Ukraine - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Ukraine 2013Visit by Ukrainian administrative court judges to the Rhineland-Palatinate Land Parliament

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

Cooperation with Ukraine in 2013 was increasingly typified by the EU Association Agreement, the signing of which was initially planned and then cancelled by the Ukrainian Government at the last minute, as well as the ensuing mass protests against the Ukrainian leadership. The signing was planned to take place on 28/29 November 2013 at the "Eastern Partnership" summit in Vilnius. This development climaxed in the internationalscale "Crimean Crisis". As a matter of principle, the IRZ will continue to make intensive efforts to ensure that the dialogue will be maintained, and will support the development and strengthening of a state based on the rule of law orientated towards European legal standards.

Cooperation to date

There were three working visits by delegations of the Supreme Court from the civil senate, the commercial senate and the administrative senate to Germany in 2013. They primarily addressed questions of procedural law, in particular concerning the uniformity of case-law. As in the previous years, one further focus was placed on consultation on administrative procedural law, which was implemented together with the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine as well as the Ukrainian administrative courts. What is new is cooperation with the still young State Registration Service of Ukraine. The accompanying studies in German law held in German at the University of Lvov have become firmly established. The summer school, which was initially developed for Lvov students and offered in Germany, has now developed to become the IRZ summer school, attended by students as well as young legal experts from many partner states.

Major partners

  • Parliament
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Constitutional Court
  • Supreme Court
  • Supreme Administrative Court
  • Courts of the lower instances
  • Office of the Prosecutor General
  • State Registration Service
  • University of Lvov
  • Lvov Chamber of Trade and Industry

Foci of activity in 2013

Constitutinal law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Conference on the topic of "Protection of human rights by the constitutional courts" in Yalta
  • Trilateral German-Ukrainian-Moldovan conference with the Human Rights Commissioner of the Parliament of Ukraine and the Moldovan Ombudsman on the of topics of data protection and anti-discrimination in Kiev
  • Subsequent provision and translation of excerpts from the collection of rulings of the Federal Constitutional Court

Civil and commercial law

  • Working visit by the civil senate of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to Bonn and Cologne
  • Working visit by the commercial senate of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to Bonn and Düsseldorf
  • VI International Lemberg Forum entitled "Alternative dispute settlement methods" in Lvov
  • Lecture and discussion event on the topic of "Application of German law in international legal transactions" at the Lvov Chamber of Trade and Industry (together with the Federal Bar)
  • Participation by representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice, of the Supreme Court, of the Foreign Office, of the legal profession and of Academia at the international conference on the topic of "Fostering Cooperation through Hague Conventions" in Tbilisi
  • Participation by a representative of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine at the 16th International Cartel Conference in Berlin
  • Participation by two German judges at a conference and specialist discussions on the "Hague Convention on the Civil Law Aspects of International Child Abduction" in Kiev

Administration of justice

  • Cooperation at the anniversary conference on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in Kiev
  • Conference on Ukrainian justice sector reform in Kiev
  • Working visit to Bonn and Cologne by a delegation from the State Registration Service of Ukraine on the topic of company registers
  • Participation by four representatives from Ukraine (Judges' Association, Supreme Administrative Court) at the conference of the Judges' Associations on the topic of administrative justice in Astana (Kazakhstan)

Public law

  • Specialist discussions on administrative procedure law at Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal
  • Ninth German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedure in cooperation with the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate and Koblenz Administrative Court
  • Working session of the senate for administrative cases of the Supreme Court of Ukraine on the reform of the Administrative Procedure Act of Ukraine in Fischbachau

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Working visit by a delegation of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn on the topic of "Public prosecution case register"
  • Seminar for Ukrainian public prosecutors on international mutual assistance in criminal matters in Kiev, together with the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Federal Office of Justice
  • German-Polish-Ukrainian conference entitled "New tendencies in criminal procedure law" in Fischbachau in cooperation with the Institute of Eastern European Law

Basic and further training

  • Accompanying introductory studies in German law at the Centre for German Law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov
  • Third "German law" summer school in Brühl for graduates of the accompanying studies
  • Research stay at the University of Göttingen for the best graduate of the third year of the Lvov accompanying studies
  • Participation by the best graduate of the second year of the Lvov accompanying studies in the multilateral internship for public prosecutors
  • Participation by a representative of the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov at the "German for legal experts" language course at the Goethe Institute in Bonn

Outlook

Large numbers of Ukrainian partner institutions have stated in principle that they remain interested in consultation and expert exchange. It would be possible to have detailed discussions in 2014 on topics such as uniformity of case-law, administrative procedural law practice, topical constitutional issues, case-law, holding hearings, mediation, as well as the law on notaries and on land registries. In close coordination with the Federal Government, the IRZ is planning to launch a programme promoting the rule of law as soon as possible which is to cover amongst other things the pressing constitutional reform issues, the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption.

