Russian Federation - annual report 2019

Study trip to Aachen, Trier, Koblenz, Mainz and Frankfurt on the topic of ”Identity and mobility – the legal framework for preservation and modernisation of the cultural heritage in the course of time”: Delegation of Russian local government experts
Study trip to Aachen, Trier, Koblenz, Mainz and Frankfurt on the topic of ”Identity and mobility – the legal framework for preservation and modernisation of the cultural heritage in the course of time”: Delegation of Russian local government experts

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine continues to overshadow the political and economic relations between Russia and the EU. A German-French initiative at the Normandy Summit in December 2019 helped to broker a ceasefire for eastern Ukraine until the end of the year. Russia and Ukraine have therefore, at least, attempted to reach some form of rapprochement.

Conflict and resistance dominated the agenda on Russia’s domestic political front during 2019 as well. Among other things, there were waves of nationwide protests responding to arrests made during demonstrations. Moreover, the protests centred on the exclusion of independent candidates in regional parliamentary elections, false accusations by the police against journalists and new statutory regulations such as the Internet Act, as well as the expansion of the term ‘foreign agent‘ or the pensions reform.

Despite this difficult political situation and the diplomatic challenges that still need to be overcome, Russia remains an important partner to Germany. It is therefore important to persist with expert discussions at working level and to place hope in the gradual re-establishment of mutual trust.

Overall Concept

In regard to the collaboration between IRZ and its Russian partners, it is vital to focus on the exchange of professional legal know-how and experience in the spirit of a partnership, instead of providing unilateral consulting. With this objective in mind, the priority will be placed, as in the years before, on civil and commercial law and in particular on the area of intellectual property. Other substantial topics include local self-administration, medical law and extensive areas of professional law, especially in regard to lawyers, notaries and patent attorneys.

It will also be important to continue working with law students and young legal professionals within the framework of the cooperation with the legal academies at the Ministry of Justice and the Russian School of Private Law under the President of the Russian Federation. Besides seminars and Round Tables, IRZ again offered the language course “Translation of German Legal Texts“ and provided students with access to German legal literature during the reporting year.

Cooperation with the Russian Federation takes place to some extent as part of the initiative for legal cooperation organised by the Federal Foreign Office.

Focus of Activity in 2019

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Lecture event with discussion of the topic “Out-of-court and in-court mediation“ during the 16th German Week 2019 in St. Petersburg
  • Conference “Current issues relating to the regulation of medical law: Problems between theory and practice“ in Izhevsk
  • International conference on medical law for law students and young legal professionals in Moscow
  • Attendance of the IXth St. Petersburg International Legal Forum by delegates from IRZ and participation of German experts in the Round Table “Right on Information Distribution: Public vs. Private“ in St. Petersburg
  • Russian-German workshop “Judicial protection of social rights“ in St. Petersburg
  • Scientific-practical conference “East-West: Partnership in the use of court experts. Improved expertise. Improved expert investigation as a protective factor for intellectual property“ in Moscow
  • Study trip to Marburg and Bonn on the topic of medical law
  • 15th International Conference “Derzhavin Readings“ in Kazan and participation of two German experts in the Round Tables “Medical law in Russia and abroad: Modern methodology of civil law and criminal law mechanisms“ and “Constitutional assistance in the development of civil society and international integration processes“
  • Study trip to Munich for patent attorneys on the topic of “The work of experts in Germany“
  • Beck-online access for members of the Russian School of Private Law under the President of Russian Federation in Moscow

Public Law

  • North Caucasus Forum “Public administration and civil society“ in Pyatigorsk
  • Study trip to North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse for students in the master‘s degree programme at the RANEPA School of Advanced Studies in the Humanities “Project management in regional development and regional planning“
  • Round Table “Developing cities and preserving cultural legacy. Experience in Russia and Europe. Legal and practical situation“ at the first Russian festival of local culture brands “Living Heritage“ in Moscow
  • Study trip to Aachen, Trier, Koblenz, Mainz and Frankfurt by a Russian delegation from local self-administration on the topic of “Identity and mobility“– the legal framework for preservation and modernisation of the cultural heritage in the course of time

