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On 27 and 28 November 2017 the IRZ and the Georgian Lawyers’ Association (GLIP) organised a Round Table in Tibilisi on civil procedural issues regarding disputes in commercial and corporate law.
Dr. Hein Bölling, former Presiding Judge at the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Bremen, and Ruth Marie Mosch, lawyer, LL.M., both from Germany, participated in the event on behalf of the IRZ. They reported from their respective professional perspectives.
Ruth Marie Mosch is a lawyer specialized in arbitration and a member of the German Institution of Arbitration, for which she served as a Board Member for several years. Accordingly, the topic of her lecture was arbitration.
Dr. Hein Bölling spoke above all about the procedures in commercial law disputes in Germany and how these can be expedited.
The Georgian speakers presented the Georgian Investment Protection Act and reported about practical procedural problems and barriers in commercial law procedures. In addition, experience with arbitration in Georgia as well as the attractiveness of Georgia as an investment location for foreign investors were discussed.
Many of the participants were lawyers, amongst others members of the board of the Georgian Bar Association. But also judges from various courts, amongst others the Appeal Court of Georgia, and representatives from various universities in Tibilisi participated in the Round Table.
With their attendance, the Georgian Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Irma Kavtardze, and Giorgi Khatidze, Member of Parliament and Member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, also demonstrated the great interest in the topic.
All the participants were very interested and highly motivated. The exchange between the different professional groups was rated very positively since various perspectives could be heard and problems could be viewed from different angles.
The IRZ, in cooperation with the German Federal Bar Association and the Georgian Bar Association organised an event on mediation in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 17 and 18 October. Georgia’s legal system is making first approaches for an introduction of mediation as an alternative method of dispute settlement, which is mainly conducted by lawyers there. Therefore, the Georgian lawyers showed great interest in learning more about the German experience with mediation.
A one and a half day workshop took place on this topic as part of the initiative “Law – made in Germany“ addressing Georgian lawyers. Two Georgian lawyers, who are already certified mediators under the Georgian system, outlined the Georgian model of mediation through lawyers and their experiences made so far.
The German mediators Kerstin Gröne, a mediator and lawyer from the Cologne law firm Luther, her counterpart Jan Helge Kestel, a mediator and partner at the Erfurt law firm Caemmerer Lenz, and the President of the Bar Association of Thuringia, gave an overview of the legal provisions of mediation through lawyers in Germany. They also covered training and legal issues relating to the profession of mediation.
The focus, however, was on the practical aspects of mediation such as assessment of litigation risk and questioning techniques which were explained on the basis of case studies. Lively discussions and a vivid exchange of views ensued among the colleagues. The workshop was opened by Joachim Hecker, Head of the Divisions for Business as well as Legal and Consular Affairs of the German Embassy in Tbilisi, lawyer Dr. Veronika Horrer, Managing Director of the German Federal Bar Association, and Zaza Khatiashvili, President of the Georgian Bar Association.
This event was another cornerstone in the long-standing and productive partnership between the bar associations of Georgia and Germany, facilitated by the IRZ.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Bremen Law Society and the 25th anniversary of the legal cooperation between Germany and Georgia, a panel discussion took place at Bremen City Hall on 12 September 2017. The topics of discussions were legal cooperation in general and the advisory role in Georgia played by the IRZ and other organisations in particular.
The first concrete steps towards legal and judicial reform in Georgia were taken in 1992 by a group of professors at the University of Bremen, who began working closely with Georgian legal experts, initially in civil and public law. This developed into fundamental advice provided by the Germans on the revised version of Georgian civil law and the development of a system for administrative law.
Since then, relations between representatives of the University of Bremen, the justice system in Bremen and their Georgian partners have always been at the centre of the cooperation – even though several other law schools in Germany and practitioners from many other German towns and cities have since become involved.
On the panel, Professors Rolf Knieper and Gerd Winter, who have been advisors since the start, held discussions with Ellen Best, Vice-President of the local court in Bremen and Dr. Thomas Meyer from the GIZ. The Georgian perspective was put across by Prof. Nino Gvenetadze, President of the Supreme Court of Georgia, who as a professor of criminal law was involved in the process for reforming the Georgian justice system. In her current position, she attaches great importance to the close partnership with German colleagues, which the IRZ, amongst others, continues to support.
The participants in the discussions, which were hosted by Stefan Pulß from Radio Bremen, provided an insight into the adverse circumstances surrounding the start of the consultancy and discussed the pros and cons of legal reform efforts in politically fragile situations. The issue of the impact of long-term reforms and the associated sustainability of this kind of consultancy was also raised.
The event was opened by State Councillor Jörg Schulz, Senator for Justice and the Constitution, and by the Georgian Ambassador, Prof. Dr. Lado Chanturia. As a Professor of Civil Law in Georgia, the latter played a crucial role in the reforms and has since worked closely with academics in Bremen.