Visit of Serbian Judges from the Supreme Court of Serbia to Berlin

Visit of the guests at the German Association of Judges: Snezana Andrejevic, Vice-President of the Supreme Court of Serbia (3rd from right) and Dragana Boljevic, Chairwoman of the Serbian Association of Judges (far right)Visit of the guests at the German Association of Judges: Snezana Andrejevic, Vice-President of the Supreme Court of Serbia (3rd from right) and Dragana Boljevic, Chairwoman of the Serbian Association of Judges (far right)

The IRZ has very good networks with its domestic project partners as well as with foreign and international organisations in South East Europe operating in the field of law thanks to its long-term work in this region. This regularly gives rise to synergy effects, of which we like to make use. A good example is the working visit of judges from the Supreme Court of Serbia which dealt with the standardisation of case law and post-university legal training. This visit was organised by the OSCE Mission in Serbia and the IRZ and took place in Berlin from 26 to 29 April 2015.

The comprehensive programme started at the Federal Ministry of Justice with an introduction to the various legal regulations and practical exercises on the standardisation of case law. Furthermore, there was a presentation regarding the distribution of competences for legal training in the German federal system and the Ausbildung zum Einheitsjuristen (same training for all legal professions), followed by expert talks at the German Association of Judges and an all-day visit to the Higher Regional Court of Berlin with several items on the agenda. The delegation, among them the Vice-President of the Supreme Court of Serbia, Ms Snezana Andrejevic, and the President of the Serbian Association of Judges, Ms Dragana Boljevic, were received by the President of the Higher Regional Court of Berlin, Ms Monika Nöhre.

The Serbian guests returned with a wealth of inspiration and useful information, such as the upcoming nationwide introduction of the electronic justice system in Serbia. Due to the fact that this process will need a couple of years of preparation, also in Germany, which has much better resources, it became clear that certain timeframes need to be questioned as regards the current reforms in Serbia. This also applies to the introduction of a new law. The introduction of the special law in Germany as a consequence of reunification, for example, took quite a while until controversial issues were settled by case law in a uniform way. This is why the corresponding steps will certainly take some time in Serbia as well.

International Conference on Insurance Law in Palic

Stefan Sawatzki of Gesamtverband der deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (German Insurance Association GDV) during his presentation on insurance regulation law; Professor Pierpaolo Marano, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan (Italy) (from left to right)Stefan Sawatzki of Gesamtverband der deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (German Insurance Association GDV) during his presentation on insurance regulation law; Professor Pierpaolo Marano, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan (Italy) (from left to right)

Headlined "Insurance Law, Governance and Transparency: Fundamental Principles of Legal Certainty", an international conference took place in Palic, Serbia, from 17 to 19 April 2015, organised by the Association for Insurance Law of Serbia, the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. (German Insurance Association GDV) and the IRZ.

Almost eighty law professionals held lively discussions in five panels about the different kinds of insurance contracts and issues of insurance regulation. Here it became particularly clear that private and public law influence each other in many different ways, especially with regard to insurance law.

The conference participants were mostly from Serbia and other states in the region (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia) and Turkey, but also from the EU Member States: Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Comparative law issues played a major role given the international participants. The conference focused on German insurance contract law, which was available to participants in a Bosnian-Croat-Serbian translation including an introduction, published by the IRZ. This and the fact that the presentations given at the conference are also issued in the publications series of the Association for Insurance Law of Serbia make this event particularly sustainable.

The conference was opened by Professor Jovan Slavnic, Honorary President of the Association of Insurance Law of Serbia, the Serbian AIDA section (Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances – International Association for Insurance Law). He pointed out that the good cooperation with the GDV and IRZ had existed for a long time and had developed constantly over the years. He also stated that dealing in-depth with German insurance contract law in Serbia would also be of great benefit because there was a discussion going on about a comprehensive recodification of the entire law of obligations and contract law. This, he continued, was taking place within the project for the creation of a uniform code of private law.

German law as a "law of orientation" was also emphasised insofar as Germany accounted for the second largest group of contributors after the host country Serbia.

New publication on ECHR in Serbian

Within the long-existing cooperation between the IRZ and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Council of Europe and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in the countries of South East Europe, a further publication has now been completed with the Serbian translation of the "Handbook on European non-discrimination law":

So this publication is now also available to the law experts in Serbia. Interested English-speaking readers can download the handbook from the website of FRA: Handbook on European non-discrimination law.

Within this IRZ project, publications on the ECHR are regularly published in Bosnian, Macedonian, Croatian and Serbian.