Serbia - annual report 2016

Regional conference on “Protection of ownership by Constitutional Courts”: Mato Tadić, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Desanka Lopičić, President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court; Vesna Ilić-Prelić, President of the Serbian Constitutional Court (from left to right)

Regional conference on “Protection of ownership by Constitutional Courts”: Mato Tadić, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Desanka Lopičić, President of the Montenegrin Constitutional Court; Vesna Ilić-Prelić, President of the Serbian Constitutional Court (from left to right)

Strategic Framework

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.

Overall Concept

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

EU Project

Outlook

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.

Serbia - annual report 2015

serbien 1Conference on the promotion of arbitration in Belgrade: On the Podium: Dragana Radisavljevic, IRZ; Prof. Dr. Tibor Varady; attorney Ruth Mosch; Gabriele Bennemann, Head of the Economic Department of the German Embassy in Serbia (left to right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The legal policy starting point in Serbia changed considerably in January 2014, when negotiations with the EU on accession were officially launched. This means that there is a greater need for consultation in harmonising the law and for support in training for 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 fundamental rights, as well as in the topics of the justice system, freedom and security.

Overall concept

The IRZ began legal cooperation with Serbia in 2000 in 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, as well as on the basic and further training of legal practitioners.

The many years of cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the successful introduction of the constitutional complaint constitute a special focus. Furthermore, the IRZ implemented a whole series of third-party-funded projects, some of which were very extensive. The IRZ has also worked more intensively with non-governmental organisations in recent years.

Its partners include the Constitutional Court, the Judicial Academy, the Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs, the Faculties of Law of the Universities of Belgrade, Kragujevac and Nis, the German-Serbian Business Association (DSW), the Zoran Djindjic Foundation, the Society for Insurance Law, the Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce for Serbia, the Singipedia academic Internet portal, the Society for the Study and Reception of German Law, as well as the Harmonius Network of Young Legal Scholars in South-East Europe.

The main goal of the IRZ in Serbia is to support the country on its course towards the EU. The focus here lies in effective implementation of the laws corresponding to the principles of the rule of law. The activities aim to continue consultation through successful implementation. The IRZ stresses here the significance of a clear orientation towards continental European legal principles and legal models in order to avoid hybrid solutions. Furthermore, it is stepping up cooperation between lawyers from Serbia and its neighbouring countries.

Foci of activity in 2015

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Regional conference in Kladovo on "Constitutional courts and the media", in cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court
  • Attendance by Serbian constitutional court judges at the regional conference in Bečići on "Freedom of opinion: normative framework and practice", organised in cooperation with the Montenegrin Constitutional Court
  • Attendance by the President and by a member of the Serbian Committee on Legal Affairs at the IV International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin

Civil and commercial law

  • Annual insurance law conference of the Serbian Society for Insurance Law on the topic of "Topical questions of insurance law: legal security, supervision, transparency" in Palic, Serbia, together with the German Insurance Association e.V.
  • Conference in Belgrade entitled "Arbitration proceedings in construction cases", together with the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the German-Serbian Business Association and the Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce
  • Attendance by a Serbian expert at the 17th International Cartel Conference in Berlin

Administration of justice

  • Study trip to Berlin by Serbian judges on the topic of "Mechanisms and methods to standardise case-law in German law", on behalf of the OSCE Mission in Serbia
  • Attendance at the conference entitled "Judicial protection of disadvantaged groups" at Nis Law School
  • Guest lecture on the topic of "Discrimination against Jews under National Socialism by means of civil law" at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade

Penitentiary Law

  • Conference in Belgrade entitled "Investigating economic crime, in particular in cases of embezzlement and abuse of trust "

Basic and further training

  • Support for a Masters course in "European Integration" at the Faculty of Law Belgrade
  • German legal terminology course for German-speaking judges, as well as young lawyers, at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade
  • Attendance by German-speaking Serbian law students at the IRZ "German law" summer school in Brühl and Bonn
  • Support for the fourth 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 specialist journal entitled "Nova Pravna Revija" ("New Legal Revue")

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing the series of seminars and further training events with the abovementioned partner organisations and continuing to support them in the implementation of the Judicial Reform Acts. It will be stepping up 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 further countries of the region. This includes support for young lawyers, in particular those with a knowledge of German language and law.

Serbia - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Serbien 201350th anniversary of the establishment of the Serbian Constitutional Court: President Tomislav Nikolic welcomes the guests

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The legal policy starting point in Serbia changed considerably in January 2014 as a result of the official beginning of negotiations with the EU on accession. This means that the need for consultation in harmonising the law and support in training for practical application of the law increased considerably. What is more, Chapters 23 "Judiciary and fundamental rights" and 24 "Judiciary, freedom and security" continue to require particular efforts in Serbia, also in the view of the EU.

Cooperation to date

The IRZ began legal cooperation with Serbia in 2001 in the framework of the Stability Pact for South East Europe. It has focussed since then on consultation on important EU-compatible reform statues, on the structure of the judicial system, as well as on the basic and further training of legal practitioners. The many years of cooperation with the Serbian Constitutional Court on the successful introduction of the constitutional complaint constitute a special focus. Furthermore, the IRZ implemented a whole series of projects, some of which were very extensive. The IRZ has also intensified the cooperation with non-governmental organisations in recent years.

