Constitutional Law (both institutional and substantive) and Constitutional Adjudication
Also available in Deutsch
In order to establish structures of rule of law and democracy in the countries of transformation in South East Europe, the creation of a modern state constitution in which the institutional and material core elements of a democratic constitutional state (Rechtsstaat) are rooted is vital.
The project countries of the Rule of Law Program South East Europe (RLP SEE) differ in their respective evolutionary states: Bulgaria and Romania passed new constitutions in 1991 shortly after the break-down of the communist regimes. They changed them with respect to the EU accession in those areas which refer to the judicative.
In the countries of former Yugoslavia, important developments have occurred only recently in the sector of constitutional law: the Republic of Serbia passed a new constitution in Fall 2006.
Positive developments have also occurred in the Republic of Montenegro: On 22 October 2007, the Montenegrian Parliament adopted the first constitution, long-discussed since the state became independent one year ago.
The constitution not only re-regulates the controversially discussed question for judicial independence (in particular with respect to the announcement of judges), it also envisages for the first time – like the Serbian constitution – an individual complaint to the constitutional court which is essential for the strengthening of constitutional adjudication.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, too, constitutional reform is a current topic. A constitutional reform is necessary despite the Dayton Agreement of 1995 which enabled the establishment of institutions constitutive for a Rechtsstaat as this agreement no longer offers the constitutional and administrative framework which the country needs in order to achieve the necessary progress in the EU integration process.
The core scope of the constitutional reform is to strengthen the overall state institutions and the states and to make them functional. Furthermore,the constitutional reform aims to guarantee the constitutional protection of human rights to all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina irrespective their ethnicity. .
The RLP SEE focuses on strengthening the constitutional adjudication in its project countries by supporting the work of the constitutional courts. In 2007 and 2008, the focus lie on the constitutional courts of the countries of former Yugoslavia. Based on the conviction that the acknowledgment of the constitutional courts’ work depends to a great extent on the quality and consistence of their jurisdiction, the RLP SEE will continue its projects for the improvement of the jurisdictional quality already begun in 2007.
The main tasks here are to complete the translation of core decisions of the German Constitutional Court into Albanian, Macedonian and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrian-Serbian and to prepare the publication of the collected decisions. The latter shall be published in 2009 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the German Grundgesetz and shall be presented in the context of different measures on constitutional law and constitutional adjudication. In 2008, t he RLP SEE will also support the project “German-Bosnian Jurisdictional Comment on the Jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
The following links offer you an overview over events and publications by the RLP SEE on these topics since 2006.
- Constitutions, Constitutional Courts and Constitutional Interpretations at the Interface of Law and Politics (event)
- Constitutions, Constitutional Courts and Constitutional Interpretations at the Interface of Law and Politics (publication)