Experiences of the IRZ Foundation in Middle, East and Southeast Europe Erfahrungen der IRZ-Stiftung in Mittel-, Ost- und Südosteuropa

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The IRZ Foundation supports the process of legal reform in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of its commission from the Federal Government. The work of the Foundation can be understood as an element of foreign and legal policy advice on establishing and reorganising national rule-of-law-orientated legal systems, as well as an independent, well-functioning judicial system.

The Foundation was established as a reaction to the many enquiries, asking for help in forthcoming reforms, with which the transition states of Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe had approached the Federal Ministry of Justice. This included a comprehensive need for basic and further training measures for all legal professions. The factual foci of the advice offered lie in the following legal areas:

– creating constitutional structures within the rule of law,

– establishing a system of private law, in particular a private ownership system, and creating a framework for private law transactions and the economic exchange of goods and services,

– creating a public-law framework for entrepreneurial activity against the background of the lawfulness of the administration and the guarantee of economic freedom.

Project work consists of advising the partner institutions in preparing, drafting and implementing statutes. However, it is not limited to working out legislation and restructuring the judiciary. Further training for legal practitioners, in other words for all judges, public prosecutors, lawyers and notaries who must apply the new law, is also considered a major priority.

The IRZ Foundation has, in contradistinction to some other international advisory institutions, experienced a very positive echo and level of acceptance. A major criterion of the comparatively successful work is the fact that it is represented with offices in situ in which local legal experts are employed as intermediaries between East and West. International legal advice can only be successful if it appreciates the country-specific circumstances and incorporates them into its own advice activities. The structure of the IRZ Foundation guarantees that it is possible to react flexibly and rapidly to the sometimes extremely short-notice enquiries for advice arriving from the partner countries. In this regard, national legal traditions and specific legal policy concerns and wishes, as well as the implementability of the new law, are the focus of concentrated work.

Legal advice in reform and transformation processes is a comparably affordable method of support that is provided by the Federal Republic of Germany. As there have been setbacks, and indeed failures, the reforms of the legal and judicial systems are by no means concluded. The Foundation will continue to support and advise the transformation states on their arduous path as long as there is support and finance available for this in Germany.

Language: ger

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1628/003372508783285694

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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