Ukraine - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Ukraine 2014
Visit by Ukrainian constitutional court judges to the Chairwoman of the Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection Committee of the German Bundestag, Renate Künast, MdB, during the specialist discussions on Ukrainian constitutional reform in Berlin

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

Cooperation with Ukraine faced major challenges in 2014: paralysis of the authorities, the fact of the former President escaping the country, presidential elections, parliamentary elections, the EU Association Agreement and not last military conflicts in the East of the country. As a result of these turbulent circumstances, the IRZ was unable to carry out any effective consultation work for quite some time. Because of elections and many re-occupied posts, some established contacts were unavailable either completely or at least for quite some time. Despite extremely difficult conditions, the IRZ has not tired in its efforts, and was able to resume cooperation at least from autumn 2014.

Overall concept

The IRZ was mainly active in 2014 in the project entitled “Promoting the rule of law in Ukraine”, which was funded from the budget of the Federal Foreign Office. The consultation was focussed on the fields of constitutional law, the judiciary, criminal law, public law and administrative courts, as well as combating corruption.

Despite the difficult starting situation, the IRZ was able to offer consultation and events in all key areas. It supported the Ukrainian Parliament and the Ministry of Justice in all central reform projects, such as constitutional reform, and provided advice in the legislative process. The IRZ furthermore continued its long-lasting consultation service in drafting the Administrative Procedure Act. The IRZ also made it possible to organise an exchange of experience and knowledge transfer for judges of all courts and stages of the legal process.

The IRZ also particularly focussed in 2014 on basic and further training for members of the judiciary and for young lawyers. For instance, the study programme with the national Ivan Franko University of Lvov, which is funded by the Federal Foreign Office, was continued.

The IRZ stressed not lastly the important function of lawyers as a link between the State and society by offering events in cooperation with the Federal Bar (BRAK) and the German Bar Association (DAV).

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Advisory opinion on constitutional reform
  • Specialist discussions in Berlin on constitutional reform
  • Specialist discussions at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe and at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg with research staff on constitutional law and on the organisation of a Constitutional Court

Civil and commercial law

  • Attendance at the VII Lemberg Forum entitled “Alternative dispute settlement methods”
  • Attendance at events in Kiev on the topic of “Alternative dispute resolution“

Administration of justice

  • Study visit to Aurich on the topic of bailiffs, execution of court rulings and public auctions
  • Attendance by representatives of Ukraine at the conference of the Judges’ Associations in Yerevan
  • Attendance at the IV Forum of the Association of Lawyers of Ukraine (AAU) German-Ukrainian roundtable on the law on lawyers in cooperation with the German Federal Bar and the Ukrainian National Bar Association in Kiev
  • Study visit to Berlin in cooperation with the German Bar Association and AAU
  • Specialist discussion on the law on lawyers in Kiev in cooperation with the German Bar Association and AAU

Public law

  • 10th German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedural law at Koblenz Higher Administrative Court and Administrative Court
  • Working session on the Draft of the Administrative Procedure Act in Bonn
  • Exchange of experience between the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine and the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig
  • Report on the Draft Police Act of Ukraine

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Participation by representatives of the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of Ukraine in the TAIEX study visit on freedom of information and data protection in Berlin
  • Working visit to Düsseldorf and Wuppertal on specialist public prosecution offices and the fight against corruption
  • Specialist discussions in Kiev on the relationship between the public prosecution office and the police at the Academy of the Public Prosecution Office of Ukraine
  • Preparation of a guide for public prosecutors Project to Support Justice Sector reforms in Ukraine (EU Grant)

Basic and further training

  • Supplementary introductory studies in German law at the Centre for German Law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov
  • Research stay in Göttingen for the best graduate
  • Summer language course for the best graduate of the School of Foreign Languages
  • Fourth IRZ summer school in Brühl and Bonn
  • Attendance by young lawyers at the “German for legal experts” language course in Bonn

Ausblick

Despite the unstable domestic and foreign policy situation, the IRZ will be continuing its previous work in the coming years. It will enter an intensive phase in 2015. The process of constitutional and judicial reform is not yet complete. There are currently drafts of the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as of the Law on the Judicial System and Status of Judges, on which discussions will have to take place. Cooperation with the legal profession and the German-language supplementary introductory studies in German law, which the IRZ established, will also be continued in 2015. Cooperation with notaries will be relaunched in 2015. The IRZ will be building in 2015 on what has been achieved so far in all the abovementioned fields, and thus intensifying the existing cooperation with all major Ukrainian partners. This will enable the IRZ to continue to make a major contribution towards strengthening the rule of law in Ukraine.