
  • Bound decisions, discretionary decisions
  • The lawful exercise of discretionary decisions and the extent of judicial control
  • Legal protection with respect to administrative acts; legal challenges and actions for performance (in particular in the form of the action for a failure to act)
  • The costs of the procedure in the administrative court process

The prospective lawyers can apply the knowledge they have acquired in their professional practice and therefore expand their opportunities on the job market.

The event was attended by 20 participants from Syria, Egypt and Iraq, among others. The group included people who had completed a law degree in their own countries, and were working in the legal professions, and those who had studied at German universities or completed a master’s degree (LL.M).

The complex content and theoretical explanations were studied using case studies relevant to practice, the participants solved a theoretical case together and with the support of the expert and were therefore able to apply their newly acquired knowledge in practice.

They used the discussion rounds between the topic blocks to explore technical questions and thus clearly demonstrated their great interest in the topic. The participants asked and examined numerous questions and shared personal experiences with the group, in particular concerning the asylum procedure, the naturalisation procedure and legal protection options.

The second part of the series of seminars is planned for the end of May 2023, in which the participants will explore the specific topic of citizenship law.

Workshop on legal terminology for lawyers from the Middle East


IRZ organised a five-day language course on legal terminology to contribute to the social and professional integration of lawyers from the Middle East. The course was held from 10-14 October 2022 in Bonn, and was funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ).

Eleven lawyers from the Middle East region attended the course. The IRZ commissioned the lecturer Tibor Linke, a qualified lawyer, MA in Islamic studies and a research associate at the Erlangen Center for Islam and Law in Europe (EZIRE) at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg.

During the language course, the participants gained an overview of German civil and criminal law and public law. The participants engaged in lively discussions, and mainly explored the basic concepts and foundations of these areas of law and clarified misunderstandings with technical terms using practical examples.

The main topics covered were:

  • In civil law: ordinary jurisdiction, division of the BGB (German Civil Code), authoritative provisions from the BGB AT (German Civil Code, general section) and from the law of obligations
  • In criminal law: application of criminal law, important basics and specific features, concepts of criminal procedural law
  • In public law: the Basic Law and its state principles, electoral system, administrative acts and their challenges, urgent legal protection
  • Formulation of an expert opinion and judgement

In addition to expanding vocabulary and knowledge, awareness was also raised within the group of the various styles of legal expression and the application of such in practice.

Copies of the various documents for legal transactions were also prepared (e.g. bill of indictment, lawsuit, statement of defence, pleadings, decision, judgement) in terms of their designation, form and structure.

Information was provided following the high level of interest in scientific work and correct citation.

Recommendations were provided on “structure, formulation and form of a successful CV and a letter of application” after the language course.

The speakers familiarised the participants with the various styles of expression and forms of writing they could use to improve their skills in legal language.

As the course proved to be extremely popular with the target group, IRZ is planning to hold similar formats over the coming year.