Are you interested in our work in Latvia?
Legal policy starting point
Topics which continue to be central to German-Russian cooperation were:
- rule of law
- application of the law
- fight against corruption
- completion of civil legislation
- humanisation of criminal law and of the prison system
- efficiency of the courts
- strengthening of local self-administration
2011 brought a number of reforms in the court system. At the beginning of 2012, for instance, an appeal court for all rulings in civil matters has been established. An appeal court instance in criminal matters is to follow in 2013. Furthermore, a special court for disputes on intellectual property is to be formed within the system of the commercial courts. A further topic which has been discussed for more than ten years is the creation of an administrative jurisdiction as a separate branch of the court system and the corresponding Rules of the Administrative Courts. The modernisation of property law is also being discussed.
The Russian Ministry of the Interior implemented a number of reforms as well: The first Police Act of the Russian Federation came into force in spring 2011. This means that the “militia” has ceased to exist.
The modernisation partnership between Germany and the Russian Federation gave additional momentum to the legal cooperation between the two countries in 2011. This partnership, which was initiated by the Federal Government, is aimed at intensifying economic and academic relations between the two countries with a special emphasis on promoting the rule of law. The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice have assigned the implementation of individual projects to the IRZ Foundation.
Nevertheless, it is still difficult to give an unambiguous assessment of the general legal policy situation. It remains to be seen which effects the mass protests after the elections to the State Duma in December 2011 will have in the long run and which changes in the political and social landscape are to be expected after the Presidential elections in March 2012.
Cooperation to date
The partnership with the Russian Federation commenced in the first years of the IRZ Foundation’s work, when it undertook consultation on the reform of the legal system and of the administration of justice, supported by funds from the Federal Government’s TRANSFORM programme. The IRZ Foundation has organised a large number of fact-finding trips, expert dialogues, seminars and workshops in recent years also within the framework of various EU-TACIS and EU twinning projects.
- Administration of the President of the Russian Federation
- Russian Lawyers’ Association
- Supreme Commercial Court
- Federal Bar
- Federal Chamber of Notaries
- Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation
- Federal Prison Service
- Federal Bailiffs Service
- Law Academies of the Ministry of Justice
Foci of activity in 2011
Human rights and their enforceability
- Conference on “European experience with safeguarding human rights through qualified legal consultation in St. Petersburg with the German Federal Bar and the Federal Bar of the Russian Federation
Rule of law and justice
- Working visit by the representatives of the Federal Bar of the Russian Federation (RF) to Germany on “Lawyers’ monopoly and an assessment of interests between national and foreign lawyers”
- Working visit by the Supreme Court of the RF on “The legislative activity of the Federation and the Länder and the organisation of the system of administrative jurisdiction in Germany”
- Working visit by a delegation consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the RF, of the National Association of Russian Insurers and of representatives of the insurance industry of the RF on "The statutory basis in healthcare: in particular the Compulsory Insurance Act and provisions of consumer protection law in the field of hospitals’ and physicians’ liability”
- Working visit by the representatives of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation on “German legislation and application of the law in the field of the registration system”
- Trilateral Ukrainian-Russian-German conference on “The state and reforms of the law on notaries” in Kiev
Civil and commercial law
- Seminar on “The activity of the notary in the field of legal relations under company law” in St. Petersburg, supported by experts of the German Association of Notaries and the Federal Chamber of Notaries of the RF
- Participation of German experts in the conference on questions of the development of legislation in the field of the coercive execution system in Kazan
- Conference on “Local self-administration and development of the territories” in Balabanovo
- Fact-finding trip to Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf on “Local authority self-administration: The legal basis and the practice of the application of the law”
- Publication on the law on local authorities
Criminal law and prison law
- German week, St. Petersburg - conference on “The fight against corruption”
- Working visit by a delegation of Bruchsal Prison to Lipetsk
- German-Russian seminar in Rjazan, Russia, on “The legal basis of the prison system in the Russian Federation and in the Federal Republic of Germany”
- Working visit by the representatives of the Federal Prison Service of the Russian Federation to Berlin on “The exchange of experience on the reforms and on the modernisation of the prison system”
- Seminar on “International standards in the field of technology and security in the prison system” in Voronezh
- Working visit by representatives of the Federal Prison Service of the Russian Federation on “The basis for the organisation and monitoring of criminal convicts” in Schwerin, Stralsund and Neustrelitz
Initiative on legal cooperation in the context of the German-Russian modernisation partnership
- Internship for a Russian solicitor and two commercial court judges
- Fact-finding trip by representatives of commercial courts to Germany on “Civil and property law, in particular protection of rights in rem, loans and loan securities” in Karlsruhe and Heidelberg
- Conference entitled “Compliance – risk minimisation for companies” in Moscow
- Working visit by the delegation of the Association of Lawyers on “Mediation, coercive execution and property law” in Berlin
- Translation of specialist literature on business mediation
The IRZ Foundation will continue and intensify the successful cooperation with its current partners in 2012. In particular, there are plans to hold a conference on administrative law in Moscow in the context of the modernisation partnership in cooperation with the Supreme Court in which German experts are to participate. The consultations on the reform of the Russian Civil Code and on the law on notaries are to be continued as well.