Solidarity Statement

Ukraine

IRZ is appalled and outraged by the unilateral military aggression of Russian forces in Ukraine and condemns this war of aggression, which is contrary to international law and is bringing endless suffering to the people of Ukraine. We have a long-standing partnership-based collaboration with both Ukraine and Russia. In doing so, we and our experts have always worked with our partner institutions in both countries in a way that is politically neutral. We are giving our full solidarity and support to Ukraine during these times.

This is a difficult situation and a test for Europe, for the principles of democracy and the rule of law! Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are now fleeing the country and are dependent on humanitarian aid. Our thoughts and prayers are with the colleagues, friends and acquaintances who have been unable to leave the country or who are forced to stay.

We will continue to monitor events and hope for an early end to the conflict and that Ukraine can continue on its independent path of democratic reform and rule of law. At the same time, we see the events as a call to continue to work tirelessly for a free democratic social order, for human rights and for the standards of international law.


Christian Lange 
President

Dr. Frauke Bachler
General Director

Dr. Stefan Hülshörster
Director

Work on reforms to the Civil Code of Ukraine continues

Ukraine

Despite the war Russia is currently waging against Ukraine, the ZGB-AG, based at the Ukrainian parliament, is pressing ahead with work on reforming the Civil Code. The IRZ will provide further consultation on this project. Director of the Kyiv regional centre of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, Professor Oleksiy Kot, who is also the Deputy Chair of ZGB-AG, and former Deputy Minister of Justice Efimenko had approached the IRZ with an initial request for an online discussion on how to continue the previous cooperation on reform of the Civil Code. Professor Natalia Kuznetsova, member of the ZGB-AG and the Academy of Legal Sciences, also took part in this discussion. It was agreed to hold an initial online expert talk on the existing Civil Code reform concept at the end of June 2022; further follow-up meetings are planned. The IRZ had already advised on the drafting of the current Ukrainian Civil Code, which dates back to 2003. Two experts from the IRZ already prepared initial expert opinions on the overall concept of the First Book of the draft reform of the Civil Code in early 2022; and the experts are ready to continue the consultations. Despite the current exceptional situation, the IRZ and the Ukrainian partners will attempt to advance the efforts to reform civil law in Ukraine oriented towards European standards.

IRZ participation in training for the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine

Grafik: IRZ
Grafik: IRZ
Ukraine

On 23 February, 2022, just a day before the start of the unilateral military aggression by Russian armed forces against Ukraine, the IRZ took part in a training course for judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine.

The event was scheduled to last for a full week, conducted by the National School of Judges of Ukraine, an institution the IRZ has been working with for many years This event was an advanced training course for judges, required by law, and it enabled the IRZ to work with the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine, which was founded in 2019, for the first time.

The IRZ was able to engage former Attorney General, Walter Selter, as an expert speaker, who gave a presentation on “Whistleblowers. Importance and protection” in the afternoon of 23 February, 2022. In addition to the procedures to protect whistleblowers, Mr. Selter discussed the gathering and evaluation of evidence with respect to information received from whistleblowers in investigations and criminal procedures. He also presented the leniency program.

Germany has no separate law regarding whistleblowers at present. The EU Whistleblower Directive, which should have been adopted into national law by December 2021, has not yet been adopted in Germany. However, a corresponding law is now being drafted. The notion of the whistleblower or “discloser” was introduced into legislation in Ukraine: “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Prevention of Corruption’”. Ukrainian law also stipulates a financial reward for whistleblowers, which may be problematic in terms of the objectivity of the information, whereas no such financial incentive exists under German law. The leniency program was of particular interest in the Q&A session which followed the presentation.