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.

Russian Federation - annual report 2016

Alexandra Albrecht (2nd from left), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Svetlana Beniaminova (3rd from left), President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Veronika Keller-Engels, General Director of the IRZ (right)

Study visit in Berlin and Potsdam on the topic “Statutory regulation of the working methods of constitutional courts in the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany”: Alexandra Albrecht (2nd from left), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Svetlana Beniaminova (3rd from left), President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Veronika Keller-Engels, General Director of the IRZ (right)

Strategic Framewok

Legal Policy Starting Point

The legal policy situation in the Russian Federation did not change significantly in 2016 when compared to the situation in previous years. However, the law became significantly tighter in the Criminal Code and other statutes within the framework of a package of anti-terror laws which considerably increase the powers of the security authorities and raise data protection law problems. In spite of extensive criticism, the new provisions for the most part entered into force. There are very positive tendencies in the sphere of civil and commercial law: The Civil Code was supplemented in particular in the spheres of contract law and the law of ownership, and the Private Insolvency Act was revised. In addition, the statutes covering the work of a patent lawyer are also intended for preparation.

The political tensions and the economic sanctions have had little effect on cooperation with the IRZ’s long-term partners in the legal field, although a certain reticence is evident in the cooperation with the Russian court system. The IRZ was also able to implement a number of events in 2016, both bilaterally and within the framework of the further training programme established and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office on the promotion of structures in the rule of law.

Overall Concept

Cooperation with the Research Centre of Private Law continued to focus on civil law reform. During the sixth Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, IRZ experts participated in roundtable discussions on insolvency and residential ownership law. Detailed advice was also provided on residential ownership in Germany. The problems in this sphere which arose after privatisation in the 1990s are still very current and are intended to be resolved within the framework of a reform.

A further focus was placed on the protection of intellectual property in the reporting year. The IRZ in particular worked with the Association of Patent Lawyers and the Federation Council. Cooperation was also continued with the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers in the tried and tested way . Support for the professional associations is particular important in today’s situation in order to maintain contacts and networks. The IRZ has also long since supported efforts to strengthen local self-administration and intensified the cooperation with the Civil Initiatives Committee that started last year (KGI).

The IRZ also continued its cooperation with the Federal Penitentiary Service. 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.

Foci of Activity 2016

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Support for the specialist conference on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the German language study course “German law” at the Law Institute of the Siberian Federal University in Krasnoyarsk
  • Study trip to Berlin and Potsdam on the topic of “Statutory regulation of the working methods of Constitutional Courts in the Federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany

Civil and Commercial La

  • German Week 2016 in St. Petersburg: Problems and development perspectives in the field of intellectual propert
  • Study trip to Bonn on the topic “Residential ownership
  • VI. St. Petersburg International Legal Forum: Participation in the round-table discussions on insolvency law and residential ownership law in St. Petersbur
  • Summer school on intellectual property of the University of Bon
  • Conference in Moscow on the topic “Law and business: Innovative solutions for the legal regulation of business life” – roundtables on insolvency law and unfair competitio
  • Beck-online access for students and PhD students of the Russian Institute for Private Law in Mosco
  • Study trip to Munich by members of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation and the Russian Association of Patent Lawyers on the topic of the “Establishment of a patent lawyers’ chamber”
  • Study trip to Düsseldorf by Russian patent lawyers on the topic “Protection of inventions, design and trademarks”
  • Seminar in Moscow on “Legal protection of the objects of intellectual property abroad: Technical solutions, design, means of individualisation”
  • Conference in Moscow on “International arbitration tribunals and mediation in Russia and Germany: Current practice and perspectives”
  • Seminar in Moscow on the topic of “Insolvency law”
  • Roundtable on the topic “Final alterations to the regulation of arbitration tribunals in Russia and Germany”

