Multilateral - annual report 2013

General – Conceptual orientation

The IRZ has also been implementing multilateral projects since 1993, offering symposia, conferences and internship programmes. The symposia and conferences offer participants from the partner states the opportunity to grasp new developments in legal reforms. Since European integration and the accession processes are at different stages, it is also possible to use such multilateral events to intensify exchanges between the partner states and enlarge the group of addressees. Furthermore, by these means the IRZ helps to create and enhance working contacts between the partner states. Multilateral basic and further training has a similar effect when it comes to creating networks. The IRZ's internship programmes should be primarily mentioned in this context, within which the participants are given the opportunity to observe work in German law firms and notaries' offices, in courts and in public prosecution offices, and thus to obtain an impression of their German colleagues' working methods, as well as to expand their knowledge of German and European law. Furthermore, the contacts that have been made in the multilateral field frequently continue at bilateral level. The promotion of the networking concept and the maintenance of contacts is also helped by a website created in 2008 for the former participants of the multilateral internship programme for solicitors (, which has been running since 1994. In addition to the former participants, the German lawyers and law firms participating in the programme may also register in the integrated database.

Foci of activity in 2013

Third International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin on the topic of "The path to legislation – The role and influence of the institutions involved" Parliamentarians from 13 partner states took up the IRZ's invitation to attend the Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs, which the IRZ organised together with the Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Federal Parliament, Siegfried Kauder MP. The focus was on the involvement of a wide variety of institutions in legislation. Parliamentarians discussed with representatives of the Government, of associations and from industry on current topics such as the independence of Members of Parliament, the involvement of civil society, the consultation of professional judicial associations and business viewpoints. The conference proved to be of particular interest against the background of the Parliaments in IRZ partner states undergoing fundamental change, and Parliamentarians from Egypt, Armenia, Bahrain, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Tunisia grasped the opportunity to engage in an exchange of experience at international level. In addition to many other speakers, the guests at the specialist conference included State Secretary Dr. Horst Risse, Director at the German Bundestag, the Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Petra Pau, as well as the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Dr. Birgit Grundmann.

XV International Congress for European and Comparative Constitutional Law

The XV International Congress for European and Comparative Constitutional Law took place in Regensburg in 2013 on the topics of "Constitutional Law and Financial Crisis" and "Recent Developments in European Constitutionalism in the Light of Constitutional Justice". This Congress was organised by the IRZ in cooperation with the Law Faculty of the University of Regensburg.

Conferences on Hague Conventions in Tbilisi, February 2013/ Tunis, October 2013

Civil law cooperation between states has long been a necessity in many legal fields. Whether international adoptions, recognition of foreign documents or cross-border taking of evidence – all these and many similar questions arise in everyday court work. These topics are therefore also repeatedly included in the agenda of the IRZ in many partner countries. In order to do justice to this, the IRZ organised two major regional conferences in 2013 together with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference which offered a platform for a crossborder exchange of experience in this context. This served to continue a concept which had been commenced with a multilateral event in Bonn in October 2010. The kick-off was formed by a conference held in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi from 26 to 28 February 2013, where representatives from eleven countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) met for an exchange on the relevance and consequences of Hague Conventions in practical implementation. The group of countries involved here was basically similar to the abovementioned first conference in Bonn, but included further states in the region, and in particular from Central Asia. Some of the participants came from Ministries of Justice and other national authorities which are involved in the implementation of the Hague Conventions, and some were judges who also deal with cross-border cases. The goal was to present the existing Hague Conventions and inform the national decision-makers on their significance in international legal transactions. These multilateral conventions create uniform rules for many fields of private law in family law and in cross-border civil proceedings, thus making legal practice easier. At the same time, the participants had the opportunity to get to know their counterparts from neighbouring countries and exchange ideas on practical questions in the context of conventions that have already been implemented. Within two working parties on the fields of "family law" and "legal cooperation and litigation law", the opportunity arose to engage in an intensive discussion on the respective Conventions and their national implementation. As the host, the Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia, Alexander Baramidze, opened the conference, which was also attended by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode, head of the unit on "EU and international cooperation" at the Federal Ministry of Justice. In addition to IRZ Director Dirk Mirow and the Deputy Secretary General of the Hague Conference, Christophe Bernasconi, further experts from the Hague Conference as well as German experts contributed to the conference. The lively discussions, which continued at the evening meals, made it clear once more how important these topics are in many of the IRZ's partner countries and how crucial it is for the countries to engage in a mutual exchange of experience. The conference organised in Tunis in October 2013 by the IRZ together with the Tunisian Ministry of Justice and the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference was similar in its topics but had a different regional focus. With the presence of Christophe Bernasconi, who has in the meantime been promoted to become the Secretary General of the Hague Conference, as well as a representative of the Federal Office of Justice and the IRZ project manager for North Africa/Middle East, the representatives of eight Arab, majority Muslim states came together in order to obtain information on the far-reaching mechanisms and possibilities offered by the Hague Conventions. The high-ranking delegations were sent from the countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. The conference offered firstly a forum to discuss topics both confidentially and openly which are characterised by a certain sensitivity in cultural and political terms. These include above all questions of international family law. Even if there are different views held on these in some cases, the conference was able to create an atmosphere of open dialogue which made it possible to lend expression to reservations and discuss potential solutions together. A further topical area was the economic relevance of international civil law cooperation in the context of the Hague Conventions. In particular in the context of the great changes in the Arab world, questions of modernisation in commercial law are becoming increasingly important because of regional and global networking. In this context, the Tunis conference was able to close gaps in information through introductory lectures and above all through the subsequent open discussion, and to set the stage for the legal inclusion of a region that is of increasing global importance in geographic, political and economic terms. As a result, and more or less in proof of the constructive atmosphere, all the delegations expressed their wish to continue the talks at a follow-up conference. This is to take place in Morocco in 2014.


  • Six-week internship programme for lawyers in the field of civil and commercial law in cooperation with the Federal Bar and the German Bar Association
  • Three-week internship programme for notaries in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries
  • Three-week internship programme for civil and commercial court judges, together with the German Association of Judges and the Land administrations of justice
  • Three-week internship programme for public prosecutors and criminal court judges together with the German Association of Judges and the Land administrations of justice
  • Almost three-week internship programme for administrative court judges together with the Federation of German Administrative Court Judges


The IRZ intends to continue to offer the internship programmes for legal experts from the above specialist areas, which have become an established institution. It will also continue to hold multilateral conferences and symposia as well as regional conferences on various topics in 2014.