Publication of documentation for a symposium on “Legal transformation in the West Balkans”

Serbia

The documentation for the first interdisciplinary South-East Europe symposium organised jointly by the IRZ and the South-East Europe association (SOG), which was held in Berlin in November 2017 with the title “Legal transformation in South-East Europe using former Yugoslavia as an example: prerequisites, parties involved, failures and successes – a preliminary review”, appeared in the March edition of the Südosteuropa Mitteilungen, published by the SOG.

The publication includes a written transcript of the lectures, as well as a summary of the panel discussions, which were moderated by Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Heribert Küpper, Managing Director of the Munich Institute for Eastern European Law, based in the Research Centre in Regensburg, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the SOG.

The documentation includes the following articles:

  • Dr. Stefan Pürner: The framework conditions for transformation – initial situation, parties involved and external influencing factors;
  • Doz. Dr. Aleksandar Lj. Spasov: Dealing with the past as a prerequisite for transformation – the case of Macedonia;
  • Prof. Dr. Zlatan Meškić: Legal transformation in Bosnia and Herzegovina – constitutional perspectives;
  • Prof. Dr. Miloš Živković: Legal transformation in Serbia;
  • Norbert Koster: The framework conditions for transformation – initial situation, parties involved and external influencing factors, taking criminal procedural law as an example

The concept for the event involves contrasting the observations and opinions of law professionals from the transformation states with those of advisers from other countries. Despite the heterogeneous composition of the speakers, there were considerable parallels to be drawn from their opinions. These related in particular to the importance of the moderate development of the law, using existing continental European principles as a guideline, and the significance of further training measures in supporting legislative activities.

The publication can be downloaded as a PDF from the IRZ website: Legal transformation in South-East Europe using former Yugoslavia as an example: prerequisites, parties involved, failures and successes – a preliminary review.

Continuation of successful course on German legal terminology

Course participants with lecturer Danka Stojaković (centre) and Miroslav Djordjević (on her right), the local IRZ representative in Serbia
Course participants with lecturer Danka Stojaković (centre) and Miroslav Djordjević (on her right), the local IRZ representative in Serbia
Serbia

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

Final event of the EU funded project “Improving capacities and capabilities within the prison system in the Republic of Serbia”
Final event of the EU funded project “Improving capacities and capabilities within the prison system in the Republic of Serbia”
Serbia

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.

Funded by the European Union