German professional journals report on IRZ activities in South-East Europe

The iStR 13/2018 journal reports extensively on the conference "The Tax Law in Constitutional Jurisprudence" held in the eastern Bosnian town of Brčko from 12 to 14 April 2018.
The iStR 13/2018 journal reports extensively on the conference "The Tax Law in Constitutional Jurisprudence" held in the eastern Bosnian town of Brčko from 12 to 14 April 2018.

The 13/2018 edition of the journal for European and international tax and business consultancy (iStR - Internationales Steuerrecht) published by C.H. Beck includes a comprehensive four-page report on the conference on “Tax law in constitutional court jurisdiction”, organised in April by the IRZ and the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the participation of other constitutional courts in the West Balkans.

This report presents the jurisdiction on tax matters of the participating constitutional courts, using numerous cases discussed at the conference. It is clear that constitutional courts in South-East Europe use the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and of the German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe as a strong point of reference. The report focusses in particular on judicial reviews.

The fact that this journal, which is mainly read by German tax practitioners, gives so much space to the event shows that the IRZ’s activities not only deliver interesting results that can be put into practice in the relevant partner states, but that they are also useful for German practice and to enhance our knowledge of the countries concerned.

Jahrbuch für Ostrecht (Yearbook of Eastern Law, JOR)

The same can be said for the review of the “Law in Transition” publication, which appeared in the latest edition of the Jahrbuch für Ostrecht. The volume details a conference organised by the IRZ and the Belgrade Faculty of Law and is also published by C.H. Beck.


In addition, the Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen published by the South-East Europe association recently published an article by Dr. Stefan Pürner on the Serbian journal “Hereticus. Časopis za preispitivanje prošlosti“ (“Hereticus – a magazine for re-examination of the past“).The IRZ works with the journal’s editorial staff in Serbia.

Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (RabelsZ)

In the Rabels Journal of Comparative and International Private Law published in Hamburg by the Max Planck Institute (“Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht” (RabelsZ No. 82/ 2018, issue 2), Dr. Stefan Pürner reviews the Bosnian-Serbian textbook on International Private Law by Professor Dr. Zlatan Meskic, Zenica, and Professor Dr. Slavko Djordjevic, Kragujevac, both of whom are involved in IRZ projects in the West Balkans.

WiRO – Wirtschaft und Recht in Osteuropa

The WiRO – Wirtschaft und Recht in Osteuropa (Journal of Economy and Law in Eastern Europe) journal, published by C.H. Beck, includes regular reports on the activities of the IRZ in all its partner countries, which can also be downloaded from the Downloads section of the website.

Documentation of German law in south Slavic languages substantially extended

Publications of the IRZ on German law in south Slavic languages
Publications of the IRZ on German law in south Slavic languages

The states of former Yugoslavia have traditionally leant towards Austrian and German law. It therefore makes sense to take the provisions of German law into consideration in the transformation and further development of their legal systems. What also speaks in favour of doing so, is that German law as continental European law has already been harmonised with the acquis of the EU.

However, since only a small group of experts in these countries speak German and, especially in view of the competition in consulting from other legal systems, translations of the relevant German legal norms are required, so that in particular they can be taken into account within the legislative procedure. Inspired by these findings, the IRZ initiated a series of translations of German legal norms into various south Slavic languages so that German law is also accessible in the local language.

After a very positive reception these activities have been intensified. In the last few months the following publications have been published:

  • Translation of the German Judicial Officers Act (Rechtspflegergesetz – RPflG) with an expert introduction by Manfred Georg and Klaus Rainer Meyer of the Association of German Judicial Officers (Bund Deutscher Rechtspfleger);
  • Translation of the General Part of German Civil Code (BGB) with an expert introduction by Professor Dr. Slavko Djordjevic, Kragujevac;
  • Guidelines with commentary on the German Limited Liability Companies Act (GmbHG) by lawyer Dr. Wolfgang Ott, Munich, who is also known as the author of other works on company law and insolvency law;
  • Translation of the German Commercial Code (HGB).

This series of books also aims at supporting academic work and research on German law. In addition, the translations of civil law regulations might help foreign courts in the application of German law in cases of Private International Law.

Since in most publications the translation and the German original text of each provision are printed side by side, they are also very helpful for learning German legal terminology in the respective fields of law.

Finally, the publications also include translations of original cases from German training practice and thus give students and professors a deeper insight into German case methodology in the training of lawyers. For this purpose, exams with model solutions are currently being prepared which can be resolved by using the translated legal provisions.

The text books are not only available in print but also via the Internet as pdf files, so that their dissemination rate and their sustainability are increased.

Translations of the following legal provisions have already been published before:

  • German Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO)
  • Guidelines for Criminal Proceedings and Proceedings for the Imposition of Administrative Fines (SBV)
  • Insurance Contract Act (VVG) as well as
  • Book 10 of the Code of Civil Proceedings (Arbitration Proceedings)

New edition of the regional South-East European journal on continental European law

Screenshot of the KoPra website
Screenshot of the KoPra website

The latest edition of the KoPra journal has just been published [LINK]. KoPra stands for “Kontinentalno pravo – časopis za održiv i skladan razvoj prava” (= “Continental law - journal for lasting and practical legal development”). KoPra is published by the IRZ in partnership with Prof. Dr. Milan Skulic, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Serbia, and Prof. Dr. Milo Zivkovic, a professor in civil law, both of whom are from Belgrade. The journal is distributed in all the succession states of the former Yugoslavia.

The journal was introduced because it was established that the system imposes limits on the takeover of institutions from foreign jurisdictions within the framework of the transformation. The objective of this publication project is therefore to work out the common foundation for continental European legal tradition and, on this basis, provide ideas for legal development, avoiding unnecessary frictional losses, experiments and hybrid provisions. Undesirable legislative developments should also be detected.

The current issue of the journal once again covers a broad range of topics. These range from civil and civil procedure law to public law and criminal law.

Civil law

Prof. Dr. James Maxeiner, Baltimore (USA), warns in his article of the dangers of transferring continental European legal thinking to the US American civil process. Prof. Dr. Milos Zivkovic gives a critical account of judgements in Serbian courts, which deal with the recently introduced potential for the private enforcement of mortgages.

Criminal law

In the field of criminal law, the focus in this edition is on sentencing.

On the one hand, there is the translation of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Macedonia, which has been used to declare the law on sentencing based on American sentencing guidelines as unconstitutional due to breaches in judicial disunity. Prof. Dr. Milan Skulic gives his opinion on this decision with some approving comments.

On the other hand, Norbert Koster, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, who also has a lot of experience in the region, writes about the practice of sentencing in German law.

Public law

In his article on Public Law, Harald Walther, a former administrative judge and current Local Court Director and lecturer at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, presents independent administrative jurisdiction as a guarantee of legal protection to the state in continental European countries.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • In the “History of continental European law” column: Ernst Eduard Hirsch - a German Jew who supported transformation to continental European law in Turkey,
  • Event reporting on the annual Kopaonik law school (discussions of issues with criminal proceedings) and on the 19th conference on “Insurance law in practice: Challenges, new technologies and management” in Palic and
  • A review of the book “Rechtsstandort Deutschland im Wettbewerb - Impulse für Justiz und Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit” (“The legal position of Germany in competition - the drive for justice and arbitration”) by Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wagner.

The journal has its own website. On this website, you can also download an abstract of the current edition in German.