Major partners

  • Constitutional Court
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Office for Human and Minority Rights
  • Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs
  • Administrative Court
  • Judicial Academy
  • Law Faculty of the University of Belgrade
  • Office of Intellectual Property
  • Association of Public Prosecutors
  • Academy of Criminalistic and Police Studies
  • German-Serbian Trade Association
  • Zoran Djindjić Foundation
  • Constitutional Law Association
  • Institute for Comparative Law
  • Society for Insurance Law
  • Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce for Serbia
  • Law Faculty of the University of Belgrade
  • Singipedia academic Internet portal
  • Society for the Study and Reception of German law
  • Harmonius Network of Young Legal Scholars in South-East Europe

Strategy and method

The main goal of the IRZ in Serbia is to support the country on its path to the EU. The focus most recently was on the institutional reform of the public prosecution office in preparation for its new role as the "authority in charge of the investigative proceedings" along German lines.

The future activities aim to continue the consultation by successful implementation. To this end, amongst other things training courses and further training are on the agenda. The IRZ will emphasise the significance of a clear orientation towards continental European legal principles and legal models in order to avoid hybrid solutions. Furthermore, it would like to step up the regional approach by means of which lawyers from Serbia and from the neighbouring countries will be linked.

Foci of activity in 2013

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforcement

  • Roundtable of the Serbian Constitutional Court on the topic of "Protecting the rule of law" in Belgrade
  • International conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Serbian Constitutional Court with the topic of "The situation and outlook of the constitutional jurisdiction" in Belgrade
  • Multilateral symposium on Constitutional Law at the University of Regensburg with the participation of judges from the Serbian Constitutional Court
  • Conference on European anti-discrimination standards as a part of a regional project supported by the Federal Foreign Office with funds to promote human rights in cooperation with the Office for Human and Minority Rights
  • Presentation of the book publication "Practical introduction to European anti-discrimination standards" at the abovementioned conference
  • Distribution of this publication also in electronic form via the website of the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Serbian Government

Civil and commercial law

  • Conference on international arbitration jurisdiction on the topic of "Arbitration jurisdiction – the right way to draw up an arbitration clause" in Belgrade together with the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the German-Serbian Trade Association (DSW) and the Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce
  • Working visit by legal staff from the Serbian Office of Intellectual Property to the Bild-Kunst collecting society in Bonn
  • Support for a conference of the Serbian Society for Insurance Law on the harmonisation of Serbian insurance law in Palic

Administration of justice

  • Roundtable on the topic of "The judiciary and the media" together with the Serbian Institute of Comparative Law in Belgrad
  • Publication of two issues of the journal entitled Nova Pravna Revija - Casopis za domace, njemacko i evropsko pravo ("Journal for regional, German and European law", shortened to: NPR), which is published as a German-Bosnian-Herzegovinian-Serbian cooperation • Distribution of this journal also in electronic form via the Belgrade Singipedia academic Internet portal
  • Distribution of further specialist publications which are co-edited by the IRZ to selected project partners in Serbia

Public law

  • Participation by members of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Serbian Parliament at the III International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin
  • Seminar for Serbian administrative court judges together with the Serbian Judicial Academy, amongst other things on the topic of construction law
  • Cooperation with the Harmonius Network of Young Legal Scholars in South-East Europe - Support for the journal entitled "Harmonius – Journal of Legal and Social Studies in South East Europe" - Three-day winter schools in Zlatibor on current topics of EU law with participants from the region - Support for a multi-language website on the harmonisation of national law with EU law

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Conference together with the Police Academy on the topic of "Cooperation between the public prosecution office and the police in investigation procedure – the new Serbian Code of Criminal Procedure" in Belgrade
  • Support for the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Serbian Parliament by contributing an open hearing on the new Code of Criminal Procedure in the Serbian Parliament
  • Publication of the translation of the Guidelines for Criminal and Administrative Fines Proceedings (RiStBV) including its annexes that was done in the previous year in the context of the project work, with an introduction as a book publication

Event “Justice and the Media”: Section of the podium at the event

Event "Justice and the Media": Section of the podium at the event

Basic and further training

  • Participation by staff from the Judicial Academy at the regional workshop "Basic and further training of legal trainees, judges and public prosecutors – experience in the development and implementation of training programmes" in Podgorica
  • Support for the "Master's in European Integration" Master's course at the Law Faculty of Belgrade through guest lectures given by German speakers
  • Legal terminology course entitled "German for lawyers" for Germanspeaking Serbian lawyers at the Judicial Academy
  • Participation by young Serbian lawyers at the summer school entitled "German law" in Brühl and Bonn
  • Participation by a Serbian student at the legal terminology course of the Goethe Institute in Bonn
  • Support for a legal internship awarded in a competition organised by the Zoran Djindjić Foundation for a Serb lawyer at the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) in Cologne

Outlook

The IRZ will be continuing the series of seminars and further training events with the abovementioned partner organisations and continuing to support them in the implementation of the Judicial Reform Acts. It will be stepping up 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 further countries of the region. This includes support for young lawyers, in particular those with a knowledge of German language and law.