MOTIVATION BEHIND THE PROJECT
As Montenegro has started the negotiation process, the harmonization of its legislation, its legal and institutional system in general is under way. The dynamics of these processes requires the active and responsible approach of all social subjects, and especially the Faculty of Law. Given that the harmonization of Acquis Comunitaires is par excellence legal issue, and taking into account that the most important chapters in the negotiation phase are related to the legal aspects, the role of Faculty of Law at this moment is of crucial importance to bringing changes that can impact various aspects in society in general.
Faculty of Law intends to contribute to this important process by significantly revising its curricula and adapting it, so as to be able to respond to the needs of European and Euro-Atlantic integration in order to meet the needs of the Montenegrin state and society, as well as the need of rapid and comprehensive education of Montenegrin legal professionals on various aspects of EU law.
The experience of the former Yugoslavia countries, such as Slovenia and Croatia, which are already member states of the EU, is that the law schools of these countries played a key role in dealing with these challenges.
The timing of the porejct conicided with the obligatory process of accreditation to be conducted at the whole University of Montenegro. Therefore, it brings an additional value of the project itself, being in accordance with the planning at the national level. Acreditation of the new curricula is necessary, bearing in mind that the future education of lawyers in Montenegro needs to be based on European legal values, and has to prepare them for demanding harmonisation period that awaits them after joining the European Union.
The new curricula will have to include new courses, compatible with the comparative education of lawyers, but also reflecting the specific needs of Montenegrin education of lawyers, taking into account the very demanding process of EU integration and obligations it imposes. The lack of EU law elements is one of weaknesses of the overall curricula, which makes it a bit old/fashioned and not comparable to the similar programmes in EU.
By the same token, the FoL UoM will make complete reconstruction of the current curricula, changing its structure from 3+1+1+3 system to a three cycle system of studies during the acreditation proces that has alredy started, that will be evaluated during the project by consortium on the basis of expiriences in the first year of implementation. In the previous period, such structure of studies proved to be one of major obstacles towards student’s mobility, since the students had problems with diploma recognition.
Furthermore, the three year bachelor was hardly recognized at the labour market which created obstacle when it comes to the employability of graduates.
The new curricula will have various positive impacts. It will contribute to better recognition of the curricula at the labour market, and make it more compatible and comparable to the similar EU programmes, thus enabling higher mobility of students.
In order to create link with the labour market as such, we included the Judicial Council of Montenegro and Judicial Training Centre of Montenegro that will be active in giving their input in regard to various needs of the legal institutions in Montenegro. In the period to come, the stronger link between these institutions and the Faculty of law could be established, and could lead to the creation of the pool of expertise for future trainings of judges and lawyers, using the expertise developed at the Faculty of Law.
All these changes will improve the quality of higher education of future lawyers in Montenegro.
This project is planned to be a joint national project, and by Priorities for Joint and Structural Projects Erasmus+ KA2 – Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) Actions, law is priority for Montenegro. The role of the Faculty of Law of the University of Montenegro is further emphasized by the fact that it is the only public Faculty of law in Montenegro.