Seminars on “Conduct of court hearings by judges” and “Encouraging settlements in civil proceedings”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
North Macedonia

On 7 and 9 December 2020, IRZ, together with the “Training Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors” for North Macedonia held two online seminars on the subjects mentioned above.

Both events for judges from North Macedonia were opened by the Director of the Academy, Prof. Dr. Natasha Gabler Damjovska, and IRZ Head of Section Dr. Stefan Pürner. Once the 60 or so participants had been welcomed to the seminars, lectures were given from the points of view of both countries. The speakers at the seminars were:

"Conduct of court hearings by judges”

  • Keti Germanova, a judge at the Local Court of Skopje
  • Daniel Jung, a Regional Court judge and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences for the Administration of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia

“Encouraging settlements in civil processes”

  • Katerina Goeorgievska, a judge at the Court of Appeal in Skopje
  • Dr. Ingo Werner, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Cologne

Both events reflected the role of judges in civil law. The discussions focussed in particular on the question of the extent to which the relevant rules of procedure allow judges to negotiate actively with parties and their representatives on the likelihood of the success of a claim and to make definitive settlement proposals.

According to article 307, paragraph 3 of the code of civil procedure for North Macedonia, judges must point out the possibility of a settlement during proceedings and “help” (помогне) the parties to agree on such a settlement. Controversial discussions on this point of “helping” followed on from the lectures, since the Macedonian participants were worried that they might be seen as biased if they, for example, talked about the legal situation with the parties or made definitive suggestions for settlements. The judicial self-perception of judges often has a bigger influence here on the effectiveness of court proceedings than the written provisions of the law.

The judicial self-perception of German legal practice and their positive experiences with giving judicial advice could provide important momentum in this respect.