Stronger judicial cooperation across the Western Balkans region is crucial for countering serious crimes – notably money laundering, corruption, organized crime, cybercrime and war crimes – speakers underscored at the Third Regional Forum on Judicial Cooperation in Budva, Montenegro.
Independent since 2006, Montenegro is one of only two states (the other is Macedonia) to have separated peacefully from what used to be Yugoslavia. The largely coastal republic has the advantage of a tourism-oriented economy. Its small size (pop: 650,000) means it can be easier to carry out speedy, high-impact reforms. But Montenegro's short history as a democratic country also means that law-based national institutions have had to be built, in some cases, from the ground up. For the EU candidate country to reap the full benefits of the rule of law, the local skills base and judicial capacity need to grow further.
Students and scholars from 30 countries convened in Igalo, a coastal village in Montenegro, to study, discuss and exchange views on the rule of law at the European Union and Legal Reform Summer School in July 2019.
Competition is crucial to developing healthy and productive markets, strengthening the private sector, reducing poverty and promoting economic growth. However, it can be challenging to develop effective competition policy, especially in transition countries. In Montenegro, judges are hampered by insufficient knowledge of competition law, limited experience with related cases, and a lack of training.
IDLO together with the Government of Montenegro organized a Regional Forum on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters in Bar, Montenegro from 14 – 15 December. The forum facilitated dialogue about cross-border judicial cooperation for effective criminal investigation in the region.
Investment climate to improve through creation of transparent and predictable legal environment
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Widely considered to improve the effectiveness of justice systems by helping both the State and litigants avoid the costs and delays of court procedures, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a commonly used mechanism to resolve conflicts in many countries.
On a recent trip to a Central Asian preliminary detention center, the custodians proudly showed us the new ventilation system to prevent from spread of TB – a cut-in window directly across the door.
Italian and Montenegrin justice sector counterparts and government representatives discussed enhancing public access to judicial information in commercial law cases and ways to further strengthen Italian-Montenegrin legal cooperation in a roundtable event held at IDLO’s headquarters in Rome.
"In 2016, IDLO - with financial assistance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Government of Italy - conducted a project in commercial law judicial training support in Montenegro.
Building on two phases of successful programming to support Montenegro’s EU readiness, IDLO is working to enhance the capacity of its main partner in the country: the Judicial Training Center (JTC). The judiciary is struggling to address disputes arising from foreign investment in real estate and tourism, interpretation of foreign contracts in accordance with international best practice and EU directives.
In late 2010, Montenegro was officially recognized as a European Union candidate country. Two years later, formal talks opened. As Montenegro negotiates accession, IDLO has been working to expand the capacity of the country’s judiciary in commercial law, and to improve familiarity with EU standards. We have collaborated with the Judicial Training Centre (JTC), Montenegro’s only national institution dealing with the professional education of judges, and provided practical training on competition law and intellectual property.
IDLO has partnered with UNICEF to study the factors which support or inhibit children’s equitable access to justice in post-communist societies. The nine-month research project in Albania, Montenegro, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan will conclude in 2014. It will provide greater insight into local realities, concerns and approaches, and make culturally appropriate, sustainable and effective recommendations for policy and programming.