Participants at the conference on continental European law held in Belgrade on 2 December 2022.
Participants at the conference on continental European law held in Belgrade on 2 December 2022.

The work of IRZ aims to further develop the legal systems in its partner countries in a way that is user-friendly.

“Hybrid” laws with regulations that exploit a range of legal traditions, e.g. the common law and continental European law, are overwhelming the legal practitioners. This is one of the main problems of legal transformation.

IRZ highlights this fact every year with a conference on continental European law organised jointly with the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, which was held on 2 December 2022 as a face-to-face event for the first time since a break of three years.

The event focused on presentations by constitutional judges Prof Dr Milan Škulic and Prof Dr Milos Živković, which were also published in the magazine “Kontinentalno pravo: časopis za održiv i skladan razvoj prava (KoPra)” / “Continental Law: Journal for Sustainable and Appropriate Legal Development”.

In his lecture, Professor Škulić presented the attitude of various legal systems in continental European law and common law to polygraphs (“lie detectors”) in a comparative legal manner. He explained that these devices only detect physical reactions, which are often exhibited by people who are lying. However, these devices cannot recognise the truth content in a statement. The results of such examinations cannot be used as a free judicial assessment of evidence in legal systems that have no legal stipulation on the use of polygraphs in criminal proceedings, as “irrational methods of any kind” are also excluded here in the context of gathering evidence.

Professor Živković’s lecture dealt with the proof of property rights in rem. He highlighted the differences between continental European law and common law and explored the rules of the different systems. He emphasised that these systems work most effectively within the legal tradition that produced them There are limits to what can be “transplanted”. Overall, he assessed the continental European land register as the safest and most functional system, but the introduction of such entailed the highest costs. He also pointed out the implementation deficits in the relevant reforms in Serbia.

The participants included constitutional judges, presidents of courts, scientists and students, who all listened to the presentations with great interest. There was lively discussion and commentary, with calls for more attention to be paid to the traditions of their own countries in the legal transformation.