- Published: June 1, 2017
Legal Policy Starting Point
Since the commencement of official accession negotiations with the EU in January 2014, the legal policy starting point in Serbia has changed considerably. There is an even greater need for consultation on the harmonisation of the law and support in training the practical application of the law. In the view of the EU, particular efforts also need to be made in the areas of the judiciary and human rights, as well as on the subject area of justice, freedom and security.
2016 was influenced by early new elections, in which the existing continuation of the coalition government between the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and the Serbian Socialist Party (SPS) was confirmed, as well as the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU accession negotiations.
The IRZ began legal cooperation with Serbia in 2000 within the framework of the Stability Pact for South East Europe. Its topics since then have been consultation on important EU-compatible reform statutes, on the structure of the judicial system and on the basic and further training of legal practitioners.
There is special focus on long-term cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the successful introduction of constitutional complaints. In addition, the IRZ also implemented a whole series of projects funded by third parties, some of which were very extensive. In recent years, the IRZ has also worked more intensively with non-governmental organisations.
Its partners include the Constitutional Court, the Faculties of Law at the Universities of Belgrade and Niš, the Association for Insurance Law of Serbia, the Delegation Office of German Commerce and Industry in Serbia, the Singipedia academic Internet portal, the Society for the Study and Reception of German Law and the Harmonius Network of Young Legal Scholars in South-East Europe.
The IRZ’s main aim in Serbia is to support the country on its course towards the EU. The focus here lies on effective implementation of the statutes corresponding to the principles of the rule of law. The activities aim to continue consultation through successful implementation. Here, the IRZ stresses the significance of clear orientation towards continental European principles and legal models in order to avoid hybrid solutions. Furthermore, it is strengthening cooperation with lawyers from Serbia and its neighbouring countries.
Foci of Activity 2016
Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability
- Regional constitutional conference in Fruška Gora on “Constitutional court protection of ownership rights”
- Participation by Serbian constitutional court judges at the Regional Conference in Budva, Montenegro, on “The constitutional court review of elections” organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
- Participation by the President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia and another constitutional judge at the Regional Constitutional Court Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the topic “Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and their influence on the national constitutional courts”
Civil and Commercial Law
- Annual insurance law conference of the Association for Insurance Law of Serbia in Palić, Serbia, on the topic of “Reforms and changes in insurance law” together with the German Insurance Association (GDV e.V.)
- Conference in Belgrade entitled “Proper choice of arbitrator and counsel in particular in cross-border arbitration proceedings” together with the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Delegation of German Commerce and Industry
- Business law conference on the topic “Corporate law and arbitration” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Niš
- Workshop on “Free movement of goods in practice: Cross-border contracts – negotiations and wording” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade
Administration of Justice
- Study trip to Berlin by Serbian administrative court judges on the topic of “Sequence of courts in administrative court proceedings” on behalf of the OSCE Mission in Serbia
- Participation at the international academic conference entitled “Legal, social and political control in national, international and EU law” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Niš
- Event in Belgrade on the topic of “Dealing with and illuminating the legal past” together with the Association for the Study and Reception of German Law
- Conference in Belgrade on the topic of “Judicial office and freedom of opinion” together with the German Association of Judges
- Regional block seminar “Introduction to German law” with regional participation at and with the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade
Basic and Further Training
- Support for a Masters course in “European Integration” at the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade
- German legal terminology course for German-speaking judges as well as young lawyers at the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade
- Participation by German-speaking Serbian law students at the IRZ “German law” summer school in Brühl and Bonn
- Support for the fifth edition of the journal entitled “Harmonius Journal for legal and social studies in South East Europe” in cooperation with the Harmonius Network of Legal Scholars
- Support for the website of the Harmonius Network with considerable download material
- Dissemination of regional legal specialist publications (co)published by the IRZ, in particular the regional specialist journal “Nova Pravna Revija” (“New Legal Review”)
- Guest lecture entitled “Working through the legal past” at the Faculties of Law of the Universities of Belgrade and Niš
The IRZ will be continuing the series of seminars and further training events with the abovementioned partner organisations, in particular with regard to Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU accession negotiations. It will increase its cooperation with institutions and individual national experts working in the field of research on German law and its reception, including its contacts and experience from the project work in other countries of the region. This also includes support for young lawyers.
Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.