Administration of Justice

  • VII. International Conference in Ufa on “The order of enforcement for non-property demands contained in the enforcement documents: problematic issues and ways to solve them”
  • Specialist discussions in Bonn on the enforcement law and the SCHUFA system
  • Second German-Russian Lawyers’ Forum in Munich on “Data protection – handling of personal data, the lawyer’s professional duty of secrecy, public monitoring”

Public Law

  • Seminar in Moscow on the topic of “Economic development of local authorities: The role of organs of local self-administration”
  • Study trip to Munich, Nuremberg, Erlangen, Schweinfurt and Frankfurt am Main on the topic of “Economic development of local authorities –legal bases and practical implementation”

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Working visit to a prison in the Vologda region
  • International conference in Vologda on the topic of “Criminal sanctions in Russia and abroad: imposition and enforcement” on the tenth anniversary of the passing of the European correctional principle

Basic and Further Training

  • Language course on “Translation of German legal texts” for young Russian lawyers in Moscow
  • Participation in a course in Bonn called “German for lawyers” offered by the Goethe Institute
  • International conference in Moscow and Kaluga entitled “Internet for public authority work: Legal structures and security”
  • Participation by four Russian students at the IRZ “German law” summer school in Brühl and Bonn
  • Internship for a lawyer in Königswinter and Berlin
  • Internship for a notary in Königswinter and Landsberg am Lech
  • Internship for a judge in Königswinter and Halle
  • Support for the German-Russian workshop “The responsibility of the employer for social security in Russia: Comparative law aspects” at the Max PIanck Institute in Munich
  • Seminar in Moscow on the topic of “The growing role of NGOs in civil society: Law and politics”

Outlook

In 2017 the IRZ plans to make its contribution towards the consolidation and strengthening of the rule of law together with its Russian partners. The focus will continue to be on civil and commercial law here. In particular, the intention is to intensively continue the consultations on contract law and in the field of intellectual property. This also affects cooperation with the lawyers and the notaries. Improving the quality of enforcement, strengthening local self-administration and the humanisation of the prison system likewise remain important topics in the cooperation with the Russian Federation in the forthcoming year.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Russian Federation - annual report 2015

russland 1V St. Petersburg Legal Forum: Aleksandr Makovski, research director of the Presidential Research Centre for Private Law of the RF; Wolfram Marx, head of division at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Dirk Mirow, Director of the IRZ; Veniamin Yakovlev, advisor on legal matters of the President of the RF; Anton Ivanov, President of the Supreme Commercial Court, ret.; Günther Jannsen, judge at Oldenburg Higher Regional Court, ret. (left to right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The open political conflict continued to cast a shadow over cooperation with the Russian Federation in 2015. The tightening up of the law with regard to the work of domestic and foreign non-governmental organisations, which primarily target projects that are funded with foreign financial resources, and the most recent judicial reform, which led to the merger of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Commercial Court, was repeatedly criticised by many parties. This makes it all the more important to maintain the intensive relations with the partners which have been in existence for years at working level, and to not permit the dialogue to be interrupted. This is also particularly stressed by the Federal Government.

The political tensions and the economic sanctions have had little effect on cooperation with the IRZ's long-standing partners in the legal field. The IRZ was thus also able to implement a number of events in 2015, both with funding from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and within the further training programme on the promotion of rule-of-law structures, an initiative of the Federal Foreign Office.

Overall concept

Cooperation with the Research Centre of Private Law and the Association of Lawyers once more focussed on civil law reform. Within the fifth Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, the IRZ was able to contribute towards the roundtable discussions on trademark law and the law on obligations and property law, as well as organising a study trip for senior decision-makers on the topic of "Particularities of the settlement of economic disputes with the involvement of companies".

A further focus was placed on the protection of industrial property. The IRZ was able to continue its cooperation with the Court for Intellectual Property in 2015 and to step up consultation on trademark and patent law.

Consultation with the Federal Bar of the Russian Federation, the Association of Patent Lawyers and the Federal Chamber of Notaries were also continued in the tried-and-tested manner. Support for the professional associations is particularly important in today's situation.

