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.

Online Autumn Academy on national and international commercial Law

The speakers of the Autumn Academy with Dr. Frauke Bachler, Chief Executive of the IRZ, Prof. Dr Klaus Weber, Member of the Executive Board of the publishing house C.H. Beck, and Project Area Manager Angela Schmeink (below from left to right)
The speakers of the Autumn Academy with Dr. Frauke Bachler, Chief Executive of the IRZ, Prof. Dr Klaus Weber, Member of the Executive Board of the publishing house C.H. Beck, and Project Area Manager Angela Schmeink (below from left to right)

A generous grant from the publishing house C.H. Beck enabled IRZ to host the multilateral online conference "National and international commercial Law - Selected Aspects and Current Developments" from 16 to 18 November 2021 for an extended group of participants from nine of our partner states. The participants consisted of young lawyers and lawyers from academia and practice from the countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine). Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber, member of the management board of the publishing house C.H. Beck, gave a warm welcome to the participants before the programme was opened.

In the first part of the conference, a total of 110 participants dealt with German civil, commercial and company law as well as civil procedural law, furthermore with international private law and international civil procedural law. 

The speakers, Dr Tobias Oelsner, judge at the Berlin Regional Court, and Prof. Dr Florian Eichel, professor of civil procedural law and private international law at the University of Bern, succeeded excellently in conveying the principles of the complex subject matter in an understandable and clear manner. A practical addition was the film produced by IRZ for this conference: in it, a professional judge at a German court negotiates a fictional commercial law case using the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. In this way, the course of a trial was illustrated using an example and could then be discussed with the speakers.

The second day was dedicated to the legal field of intellectual property: Dr Oliver Schön, judge at the Munich I Regional Court, used illustrative cases to explain judicial practice in copyright law as well as the legal protection of designs, trademarks and utility models.

Kay Weidner, press officer at the Federal Cartel Office, familiarised the participants with the legal foundations of cartel law for the protection of free competition. He presented current examples from the digital world on the other relevant regulations - merger control and abuse control.

Dr Ina Schnurr, judge at the Federal Patent Court, rounded off the day with remarks on German patent law. The focus was on nullity actions, which are regularly brought in connection with patent infringement disputes. It was of particular interest that the judges working at the Federal Patent Court are either technically trained or have a technical education and an additional legal qualification, as the subjects of the proceedings are regularly technically highly complex. 

The third day focused on arbitration. The German Arbitration Institute (DIS) was presented by its Deputy Secretary General, Viktor von Essen. He gave an overview of the competences for the administration of arbitration proceedings and other alternative dispute resolution procedures. The central set of rules are the DIS Arbitration Rules, which were only amended in 2021 to increase efficiency, quality assurance and transparency. The presentations outlined the individual phases of commercial disputes before the DIS Arbitration Courts with their opportunities and risks and were underpinned with statistical data. 

The necessary considerations in connection with arbitration proceedings from the point of view of an affected party were discussed by the lawyer Jan K. Schäfer, partner at King & Spalding, who has many years of relevant experience. He went into the important points of reference in the individual fields of action with a view to tactics and strategy. Due to his extensive practical experience, individual aspects could be deepened on the basis of concrete cases against a realistic background.

The participants expressed great appreciation for the conference programme and emphasised that it had proved extremely useful for their own professional context. The exchange with the other foreign colleagues was also well received.  

The conference language was German, but thanks to a technically professional infrastructure and excellent language skills, the simultaneous (relay) interpretation in three foreign languages was flawless throughout.

Seminar for Arabic-speaking refugee lawyers on the topics of "family reunification and individual labour law"

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

As part of the funding project for the sustainable support of young lawyers from the Middle East, IRZ organised an online seminar for Arabic-speaking refugee lawyers on the topics of "Family reunification and individual labour law" on 24 and 25 October 2021. The event was funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV). 

The evaluation of the last face-to-face event in August 2021 made it clear that the topic of asylum law was of particular interest to the participants. For this reason, IRZ focused the content of the course on this topic and deepened it. The seminar aimed to support the Arabic-speaking refugee lawyers in expanding their already acquired legal knowledge in the areas of asylum and labour law and in this way to promote their social and professional integration. 

After the welcome at the beginning of the seminar, the participants first introduced themselves: Some had completed their legal studies in their home country and had already worked as lawyers there. Others had studied at a German university and completed a Master's degree (LL.M). 

The following experts participated in the event on behalf of IRZ: 

  • Dr Helena Isabel Maier, lawyer
  • Manuela Landuris, independent consultant for private international law and international family law 
  • Franz Beil,fully qualified lawyer (specialising in labour and social law) 

The participants were able to deepen their acquired knowledge of asylum law through the expert presentations. Specifically, they dealt with the procedure, the application, the duration of the procedure and the special features of family reunification with family members from third countries in Germany. In addition, the participants familiarised themselves with the basics of labour law using practical examples. The focus was on the establishment, content and termination of an employment relationship.

 The participants, for whom the topics of the seminar are of great relevance in their private and professional lives, used the lectures for lively discussions and an intensive exchange of experiences with the experts. In November and December 2021, selected participants are given the opportunity for a two-week job shadowing on the topic of asylum law in a law firm in order to gain insights into practical work and to find an easier entry into the German labour market.