Conference on “Fighting corruption and the shadow economy: Questions concerning the effectiveness of legal mechanisms”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Russian Federation

On 10 December 2020, IRZ and the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation organised a Russian-German scientific conference on “Fighting corruption and the shadow economy: Questions concerning the effectiveness of legal mechanisms”. The online event was aimed at around fifty participants, including:

  • public prosecutors,
  • lawyers,
  • academics and
  • students

Representing Germany as IRZ experts were Stefan Schlotter, Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor's Office in Frankfurt am Main, and Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Dresden Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Stefan Schlotter gave a report on investigations into corruption in Germany. He also presented the German penal provisions, gave an overview of police crime statistics and used examples of actual cases to demonstrate the problems encountered at hearings in the corruption sector. As a recognised expert in corruption and the confiscation of assets in corruption cases, Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov outlined a number of practical examples during her lecture.

Scientists and academics from the St. Petersburg branch of the Law Academy represented the Russian side at the event:

  • Dr. Elena Fomenko, a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, gave a lecture on the “Provisions of criminal law for combating corruption: current trends, doctrines and practices”.
  • Dr. Juri Kondratyev, also a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, spoke about the legitimacy of recovering assets under civil law when dealing with corruption.
  • Dr. Egor Trofimov, head of the Department for Administrative and Financial Law, and Svetlana Garcia, a lawyer at the St Petersburg Bar Association, together addressed the topic of the anti-corruption declaration in the ethical paradigm.

The online conference led to some lively and constructive discussions. During the lectures, the participants used the chat function to discuss the subjects. After the lectures, they could then ask the relevant speakers questions directly.

6th German-Russian legal forum: Freedom of expression of lawyers

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Russian Federation

On 10 December 2020, IRZ supported the 6th German-Russian legal forum organised by the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK) and the Russian Federal Bar Association (RFBA), which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for the event was the “Limitations of critical statements by German and Russian lawyers in the fight for rights”. A total of around a hundred lawyers discussed the current situation in their profession. Dr. Frank Engelmann, a lawyer and President of the Brandenburg bar association, moderated the exchange of experiences.

BRAK expert lawyer, Otmar Kury, President of the board for professional law at the German Federal Bar Association in Hamburg, gave a lecture on “The rights of German lawyers to freedom of expression in the fight for rights” outlining the situation in Germany. He said that defamatory behaviour is irreconcilable with the status of lawyers and undermines their authority. Instead, lawyers should express and conduct themselves with politeness, tact and diligence. Otmar Kury covered the following main points during his lecture

  • moral criteria and traditions of lawyers in providing legal advice
  • concerns for the prestige of the profession
  • public trust in the legal profession
  • the authority of lawyers in legal counselling and in private lives as a moral duty

Michail Tolcheev, a lawyer and Vice-President of the RGBA in Moscow, and Nikolai Kipnis, a lawyer and member of the professional ethics committee of the RGBA in Moscow, gave lectures to present the Russian point of view. The participants also discussed the subject of “Limitations of critical and controversial opinions expressed by Russian lawyers on the justice system, public prosecutors and the public”. The online format made it possible to hold extensive talks following on from the experts’ lectures, discussing the many questions asked by the audience in depth.

The lawyers participating in the forum showed a great deal of interest in the exchange of experiences and expressed a wish to continue this series of events. After all, the independence of lawyers in general, and their freedom of speech in particular, are essential for them to practice the rule of law.

International scientific-practical Conference on “Intellectual Property Rights: The Challenges of the 21st Century”

Excerpt from the programme booklet (courtesy of the event organisers)
Excerpt from the programme booklet (courtesy of the event organisers)
Russian Federation

From 10 to 14 November 2020, the international scientific-practical online conference on “Intellectual Property Rights: The Challenges of the 21st Century” was held in Tomsk with the support of IRZ. More than 900 people from 16 countries took part in the event, which was aimed at experts in the field:

  • judges,
  • representatives of the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent),
  • patent attorneys
  • academics and
  • other experts in the field of intellectual property.

One of the many speakers at the event was the Deputy Head of the Department for Control over Advertising and Unfair Competition at the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (the equivalent to the German Federal Cartel Office), Yana Sklyarova. She gave a lecture during the session on “Competition law and intellectual property” at the conference.

Each day of the event focussed on a different topic:

  • 10 November – opening and plenary session
  • 11 November – cumulative protection of design
  • 12 November – industrial property rights
  • 13 November – competition law and intellectual property
  • 14 November – digital rights and rights to new technologies

The German experts appointed by IRZ were involved on three of the five days of the conference. Dr. Ina Schnurr, a judge at the German Federal Patent Court, gave a speech at the plenary session on 10 November. Her lecture provided an insight into patent nullity proceedings at the German Federal Patent Court. She also presented a few examples of the latest rulings made by the court in the area of patents and supplementary protection certificates.
On 11 November, Manuel Soria Parra, a patent attorney at the “Meissner Bolte” law firm, took part in the session on the “Cumulative Protection of Design”. His lecture provided an overview of the potential and significance of design protection in Europe and Germany and also took a brief look at the effects of Brexit on registered European design patents.

Prof. Dr. Christian Czychowski and Dr. Anke Nordemann-Schiffel from the Nordemann law firm took part in the session held on 13 November. As lawyers and specialists in copyright law and media law, they spoke about “Competition Law and intellectual Property - an Overview from an EU Perspective”. Their lecture pointed out the inherent conflict between intellectual property rights and competition law and provided examples of how the balance between freedom of competition and protecting rights to intellectual property is maintained.

The conference was broadcast live on YouTube. This gave the general public the opportunity to ask questions in the chat session, which led to lively discussions after each lecture. The great success of the conference was reflected in the high number of participants from an international background and the wide range of subjects discussed.