A mixed group of civil servants from the Department for International Legal Assistance of the Macedonian Ministry of Justice visited The Netherlands for a study visit to The Hague and Utrecht between 21 and 25 November 2016. The study visit took place in the framework of the Twinning Light project “Strengthening the judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters.” The objective of the visit was to exchange knowledge, compare experiences and best practices with the peers from an EU Member State in the field of international standards for mutual legal assistance (MLA) in criminal and civil matters.
The visit included appointments with relevant Dutch, international and European authorities in The Netherlands. We received a warm welcome at the Department of International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (AIRS) at the Ministry of Security and Justice – the Central Authority for mutual legal assistance and extradition in the Netherlands. Interesting topics were discussed, such as the Dutch extradition procedure, organisation, stakeholders – important partners in mutual legal assistance, national organisation and the digital infrastructure.
Chief Public Prosecutor Mr. Van der Kerk, of the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service, Board of Prosecutors-General, International Affairs Office received the delegation at the CILC office. He spoke about the main tasks of the Public Prosecution Service, how they approach criminal cases, organisation of the Public Prosecution Service, Centres for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (IRC), who monitors the Public Prosecution Service, prosecution and politics as well as Trias Politica. At the International Legal Assistance Center (IRC) Midden-Nederland in Utrecht the group had the opportunity to learn about the IRC’s background, objectives, workflow of international requests and the forms of cooperation.
The visit to the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) focused on current key projects of the HCCH such as the Judgments Project, the Parentage Project, iSupport and Maintenance. Also the key conventions of the HCCH (Child Abduction, Child Adoption and choice of Court) were discussed in detail. HCCH genuinely hopes that this visit could be the beginning of a very fruitful cooperation with Macedonia and the region more broadly. At the Hague Court of Appeal the team President Mr. Keltjens discussed the implementation of the Proof Convention and the Evidence Regulation, which includes the operation of the Central Authority.
We would like to thank all organisations for their warm welcome and their contribution to a successful study visit.