Administration of Justice

  • Support for the 4th International Lawyers‘ Forum in Berlin
  • Participation in the Xth International Conference on Enforcement in Moscow
  • 5th German-Russian Lawyers‘ Forum “Cross-border family disputes between Germany and Russia“ in Hamburg
  • German-Russian seminar on enforcement in Berlin

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Participation in the IVth International Forum on Penitentiary Law “Crime, punishment, rehabilitation“ in Ryazan

Basic and Further Training

  • Language course “Translation of German legal texts“ for Russian lawyers at the Russian School of Private Law in Moscow
  • Attendance by Russian participants of the ninth “IRZ Summer School on German Law“ in Bonn
  • Participation of three Russian lawyers in the internship programme for lawyers
  • Participation of two Russian notaries in the internship programme for notaries

Outlook

It remains to be seen how the political situation will develop. Nonetheless, IRZ intends to continue the bilateral cooperation with the Russian Federation at working level as part of its project support. Civil and commercial law, the law of lawyers and the notarial law will stay as important legal areas within the framework of this collaboration. Moreover, increasing the effectiveness of enforcement and local self-administration will also continue as relevant topics. IRZ will push forward with its basic and further training measures in other legal areas as well.

Russian Federation - annual report 2018

4th German-Russian Lawyers‘ Forum in Berlin: delegation with the Presidents of the Russian Chamber of Lawyers
4th German-Russian Lawyers‘ Forum in Berlin: delegation with the Presidents of the Russian Chamber of Lawyers

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The public policy situation has barely changed compared to recent years. Political tensions were exacerbated by the conflict around the Black Sea toward the end of the year. It is therefore all the more important to maintain dialogue at technical level. Not only does this apply to cultural and educational exchange during a thematic year, which has been extended until 2020, it is also true of the area of law. Here, for instance, there was a resumption of German-Russian cooperation in security issues. Chaired by Vladimir Titov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, and Andreas Michaelis, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, the thirteenth plenary meeting of the German-Russian High-Level Working Group on Security Policy was held in Berlin in November, the first of its kind after a six-year hiatus.

Overall Concept

As in previous years, cooperation focused on civil and commercial law, especially the area of patent and trademark law, as well as on support in the development of local self-administration. Cooperation in the area of local self-administration took place in line with the “GermanRussian Year of Municipal and Regional Partnerships 2017/2018“, which was funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Particular attention was paid during the reporting year to the issue of digitisation, which, in view of its considerable significance, was examined from the perspective of its implications for criminal law, commercial activities and civil law.

Moreover, another pleasing aspect is the cooperation with the School of Private Law, where a German language course was offered for young legal professionals. The participating students had the opportunity to put their newly acquired or improved language skills to the test during the “IRZ Summer School on German Law“. Cooperation also continued with students at the Law Academy.

A funding by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection funds the cooperation with the Russian Federation; additional resources are obtained within the framework on the initiative on legal cooperation by The Federal Foreign Office.

Foci of Activity in 2018

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminar in Moscow on the role and basic training of patent lawyers
  • Beck-online access for members of the Russian Presidential School of Private Law in Moscow
  • Contribution to a conference on the topic of “Collective legal protection in civil proceedings” in St. Petersburg during the German Week
  • Attendance of the VIIIth St. Petersburg International Legal Forum by delegates from the IRZ
  • International conference on the topic of “Digital economy and information security: legal aspects“ in Moscow
  • 14th international scientific and practical conference “Derzhavin Readings“ on the issue of “IT in law and legal conditions for the development of the digital economy in Russia“ in Kazan
  • Working visit by patent lawyers on the issue of “Protection of geographic indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and food“ in Munich
  • Study trip to Hamburg by a high-level delegation on the issues of tax law, insolvency law and intellectual property

