Macedonia - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Mazedonien 2014Ambassador Dr Christine Althauser opening the conference on the ECHR. Also attending: Dr Lazarova Trajokvska, Macedonian judge in Strasbourg (podium, 2nd from left)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Macedonia and the EU has been in force since April 2004. The country has had the status of an accession candidate since December 2005. The European Commission's highly critical 2014 Progress Report calls once more to step up the efforts in the rule of law and for improvements to be made to the quality of the judiciary. The situation continues to be typified by restricted staffing capacities in the judicial institutions and a tendency towards hybrid laws incorporating elements of continental European and Anglo-American law.

Overall concept

The IRZ commenced its activities in Macedonia in 2000 in the context of the Stability Pact and considerably increased them in the second half of the decade. Regular joint events have for instance taken place since 2007, the year in which the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors was established. The IRZ has also expanded the target group of its activities in Macedonia and their sustainability through judicial publications in the local language. After the series of books entitled "Contributions from the work of the IRZ in Macedonia" had become established, the IRZ launched a further regular series of publications in 2012 through the publication of a Macedonian European law journal. Following on from these activities, it started in 2013 to translate material from the European Court of Human Rights into Macedonian in cooperation with the Court's Case-Law Information and Publications Division, and to disseminate it in the form of books and on the Internet 

The IRZ's partners in Macedonia include the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Constitutional Court, the Chamber of Notaries, the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as researchers from the Law School in Skopje. Furthermore, the IRZ is working together with the ECtHR on training and publications on the ECHR. It is particularly a matter of improving the quality of the application of the law in Macedonia and of ensuring a uniform orientation towards continental European law, something which would also be in line with the Macedonian tradition. The IRZ is hence concentrating on supporting the application of the law by means of further training events and publications. Further important topics are human rights and their enforceability, as well as maintaining contacts with young, Germanspeaking lawyers, who constitute a major target group as potential future multipliers. On suitable topics IRZ also cooperates with other German organisations in situ.

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Participation of the President of the Macedonian Constitutional Court and the Macedonian judge in Strasbourg in the regional conference entitled "Fundamental rights and human rights issues in the context of measures involving deprivation of liberty and prohibition of torture" organised in Serbia together with the Serbian Constitutional Court
  • Book publication on the case-law of the ECtHR on Art. 5 as well as Art. 10 of the ECHR (continuation of the joint translation and publication project with ECtHR/Council of Europe)
  • Conference on Art. 5 and Art. 10 of the ECHR organised in cooperation with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Macedonian Bar

Civil and commercial law

  • Participation of Macedonian experts in a conference held by the Serbian Society for Insurance Law Administration of justice
  • Joint conference with the GIZ on the planned amendments to the Notaries Act, in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries and the German Association of Notaries
  • Publication of two editions of the Macedonian-European law journal entitled "Evropsko pravo" (European law) in cooperation with academics at the Law School of Skopje
  • Distribution of this journal in electronic form, including via the websites of the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and of the Harmonius Network of Legal Scholars in South-East Europe
  • Publication of the website, on which "Evropsko pravo" is offered, as well as other publications in Macedonian and other languages of the region which the IRZ co-publishes for download 
  • Distribution of legal publications in related languages from the IRZ's project work to selected project partners

Basic and further training

  • Seminars at the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in Skopje on the topics
    • "The influence of European law on national law"
    • "Performance evaluations of judges"
  • Participation of young Macedonian lawyers in the "German law" summer school in Brühl


The IRZ will continue cooperating with the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors in basic and further training in various legal fields in 2015, and will organise further seminars on various fields of law with particular practical significance. The IRZ will also continue its series of judicial publications. The ECHR will furthermore continue to be significant as a topic within the project work in Macedonia.