Fifth seminar for Arabic-speaking refugees from a legal background

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

From 13 to 17 July 2020, IRZ organised its fifth “Introduction to German law” seminar for Arabic-speaking refugees from a legal background. Over the five days of the seminar, the thirty participants learned about the basics of the German legal system. As well as graduate law students from Syria and Iraq, lawyers with professional experience and accreditation in their home countries also took part in the seminar. The speakers at the seminar were Uwe Stark, a judge at the Local Court of Siegen, Dr. Arnd Weishaupt, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, and lawyer Jens Dieckmann.

The main topics discussed at the event were:

  • an introduction to state administration law
  • an introduction to the German system for protecting fundamental rights
  • an introduction to the German legal and court system
  • the basics of the right to residency and asylum in Germany
  • the basics of criminal law and criminal procedure law, with case examples
  • the basics of civil law and civil procedure law, with case examples

As well as lectures and discussions on the above topics, there was also a visit to the Regional Court of Bonn, including a court hearing, during the seminar. A representative from the Law Faculty at the University of Bonn also held talks with the participants and told them about opportunities for foreign students to study at the university.

The seminar concept

The aim of this event is for participants to learn about the structure of the German legal system and about German constitutional, criminal and civil law. The focus is on using case examples to shed light on German legal practice and to relate to the everyday experiences of refugees. Discussing case examples is an important part of the seminar concept, since these talks always lead to plenty of questions by interested participants. These animated exchanges encourage the integration of the refugees into German society and enhance their understanding of legal issues.