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • International scientific and practical conference “Theoretical and practical problems in the development of the penitentiary system in the Russian Federation and abroad“ in Ryazan

Public Law

  • International scientific and practical conference “Energy policies from the perspective of international law“ in Kaliningrad
  • 5th International Forum by the Union of Russian Cities “Best practices in local self-administration“ in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • International forum “North Caucasus: regional development and human capital“ in Pyatigorsk
  • Seminar in Moscow on local self-administration
  • Conference on the topics of “New challenges facing local self-administration“ in Vladimir
  • Study trip to Hamburg, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein by Russian local government experts on the topic of “Organisation of local selfadministration in city states and neighbouring federal states“

Administration of Justice

  • Support during the German-Russian-Ukrainian-Belarus Lawyers‘ Forum in Berlin
  • IXth international scientific and practical conference on the enforcement of judicial decisions and decisions by other authorities entitled “State and private sector enforcement: comparative analysis and best practice“ in Sochi
  • Event on the laws governing the legal profession “Penalties for violations of laws governing the legal profession in Germany and the Russian Federation“ in Moscow
  • 4th German-Russian Lawyers‘ Forum “Professional laws and criminal defence in Germany and the Russian Federation“ in Berlin

Basic and Further Training

  • Language course “Translation of German legal texts“ for Russian lawyers at the Russian School of Private Law in Moscow
  • Attendance by Russian participants of the eighth “IRZ Summer School on German Law“ in Bonn
  • Participation in the IRZ internship programme for lawyers

Outlook

Cooperation is scheduled to be intensively continued in 2019, despite some challenges. Civil and commercial law, law of lawyers and notary law continue to be important legal areas. Moreover, a focus will remain on improving the efficiency of enforcement and strengthening local self-administration. Basic and further training measures in other legal areas will continue as well.

Russian Federation - annual report 2017

High-ranking delegation during expert talks at the Federal Patent Court with Sabir Kekhlerov, Advisor to the Public Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation (on the left); Beate Schmidt, President of the Federal Patent Court (5 th from left); Denis Novak, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation (7 th from left)
High-ranking delegation during expert talks at the Federal Patent Court with Sabir Kekhlerov, Advisor to the Public Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation (on the left); Beate Schmidt, President of the Federal Patent Court (5 th from left); Denis Novak, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation (7 th from left)

Legal Policy Situation

Russia is not part of the Eastern Partnership of the EU, as Russia opted against participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy when it took effect in 2003. Thus, relations between Russia and the EU are still based on the 1997 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The plan was to develop relations with the EU further based on this Agreement. Russia’s relations with the EU as well as the German-Russian relations were overshadowed, however, by the annexation of Crimea and actions taken in Eastern Ukraine, which is why Russia’s negotiations for a new agreement with the EU were suspended in 2014. At the same time, the Federal Government has repeatedly emphasised that it is strongly and actively committed to overcoming this conflict through dialogue.

As a state neighbouring on the EU and a member of the G8, Russia is an important partner also for the Federal Republic of Germany in many respects. That is why good and close cooperation is not only crucial in fields that are becoming increasingly global, such as energy, the economy and climate policy, but also in the field of law. The challenge, for instance regarding a comprehensive modernisation of the country, lies in supporting the further development of a democratic society and the establishment of the rule of law.

The legal policy situation in the Russian Federation did not change significantly in 2017 as compared to the situation in previous years. The existing political tensions and the economic sanctions persisted. These factors are shaping cooperation with Russian partners increasingly also in the legal field.

Overall Concept

Since its foundation, the IRZ has been involved in almost all legal fields of the Russian Federation. A key focus will continue to be the civil law reform, in particular the collaboration with the Research Centre of Private Law.

As part of the VII. International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, the IRZ and its experts were able to participate in the insolvency forum and the round tables on questions of tenancy law and matters of intellectual property. General civil procedure and mediation issues were also addressed in joint activities.

