Federal Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Justice of Georgia sign a work programme

 Signing of work programme with the Georgian Minister of Justice, Source: BMJ
Signing of work programme with the Georgian Minister of Justice, Source: BMJ

On 6 September 2022, the Federal Minister of Justice, Dr Marco Buschmann, and his Georgian counterpart, Dr Rati Bregadze, signed a work programme on joint cooperation in the years 2022 to 2025 at the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ). The programme builds on the Memorandum of Understanding concluded on 27 April 2005 between BMJ and the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. Several high-ranking representatives from both ministries attended the signing ceremony. Frank Hupfeld, Head of Section for Georgia, took part in the event on behalf of IRZ.

Priority topics of the work programme

The new work programme aims on the one hand to strengthen international bilateral cooperation in matters of civil and criminal law as well as cooperation in the field of penitentiary law and probation. In this area in particular, there are plans to introduce numerous measures to structure and control a modern penitentiary system and probation service as well as to implement the resocialisation and rehabilitation programmes. Close cooperation was also agreed in the area of juvenile criminal law and juvenile penitentiary law.

Work programme steps up IRZ cooperation with Georgia

IRZ has been active in Georgia on behalf of the BMJ since 2006 and has been involved in the implementation of numerous measures over the years. Agreement of this new work programme will strengthen and deepen IRZ cooperation with the Georgian Ministry of Justice.

BMJ press release

For further information, refer to: 

Continuation of German-Georgian cooperation in the field of the judiciary – Federal Minister of Justice and his Georgian counterpart sign new work programme

BMJ press release of 7 September 2022


Online Seminar on Cybercrime

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

As part of its cooperation with the Georgian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, IRZ organised an online seminar on cybercrime on 9 and 10 November 2021. The event was aimed at Georgian public prosecutors.

In the context of international cooperation, cross-border cooperation to combat cybercrime is indispensable. This requires an intensive exchange of experience as a basis for developing appropriate strategies to combat it.

IRZ was able to win Andreas May, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Central Office for Combating Internet Crime at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General in Frankfurt am Main as a German expert. Andreas May first presented the tasks and work of his authority and then spoke about, among other things:

  • the legal framework conditions of cybercrime in Germany,
  • its most important manifestations, 
  • investigations in the area of cybercrime and their special features (including digital evidence, cloud evidence, etc.) as well as
  • court proceedings in the field of cybercrime.

The participants followed Chief Public Prosecutor May's explanations with great interest. Following the lecture, a lively discussion developed for a mutual exchange of ideas. It was suggested that the seminar be established as a fixed component of the training programme for Georgian prosecutors. IRZ is prepared to organise and accompany further events on topics of this kind in the coming year.

Online seminar on consumer protection

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

As in many countries, consumer protection has attracted more public interest in Georgia in recent years. However, even though the first Georgian constitution of 1995 named the protection of consumers as one of the government’s goals, there are still no legal provisions for consumer protection in Georgia to this day. This has a negative effect on many areas and makes it considerably harder to implement the law. The lack of any consumer protection legislation and other legal problems linked with consumer protection were therefore the subject of an online seminar, organised by IRZ in cooperation with the GLIP (Georgian Lawyers for Independent Profession) on 27 November 2020. There was a great deal of interest in this online seminar, with more than 120 people taking part, most of them lawyers.

IRZ expert Arnd Weishaupt, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, opened the event with a presentation of the legal framework for consumer protection in the EU and Germany, and gave plenty of detail for some problem areas such as loan and insurance agreements, as well as online retail and doorstep selling. Tamar Lakerbaia, a judge at the Local Court of Tbilisi, contrasted the German perspective with the current legal situation in Georgia. She reported with regret on the many years of fruitless efforts to adopt a framework law for protecting consumers. She was, however, optimistic that the newly elected Georgian parliament would approve the law during this legislative term. In this respect, Tamar Lakerbaia drew the participants’ attention to the Association Agreement concluded in 2014 between the EU and Georgia and reminded them of Georgia’s associated obligation to harmonise national laws with EU law, including in the area of consumer protection.

The Georgian speaker went on to give a short presentation of the national case law and emphasised in particular that, despite the lack of any legal basis, judges in Georgia are committed to guaranteeing effective consumer protection and are largely guided by EU directives when it comes to consumer rights issues.

Long and lively discussions followed on from the lectures. The participants agreed that the legal regulation of consumer protection is long overdue in Georgia and is really needed. IRZ will therefore continue to pursue the topic of consumer protection rights in Georgia next year and to advise their Georgian partners on possible reforms in this area.