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On 5 December 2018, the annual conference on current arbitration issues was held jointly by the German Arbitration Institute (DIS), the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) and the IRZ in Belgrade.
At the opening ceremony, Martin Knapp, Managing Director of the AHK in Serbia, emphasised the traditional nature of this joint event. The representative from the German Embassy, Matthias Schikorski, said in his opening speech that events such as this also contribute towards promoting Germany as a place of arbitration.
This was followed by more speeches:
Prof. Dr. Vladimir Pavić (Vice-President of the Permanent Court of Commercial Arbitration at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce): Costs of arbitration proceedings
Lawyer Korinna von Trotha (Head of the Berlin office of the DIS): New rules of procedure at the DIS;
Former Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Tibor Varady: Who can be an arbitrator these days?
Since the majority of the participants had experience of arbitration proceedings, the discussions following each of the lectures were extremely lively and covered, as well as the lectures themselves, the presentation of many practical cases.
With regards to the new arbitration rules at the DIS, it was agreed that these make a significant contribution towards making arbitration proceedings according to DIS rules even more appealing.
On 13 and 14 November 2018, the first joint event between the IRZ and the Serbian Chamber of Notaries was held on “Property transfer and procedures for entry in the property register” with the participation of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (Bundesnotarkammer or BNotK).
The event was opened by the President of the Serbian Chamber of Notaries, Srbislav Cvejić, and the Vice-President of the BNotK, judicial advisor Richard Bock, both of whom emphasised the long cooperation between their two chambers.
They also made it clear that an exchange of experiences between Serbia and Germany is particularly fruitful in this area, since notaries’ offices in both countries share a lot of similarities.
The German Embassy’s advisor on political issues, Matthias Schikorski, gave a welcome speech and emphasised the various German measures to support notaries' offices in the administration of justice in South-East Europe.
Dr. Lovro Tomašić, a notary from Melrichstadt, introduced the professional part of the event, speaking in the local language on the subject “Dealing with homes under construction and land register entries in Germany”.
This was followed by an overview of controversial issues concerning the application of the “Law on the procedure for entry in the property and water register”, given by Sava Dedajić, a notary in Stara Pazova.
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Enes Bikić from the Faculty of Law in Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) provided a comparative analysis of the current Serbian regulations. He also presented the various types of registers in different legal systems and pointed out that the German “Grundbuchsystem” (land register system) fits in best with the legal tradition of West Balkan countries.
This trilateral approach provided the right prerequisites for an exchange of experiences, the discussion of problems and the development of suggestions for solutions with regard to the “law on procedures for entry in the property and water register”. This law gives notaries the right to carry out the registration procedure, but it does present some problems. That’s why changes are planned, for which the results of this event should also be taken into account. The significance of the subject and the interest of more than 150 participants are also reflected in the fact that the exchange continued well beyond the time originally scheduled in the programme.
From 8 to 10 October 2018, a regional conference on “Decisions of constitutional courts in abstract judicial reviews as a contribution towards supporting the rule of law” was organised jointly by the Constitutional Court of Serbia and the IRZ in Belgrade. Judges from the following constitutional courts took part in the conference:
Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Both entity constitutional courts of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.
The opening of the event by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia, Vesna Ilić Prelić, and Dr. Stefan Pürner, representing the IRZ as head of section, was followed by a welcome speech by the German Ambassador to Serbia,Thomas Schieb, who emphasised in particular the long cooperation between the IRZ and the Constitutional Court of Serbia.
In preparation for the subsequent intense discussions, the following representatives of the participating constitutional courts presented the relevant case law in their countries:
Milan Stanić, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Serbia,
Mato Tadić, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro,
Dr. Sc. Mato Arlović, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Croatia,
Nikola Ivanovski, President of the Constitutional Court of Macedonia,
Irena Mojović, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Republika Srpska, and
Aleksandra Martinović, President of the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner, a former judge at the German Constitutional Court, presented the case law of the German Constitutional Court concerning abstract judicial reviews, during which he also referred to the previous speeches. The ground had therefore been prepared for some intense discussions, during which the similarities and differences were brought to light.
The discussions focussed less on the material grounds for the ineffectiveness of laws as on the practice of constitutional courts in cases where the court establishes the unconstitutionality of a law.
The issue of a time limit for the legislator was discussed particularly intensively. Some diametrically opposing views were expressed on the point as to whether the court’s own laws allow for such a time limit and whether and in which cases it makes sense to impose such a time limit. The same also applies to the question of whether the constitutional court should merely establish the unconstitutionality of a standard or whether it should also give indications as to the potential content of a constitutional replacement standard.
There was, however, general agreement on the point that some valuable ideas for their own practice could be drawn from the practice of the German Constitutional Court.
In order to increase the effectiveness of this event, the speeches for this regional conference will also appear in the series of books Godišnjak za Ustavno Pravo (Constitutional Law Yearbook) published by the IRZ.