International Round Table on “Urban governance: problems, challenges and perspectives in the present circumstances”

During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
Russian Federation

On 18 September 2020, IRZ supported international online round table discussions on “Urban governance: problems, challenges and perspectives in the present circumstances”. This was financed as part of a project supported by the German Foreign Office. The Round Table was organised by a long-term partner of IRZ, the Russian Committee for Civil Initiatives (KGI), together with the Union of Russian Cities. About fifty leading scientists and academics from the field of municipal law took part in the event, as well as local authority self-administration representatives from the Russian Federation, Germany, USA, China, Spain, Turkey and Finland.

The participants discussed the following three main issues:

  • What has been the reaction of municipalities to the current challenges faced during the pandemic and to the associated socio-economic crisis?
  • How should urban governance policies be changed if the right lessons are learned from the pandemic?
  • What kind of new urban governance will be required once the pandemic is over?

Representing Germany at the event was Prof. Dr. Jochen Franzke, a professor at the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam. His lecture on “What can cities learn from the COVID-19 pandemic? Experiences in Germany” was met with a great deal of interest from the audience. Professor Franzke presented the results of a new research focus by the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam on crisis management by municipalities in Germany compared with other municipalities in Europe.

The round table discussions served above all as a platform for the international exchange of experiences on the subject of urban governance. Even though the event had to be transformed into an online format due to the Coronavirus situation, there were still plenty of opportunities for the participants to join in with the discussions.

In addition, another event supported by IRZ took place on 21 September 2020 under the title “Russian cities following the Coronavirus crisis: Changes in lifestyle, economic organisation and the development of infrastructure”, to which Professor Franzke was also invited as a speaker.

Online conference on “Current issues concerning legal training and law studies in Russia and Germany”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Russian Federation

A Russian/German online conference on “Current issues concerning legal training and law studies in Russia and Germany” took place in Makhachkala on 17 September 2020. This event was organised by the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation, one of the largest law faculties in the country. Around 50 lecturers and students from many different branches of the Law Academy, for example from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tula, Krasnodar and Rostov, took part in the event.

The event began with IRZ Head of Section Tatiana Bovkun and Oxana Shabarshova, Head of the Department of International Relations at the Law Academy, welcoming the participants to the conference.
The main focus of the event was on the current significance of legal training and research in both countries. The following topics were presented in lectures and subsequently discussed:

  • “Research activities as an integral part of the education process at Russian universities” by Dr.Tatiana Batrova, a professor in the Department of Civil and Commercial Law at the Law Academy
  • “The symbiosis between legal practice, law studies and legal training in Russia” by Dr. Elvira Esenbulatova, Head of the Criminal Law Department at the Academy
  • “The role of legal training in developing the legal culture in Russia: problems and perspectives” by Dr. Zuchra Omarova, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • “The new challenges for legal training - the balance between online and offline technology” by Dr. Xenia Pitulko, a lecturer at the St. Petersburg branch of the Law Academy
  • “Legal training in Germany” by Dr. Christian Schaich, Director of the Centre for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS)
  • “Legal research in Germany” by Dr. Christian Schaich
  • “The role of research work in the Master’s degree programme” by Dr. Galina Shklyaev, a lecturer at the Izhevsk branch of the Law Academy

Dr. Christian Schaich, Administrative Director at the Centre for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS) gGmbH, was appointed by IRZ to take part in the conference. He presented the specific nature of legal training to become a fully qualified lawyer in Germany, with two levels consisting of a university degree followed by a legal internship. Dr. Schaich explained the differences in research and legal training between Russia and Germany.

The conference allowed a multidimensional exchange of experiences on the subject. The participants showed a great deal of interest in the lectures. The online conference was characterised by a particularly trusting and professional atmosphere.

Online conference on “Insurance medicine: legal issues in theory and in practice during the pandemic”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Russian Federation

On 18 June 2020, the IRZ supported a scientific and practical online conference on “Insurance medicine: legal issues in theory and in practice during the pandemic”. The conference was attended by around sixty people and was organised and led by the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation (Izhevsk branch). It was aimed at the following target groups:

  • scientists,
  • practitioners in criminal and civil law and in public law,
  • medical professionals and
  • students.

The lectures given by the speakers were all of a high level. They included a contribution from the Deputy Minister of Health for the Republic of Udmurtia. The IRZ expert taking part was Markus Schlüter, Presiding Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Dresden. He gave a lecture on “Covid-19 and the German Protection against Infection Act”. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, on 27 March 2020 the “Law for the protection of the population in an epidemic situation of national scope” was published in the Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette). With this law, § 5a of the Protection against Infection Act (IfSG), governing the exercise of professional duties by medical care staff, was also implemented. Markus Schlüter explained, however, that this paragraph could lead to problems in medical law. He was referring, for example, to the issue of which standard of care should apply for a given treatment or whether medical staff should be liable if they wrongly assess their level of expertise.

The Russian speakers gave lectures on the following topics, amongst others:

  • the application of criminal law in the event of violations of the pandemic law
  • Issues concerning legal health insurance in connection with Covid-19
  • Cybercrime during the pandemic
  • Combating fake news
  • Experiences of Covid-19 in other countries

Even though a conference in digital format can be no replacement for meeting in person, especially in an international context, the discussions were still lively. Questions were passed on in writing to the moderator before being answered by the speakers. The conference shed light on the current status of the fight against the pandemic and made the most of the opportunity to maintain contact between academics in these exceptional times.