Coding a State for the 21st Century

A [very] brief manual by Dr. Mahir Muharemovic

We today perceive the state as given. We live under its rules and assume that it will protect and help us in need. But do we realy understand its code, its essence and functions? A brief but thorough attempt by our colleague, Dr. Mahir Muharemovic, to explain in an easy-to-understand style the complexity of a modern state.

wikimedia/Pudelek/CC BY-SA 4.0

Controversial NGO law passed in the Republic of Moldova

Support of political parties is crucial

On June 11, 2020, the Moldovan parliament passed the new “Law on Non-Governmental Organizations” (NGO law). It quickly became a bone of contention within the government led by the Socialist Party (PSRM). A reform of this law was mentioned as a prerequisite for further macro-financial assistance by the EU. The main innovations concern rules for the support of political parties provided by NGOs. Close to a month after its adoption, the official legal text is still not available, however key elements are known and are briefly presented below.

AGERPRES / Wikimedia / CC BY 3.0

The case of KÖVESI v. ROMANIA

The European Court of Human Rights rules: Kövesi's dismissal as head of the Romanian anti-corruption agency was illegal

The current head of the newly created European Public Prosecutor's Office, Laura Codruța Kövesi, comes from Romania. There, she served as Attorney General for six years and heades the Romanian Anti-Corruption Agency (DNA) from 2013, until she was released in July 2018 in a controversial case and after a decision by the Romanian Constitutional Court. Kövesi appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg against this dismissal. On May 5, 2020, the ECtHR ruled that her release has run against the standards of the European “Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” (ECHR). In this (particularly in Romania) highly anticipated decision, the Court found that the Romanian state's dismissal of Ms Kövesi had violated her rights to freedom of expression and fair trial as laid down in Article 10 and Article 6 ECHR.

Jennifer Boyer/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Curfew unconstitutional

Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (more precisely, its entity “Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina” which covers slightly more than half of the country, including its capital Sarajevo) at the beginning of the corona pandemic has imposed one of the strictest curfews in Europe for two groups: minors and elderly people above 65. This curfew has now been subject of a decision by the Bosnian Constitutional Court. The court did not completely annul the measure, but ordered a revision. The imposed curfew is considered to not meet the required proportionality. It is one of the first Constitutional Court decisions on the legality of emergency measures imposed during the Corona crisis. Other Constitutional Courts in South East European countries are also expected to take decisions soon.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Publication of the ''Priebe'' Report

A critical review of the report on the situation regarding rule of law in the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The so-called ''Priebe'' Report, which had been eagerly expected by both the public at large and the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was published on December 05, 2019 in Brussels. The report was compiled by several EU experts under the leadership of Reinhard Priebe (a German lawyer and a long-time employee of the EU Commission) ''in relation to rule of law issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina''. As expected, the report is critical, but it lacks concrete recommendations for action or reform steps.

Guide: Article 6 European Convention of Human Rights (Bosnian)

The guide is a good tool for legal practitioners, especially judges and lawyers, to quickly familiarize themselves with the latest case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The aim is to strengthen the rule of law by raising awareness of the importance of the right to a fair trial.

Nip it in the bud!

The EU Commission Strengthens the Rule of Law

In the European Union, the “Instruments of the Rule of Law” will become even more important in the future. There is a plan underway to publish an annual report on the Rule of Law to reflect the situation in all Member States. The declared aim is to take action much earlier than in the past – meaning, that action should already be taken in the process of promoting an awareness of the Rule of Law.

Judicial Independence Under Threat?

Global Conference in Strasbourg, December 5th–6th, 2018

By Dr Franziska Rinke, Dr Mónica Castillejos-Aragón and Aishwarya Natarajan

Regional judicial cooperation in criminal matters:

Overview of comparative practices of Western Balkan countries

Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) is the first nongovernmental organization in Montenegro to have organized seminars on international and legal standards of the European Union.

The influence of external actors in the Western Balkans

A map of geopolitical players

The aim of this report is to look closely at the activities of external actors in the Western Balkans and to describe their function and role, intentions and interests, and the resources at their disposal. It also considers local and regional perceptions and sensitivities and evaluates the involvement of these external actors from a European and German perspective. This report forms part of our wide range of activities and projects that aim the integration of the Western Balkan states into the European Union and promote dialogue on foreign and security policy issues in Germany.