A view of the meeting room in Kragujevac during the lecture by Prof. Dr. Slavko Đorđević (at the desk)
A view of the meeting room in Kragujevac during the lecture by Prof. Dr. Slavko Đorđević (at the desk)

As part of the 180th anniversary celebrations of the University of Kragujevac in Serbia, on 9 October 2020 IRZ presented the Law Faculty at the university with a library on Germany law and private international law. A supplementary course on German law is currently being established at the Law Faculty under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Slavko Đorđević. The book donation from the estate of Prof. Dr. Jörg Pirrung, a former judge at the European Court of First Instance, was presented by Prof. Dr. Rolf Wagner, who until recently was Head of Department for Private International Law at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

To mark the occasion of the presentation of this valuable library, IRZ together with the Law Faculty of the University of Kragujevac organised a series of lectures, which was attended both locally and online. The number of participants in Kragujevac was restricted due to healthcare guidelines, and so many participants attended the conference online. The event was opened by Prof. Dr. Nenad Filipović, Rector of the University, Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić, Dean of the Law Faculty, and Dr. Stefan Pürner, IRZ Head of Section, who expressly thanked Professor Pirrung’s widow for the generous donation. The second secretary at the German Embassy in Belgrade, Daniel Mohseni, also welcomed the participants and summed up the subsequent lectures under the title “The light and dark sides of German law – from legal certainty to the abuse of civil law through unrestricted interpretation in National Socialism”. He said that the successful cooperation with German institutions and the intensive teaching and research on German law was very fortunate, against the historical backdrop of the massacre in Kragujevac carried out by German soldiers during the occupation of Serbia in World War II.

Prof. Dr. Slavko Đorđević later went on to explain in his lecture why it is particularly worthwhile for law students in Serbia to study German law. He emphasised the fact that Germany is a typical representative of continental European law, with a long legal tradition and plenty of literature and practical application to refer to. Professor Đorđević referred to the close connection between academic and legal practice in German jurisprudence from a Serbian point of view. For a country preparing to join the EU, it is a great advantage that German law is already harmonised with European law. He concluded his lecture by stressing the merits of the German legal training system with its concept of general lawyers. The IRZ Head of Section responsible for Serbia, lawyer Dr. Stefan Pürner, then spoke in Serbian about the abuse of civil law in National Socialism and provided proof of the so-called “unrestricted interpretation of civil law” with cases from matrimonial and enforcement law.

The event reflected the friendly partnership between Germany and Serbia, which does not deny the dark sides of the past. The broadcasting company RTV Kragujevac reported on the event in its news programme (Učionica na otvorenom u okviru Pravnog fakulteta, from minute 2:30) and there is also an extensive report on the Law Faculty’s website, including a number of photos (Свечано отворена Немачка правна библиотека, донација фондације IRZ).