Macedonian delegation briefed on Dutch practices
Unity of law in judicial decisions is of paramount importance. In any constitutional state judges are required to explain and apply the law equally to everyone. Consulting and scrutinizing prior judgments is a way to safeguard this equal administration of justice. Therefore, judges in the Netherlands, like judges in other countries in Europe and abroad attribute great importance to keeping a practical register of domestic and international case-law.
Intensifying the use of jurisprudence by judges in the Republic of Macedonia is the goal in a three-year project by CILC and the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors. In the framework of this project CILC organized a five-day study visit to the Netherlands for a delegation of Macedonian legal professionals in December 2011. Members of this delegation were a Justice of the Macedonian Supreme Court, the President Judges of the Appellate Courts of Skopje, Bitola, and Stip, Judges of several Basic Courts, and representatives of the State Court Council, the Ministry of Justice and the Macedonian Bar Association. This high-level delegation was headed by Judge Arnaudovska, Director of the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Prosecutors.
This study visit to the Netherlands was designed to inform the Macedonian delegation about the way their Dutch colleagues use jurisprudence in their daily work. In the course of five days the delegation paid working visits to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the Dutch Council for the Judiciary, the Council of State, the Training and Study Center for the Netherlands Judiciary, the District Court and the Court of Appeal of the Hague, and the Administrative High Court for Trade and Industry, also in The Hague. At all these meetings the involved Dutch legal experts briefed the visiting delegation on the way they work with jurisprudence, highlighting approaches, practices and the various supporting systems.
As a result of the study week the Macedonian visitors have a better understanding of the relevance of using jurisprudence in the administration of justice. There have already been discussions about some concrete steps for increasing the use of jurisprudence in the Macedonian legal system. Probably the most important notion spread in the framework of this visit was that sharing, referring to and commenting on judgments is a good way forward for making the Macedonian legal system more uniform, consistent and predictable.
Next to the original topic of the visit, the Macedonian delegation also got a better view of the organization of the Dutch legal system itself. Several advices of a more general character regarding court practice will also be taken back to Macedonia.
The study visit to the Netherlands is part of a multiannual project called Macedonia Jurisprudence Project. This project is financially supported by the Social Transformation Programme (Matra) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.