- Published: March 14, 2019
On 11 March 2019, a new course on German legal terminology began in Belgrade for German-speaking law students and other law professionals. The format for this kind of event was launched more than 15 years ago. The course is organised jointly by the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade and the IRZ and financed by funds from the German Federal Foreign Office allocated to Germany’s contribution to the Stability Pact for South-East Europe.
With almost 30 participants, interest in the event is particularly high this year. One of the reasons for this could be that the course has allowed many of its previous graduates to qualify for further employment in German law. Quite a few of them have been able to apply successfully for grants for study and research visits to Germany, thanks to the skills gained during this course. Some of them have also written (or are still writing) doctorates and master’s theses on German law or are currently working in the field of German-Serbian legal relations.
The course in German legal terminology is being led by the specialist in German studies, Danka Stojanovic, M.A., who is also author of the textbook “Nemački za pravnike” (German for law professionals). Fitting in with the design of this textbook, the focus of the course is on practical exercises and working with German legal texts from real-life situations.
Completion of EU-financed Twinning Project for improving the prison system in the Republic of Serbia
- Published: March 7, 2019
On 20 February 2019 the final event of the EU funded project “Improving capacities and capabilities within the prison system in the Republic of Serbia” was held in Belgrade.
The project, that lasted 20 month, was implemented by IRZ, its Junior Partner the Austrian Agency for Economic cooperation and Development (AED) and the Administration for the Enforcement of Penal Sanctions within the Ministry of Justice of Serbia.
The attendees were addressed by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, Ms. Nela Kuburović, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ms Mateja Norčič Štampcar, German Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Thomas Schieb, the Federal Minister of the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reform, Deregulation and Justice of the Republic of Austria, Dr Josef Moser, Assistant to the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Marko Jovanović and the Head of Section EU Twinning of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), Ms Franziska Simon. The results achieved during the implementation were presented by the Project Leader of the member state Ms. Krista Schipper and the Resident Twining Adviser, Mr. Samuli Laulumaa.
In view of Serbia's EU accession process, reforms of the Serbian prison system are required to meet appropriate standards related to criminal justice but also to ensure the fundamental rights of prisoners. In this context, the objective of the project was to improve the prison system through the transfer of expertise and good practices developed in the prison systems of EU member states. During the 20-month project, experts from IRZ and AED worked closely with colleagues from the Administration for Enforcement of Penal Sanctions. Training seminars, workshops, study visits and meetings were organised in order to improve the employability of prisoners and improve living and working conditions within the prison system in Serbia.
The experts in the project also worked on improving the organisational and technical capacities of the Centre for Training and Professional Education of the Administration for Enforcement of Penal Sanctions in Niš, which is responsible for the design and realisation of training programmes for prison staff. Through the project, training was provided to prison security services staff, treatment staff and health care staff. Vocational and Education training was provided to female prisoners in the Correctional Facility in Požarevac.
- Published: February 13, 2019
On 7 February 2019, a conference was held in the Serbian capital Belgrade on “The role of judges in legal proceedings”. This was another joint event organised by the Judges Association of Serbia and the IRZ. The objective of the event was to exchange experiences with regard to the role of judges in various types of proceedings, as well as in society in general.
Following on from opening speeches made by the President of the Judges Association of Serbia, Dragana Boljević, and the IRZ, lectures were given by the President of the Bavarian Association of Judges and Local Court Director, Andrea Titz, and by Zorica Bulajić, Nadežda Budić, Srđan Savić and Dr. Gordana Budojkoić, all of whom are judges at various Serbian courts.
The speeches shed light on various aspects of the role of judges in different types of proceedings, as well as in society in general. The broad thematic scope of these introductory speeches prepared the ground for some intense discussions. These covered the following topics, amongst others:
- US influence on Serbian criminal procedural law,
- The importance of the obligation of judges to provide information in civil proceedings based on the principle of negotiations and
- The political activity of judges in Germany and Serbia.
The significance of the topics discussed at this conference was also underlined by the fact that both the state television network RTS and the news agency Tanjug sent reporters and camera crews to the event and by the attendance of representatives from various non-governmental organisations. As part of the EU’s strategy for the Western Balkans, particular importance is attributed to the subject of enhancing judicial independence and this high-profile event could make a contribution towards achieving this.