Catrin Czyganowski (2nd from right), Head of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy, during her welcome speech
Catrin Czyganowski (2nd from right), Head of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy, during her welcome speech

On 21 June 2018, the second joint annual conference on continental European law was organised by the IRZ and the local Law Faculty in Belgrade. This time, the focus was on civil law.

The conference was opened by the acting Dean of the Law Faculty, lecturer Dr. Milena Đorđević, the head of the national accreditation body for quality assurance in higher education, Prof. Dr. Sima Avramović, and Dr. Stefan Pürner, representing the IRZ. Catrin Czyganowski, Head of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy, then welcomed the participants and took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of the IRZ’s commitment in Serbia.

The conference programme included a presentation of various IRZ publications on continental European law and two lectures, in which the differences between continental European law and common law were addressed.

The first of these lectures was given by Prof. Dr. James Maxeiner from the University of Baltimore on the subject of “Judgements based on the law as a benchmark for civil proceedings”. He underlined the fact that the objective of the US founding fathers was to set up a legal system based on the continental European model. Jefferson was even an advocate of a US Code Civil. Since then, however, the US system has moved away from this ideal. According to Maxeiner, the result of this is that the US civil process, for example, has a number of disadvantages compared with the continental European system, and in particular compared with the German system. He gave extensive reasons for this during his lecture.

Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Mirjana Radović analysed the impact of Anglo-Saxon law on Serbian company law. She came to the conclusion that in Serbia, despite fundamentally different structures in business and the economy, various legal institutions from US law have been incorporated, which do not fit in very well with Serbian legal tradition.

As well as these lectures, a series of current South-East European IRZ publications on continental European and German law was also presented. Prof. Dr. Milan Škulić and Prof. Dr. Milos Zivkovic, both judges at the Constitutional Court of Serbia and members of the Law Faculty in Belgrade, gave lectures on the latest edition of the journal “Kontinentalno pravo – časopis za održiv i skladan razvoj prava” (Continental law - journal for lasting and practical legal development” or KoPRa for short), for which they are part of the editorial team. This publication will be presented in more detail at a later date in a special report to be given at the same venue.

The lecture by a member of the board of the Association of German Judicial Officers, Klaus Rellermeyer, on the Institution of Judicial Officers in Germany, also attracted great attention. Klaus Rellermeyer, together with his colleague Manfred Georg, introduced the volume, with a dual language edition of the law on judicial officers .

The presentation of these new editions of IRZ publications in the Bosnian-Croat-Montenegrin-Serbian language was rounded off with a contribution by Prof. Dr. Slavko Kragujevc on his translation of the general section of the German Civil Code (BGB), which has also been published as a dual language book.

At the event, a participant who had recently completed the English-language notarial internship in Bonn, even came from the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. This should prove not only the attractiveness of the event, but also the commitment of the IRZ alumni and their affiliation to the IRZ.