On 23 and 24 March, the local Law Faculty and the IRZ held a joint conference on “Law and Transformation” in Belgrade. The objective of this event was to review the progress of transformation in various areas of the law. Similarities and differences between the various legal fields were addressed, past errors were ascertained and recommendations were developed for future improvements.

Following welcome speeches from Professor Dr.Vedran Petrov, the vice dean of the university representing the dean, Prof. Dr. Sima Avramovic, Professor Dr. Radmila Vasic and the head of department at the IRZ, Dr. Stefan Pürner, the conference was divided by subject into seven panels. Speakers from Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany and Italy reported on various legal fields.

They covered basic issues such as the organisational approach to proposed legislation within the framework of transformation, aspects of EU harmonisation and proposals for reform from various legal fields. The main focus was on civil law, but public law – including tax law and criminal law – was also discussed. In spite – or perhaps because of – the wide range of topics covered, similarities were evident, particularly when it came to shortcomings.

These include the fact that the transformation has long been seen as an opportunity to issue new laws, and less as an occasion to work on the further training of law professionals. The fact that the legislation process had been started without firstly defining which legal tradition the new provisions should follow also received widespread criticism.

Since the conference transcript for the event is predominantly in English, the recommendations appearing in this report will also reach a wide circle of addresses.