The year 2017 saw the protection of intellectual property as a key aspect once again. The IRZ collaborated with the Association of Patent Lawyers, Innopraktika (NGO for economy innovation) and Rospatent (Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property). Cooperation was also continued with the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers in a tried and tested manner. Support for the professional associations continues to be crucial. Contacts and networks also still need to be maintained intensively.

In the year under review, the IRZ vigorously supported efforts to strengthen local self-administration. Due to its federal state structure and its resulting vertical separation of powers, the German municipal system is of great interest to Russian municipal representatives. For this reason, the IRZ strives to organise a study trip with different goals each year to give Russian participants the opportunity to experience various communal models.

The IRZ also continued its cooperation with the Penitentiary Service and the Federal Service of Bailiffs. Current events have shown that issues such as protection of human rights in prison, adjustment to European standards and issues relating to prison service arrangements remain as topical as ever.

The cooperation is partially conducted within the framework of the initiative for legal cooperation sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • German Week 2017 on the topic of “Constitutional justice in Russia and Germany” in St. Petersburg
  • Publication of the Handbook of the Russian Constitution

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminar on “Civil procedure and its influence on the development of economic activity in modern society: issues, challenges and integration of the legal system” in Moscow
  • VII St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, Insolvency Law Forum in St. Petersburg
  • Conference on the topic of “Current issues in international and supranational financial law” in Kaliningrad
  • Study trip to Munich on the topic of “Legal regulation of technology transfer”
  • Study trip to Munich on the topic of “Training Patent Lawyers”
  • Working visit to Munich by a high-ranking delegation on the topic of “Specifics of German commercial and civil law”
  • Seminar on the topic of “Debtor’s rights in Germany and Russia” in Moscow
  • Beck-online access for professors, PhD students and students of the Russian Institute for Private Law with the President of the RF in Moscow

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Conference on “National Criminal Law Policy in Russia and Germany” in Kaluga
  • Working visit to a prison in the Vologda region and participation in the international academic and practical conference on Penitentiary Law in Vologda
  • Penitentiary service forum on “Crime, Atonement and Reform” in Ryazan

Public Law

  • Publication on local self-administration in Russia (“Local self-administration in modern society”) in Russian
  • Support of the conference on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the European Club of Experts in Local Self-Government on the topic of “Local self-administration and challenges for modern society” in Moscow
  • Conference on the topic of “Local self-administration” in Petrozavodsk
  • Seminar on the topic of “Effective models for the division of responsibilities between state and municipalities using the example of implementing cultural tasks” in Moscow
  • Study trip of the Civil Initiatives Committee (KGI) to Berlin and Potsdam on issues of territorial transformation and agglomeration development

Administration of Justice

  • Supporting the 3 rd German-Russian Lawyers’ Forum in Berlin on the topic of “Independence of self-administration – responsibility of the lawyers”
  • VIII. International Conference on the topic of “Information technology in the sphere of enforcement” in Suzdal
  • 3 rd German-Russian Lawyers’ Forum on the topic of “Digitising Legal Advice” in Berlin

Basic and Further Training

  • Language course on “Translation of German legal texts” for young Russian lawyers in Moscow
  • Round table discussion on “Organisational and legal safeguarding of information security” in Moscow
  • Participation of Russian participants in the seventh IRZ’s “Summer school German law” in Bonn
  • Participation in the multilateral notary internship for Russian participants in Königswinter
  • Study trip to Berlin by a Russian delegation on the topic of “Migration policy: regulation in the face of today’s challenges”

Outlook

In 2018, the IRZ plans to continue its intensive cooperation with its longterm Russian partners. The focus will once more be on civil and commercial law and the development of the judiciary. Consultations within the framework of the modernisation of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation are also to be carried on, especially in the areas of the law of obligation, contract law and property law. The ongoing cooperation in the areas of notary law, the law on lawyers, the humanisation of the penitentiary system, the promotion of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as business mediation, the improvement of the effectiveness of enforcement and the strengthening of local self-administration as well as basic and further training measures in other legal areas will also be continued.