The IRZ has also supported for quite some time the efforts to strengthen local self-government, and has stepped up cooperation with the Civil Initiatives Committee (KGI), which started back in 2014.

The IRZ also continued its cooperation with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN). Topics such as respect for human rights in prison, protection of these rights, adjustment to European standards, as well as questions related to prison service arrangements, remain topical, and will continue to be the focus of cooperation.

Foci of activity in 2015

Civil and commercial law

  • Conference in Moscow on the topic of "System in the development of legislation via the enforcement procedure: Problems of harmonisation and codification"
  • Conference and further training in Moscow for judges on the topic of "Court practice in industrial property rights"
  • Working visit by a senior Russian delegation on the topic of "Particularities of the resolution of economic disputes with the involvement of companies" in Düsseldorf and Cologne
  • German week 2015 in St. Petersburg: Conference on the topic of "The role of the notary in Russia and in Germany in property transactions"
  • V St. Petersburg Legal Forum 2015, participation by German experts in three sets of roundtable discussions on the reform of the law of obligations and of property law, as well as on trademark law
  • Conference in Moscow on the topic of "Particularities of the application of the law with regard to legal entities, taking current economic conditions into account"
  • International conference in Ulan-Ude on the topic of "Restriction of debtors' rights – legal amendments and their practical application"
  • Study trip to Munich by Russian patent lawyers on the topic of "Case-law in the utility models, inventions and design field"
  • Symposium in Moscow entitled "International arbitration tribunals and mediation in Russia and Germany: Current practice and perspectives"
  • Seminar in Frankfurt a.M. on the topic of "Company law in the legal profession"
  • Publication of the translated legal texts on German protection of industrial property and of intellectual property
  • Study trip by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as of the arbitration tribunal and of the international arbitration tribunal of the Russian Federation on out-of-court dispute resolution/arbitration tribunals
  • Conference in Moscow entitled "International technology transfer: German-Russian experience, selecting the patent strategy and protection of industrial property rights"
  • Study trip to Munich by representatives of the Federal Chamber of Notaries of the Russian Federation, as well as of notaries from Moscow and St. Petersburg, on the topic of "Notaries' professional liability insurance and notaries' insurance funds of the German Chamber of Notaries"

Administration of justice

  • 2nd International Lawyers' Forum in Berlin on "Access to the law – a matter for the legal profession"
  • Seminar in Moscow on lawyers' professional ethics

Public law

  • Working visit to Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn by a delegation of NGOs, civil activists and local authority experts from the Russian regions on the topic of "Local politics and civil participation at local level"
  • Study trip to Germany on local self-government by representatives of the Association of Russian Cities, Towns and Local Authorities and of the Kudrin Foundation, as well as by heads of city administrations
  • Event in Moscow on local self-government

Penitentiary Law

  • International forum on questions related to the prison system in Ryasan
  • Study trip to Germany for representatives of FSIN on the topic of "Training of prison staff, healthcare for convicts and security-related matters"
  • Publication of the book entitled "Criminal procedure law" by Prof. Dr. Friedrich-Christian Schroeder

Basic and further training

  • Internship in Berlin for a lawyer
  • Internship in Königswinter for a female and a male notary

Outlook

The IRZ would also like to make its contribution in 2016 towards consolidating and strengthening the rule of law, together with the Russian partners. Consultation is to be continued in the context of the modernisation of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, in particular in the special law on obligations and commercial law, in cooperation with the Research Centre of Private Law and the Association of Lawyers.

The IRZ would like to further step up the exchange with the Court for Intellectual Property and with patent lawyers. Cooperation with lawyers should also be particularly emphasised, as well as with notaries, which is to be continued in 2016.

Finally, improving the quality of coercive execution, enhancing local self-government and the humanisation of the prison system will be three topics which remain important in cooperation with the Russian Federation in the coming year.