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Constitutional Law (both institutional and substantive) and Constitutional Adjudication

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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 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 shortly after the break-down of the communist regimes, which affected changes in areas such as the judiciary with a view to EU accession  


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.


Positive developments have also occurred in the Republic of Montenegro:  The Montenegrin parliament adopted a long-controversial first constitution since the state’s independence a year ago.


The constitution not only re-regulates the controversially discussed question for judicial independence (in particular with respect to the announcement of judges) in a new way.  Like the Serbian constitution, it also provides for individual appeals to the constitutional court for the first time, which is essential for strengthening constitutional jurisdiction.


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 rule of law 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 was to strengthen the overall state institutions and the states and to make them functional. Furthermore, the constitutional reform also aims to guarantee the constitutional protection of human rights to all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina irrespective their ethnicity.




The RLP SEE aims to strengthen constitutional justice in its program countries by supporting the work of constitutional courts. Based on the conviction that the recognition of the work of constitutional courts depends largely on the quality and consistency of their jurisprudence, the RLP SEE will continue to carry out projects aimed at improving the quality and integrity of constitutional jurisprudence. These include, in particular, the translation of key decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) into the official languages of the countries of Southeastern Europe. The translations are to be presented and handed over through close cooperation with the national constitutional courts.In this way, translations of important decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court into the Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian and Romanian languages have already been prepared, printed and made available to interested legal users; updates (taking into account more recent decisions) are prepared at greater intervals.


These comprehensive translations are also made available free of charge on the Foundation's website:


Finally, RLP SEE cooperates with "AIRE Centre" and "Civil Rights Defenders" in organizing the "Annual Regional Rule of Law Programme South East Europe". Furthermore, the RLP SEE is currently also supporting the expanded new edition of the Case Law Commentary on the case law of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to these measures, the RLP SEE is working on many other projects in order to communicate the principles of the KAS to the countries in South East Europe and to maintain close cooperation with the national courts at all times.

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