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On 21 May 2019, expert talks organised by the IRZ in partnership with the Serbian Ministry of Justice took place in Belgrade. During the discussions, a group from the Serbian Ministry of Justice working on the reform of the Serbian code of civil procedure was able to learn about the model declaration, as well as about other regulations under civil law, which should enable consumers to execute their rights.
Once the event had been opened by the Assistant Minister for European Integration and International Projects, Čedomir Backović, who is also head of the negotiation team for Chapter 23, Dr. Claudia Alfons, representing Section R A 2 “Civil Procedure, Labour Tribunal Proceedings” at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, presented the history and legislation of the model declaratory action. The participants also learned about the register of model declaratory actions held by the German Federal Office of Justice.
The scope of the subjects presented and subsequently discussed was inevitably broad. They ranged from the reasons for developing the claims as declaratory actions and not actions for performance to the potential options for formulating claims. There was a particular emphasis on the fact that new statutory provisions should make it easier for consumers to enforce the law but should not themselves create new laws.
Participants in the expert talks were also provided with translations of the relevant provisions of the German ZPO (code of civil procedure), the legal justification of the new provisions for the model declaratory action, the decree for the register of model declaratory actions and other documents on the civil aspects of consumer protection in Germany.
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.
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.