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

Grafik: IRZ
Grafik: IRZ

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.

Exchange of experiences on the development of e-Justice in Germany and Ukraine

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

In partnership with the Ukrainian State Judicial Administration and the Ministry of Justice for North Rhine-Westphalia, on 15 October 2020 IRZ organised an online discussion on “The development of e-Justice in Germany and Ukraine”.

The Ukrainian State Judicial Administration is responsible for introducing the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System (UJITS), which allows the digitalisation of data traffic between courts and parties involved in a case. The objective of the exchange of experiences was to inform participants about the current status of the introduction of e-Justice in Ukraine and Germany, specifically in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Ukrainian participants in the online discussions were:

  • Liudmyla Hazatulina, President of the Ukrainian State Judicial Administration, with her advisory staff,
  • Serhii Tschornutskyi, representative of Liudmyla Hazatulina,
  • Oleksandr Slonitskyi, Head of Department at the State Judicial Administration, and
  • other staff members of the State Judicial Administration.

From the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region, IRZ was able to recruit Isabelle Biallaß, a judge at the Local Court, and Dr. Daniel Lübcke, a judge at the Regional Court, to take part in the online discussions as experts.

Oleksandr Slonitskyi informed the participants about the current situation concerning the introduction of e-Justice in Ukraine. Isabelle Biallaß and Daniel Lübcke were impressed by the ambitious plans in the field of e-Justice, which are set to be introduced shortly in Ukraine. At the same time, they were also able to provide some suggestions with regards to its efficient implementation in terms of security, as well as technical and organisational issues. The Ukrainian State Judicial Administration is extremely interested in continuing this cooperation on e-Justice. Further expert talks are therefore planned.

Talks on the reform of notarial law in Ukraine

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

On 26 May 2020, IRZ organised online expert discussions with the Chamber of Notaries of Ukraine on the current status of the reform of Ukrainian notarial law and the requirements for further exchange of expertise on notarial law. Representing the German side at the meeting was IRZ expert Richard Bock, Justizrat, former notary, chief representative for international affairs at the Federal Chanber of Notaries. Representing Ukraine were the President of the Chamber of Notaries of Ukraine, Volodymyr Marchenko, and five other Ukrainian notaries, who had already paid a working visit to the German Federal Chamber of Notaries in October 2019.

In December 2019, IRZ expert Richard Bock travelled to Kiev to continue the expert discussions. The online meeting meant that the expert discussions could continue despite the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

One of the topics currently being addressed by the Ukrainian notaries is the abolition of state notaries’ offices, which still exist alongside private notaries’ offices. This was discussed at length and is likely to be imminent. E-Notarisation and remote certification are also the focus of debate. It is important to the Chamber of Notaries of Ukraine that, in view of the government’s “state in a smartphone” motto, legal certainty and the involvement of the notary in legal transactions continue to be adequately taken into account.

They are also extremely interested in the German model for supporting notaries in sparsely populated and financially weak regions with compensation paid out from notarial funds. Another topic of conversation was disciplinary law for notaries. The planned changes to notarial law in Ukraine will give Ukrainian notaries a high degree of responsibility for preventing money laundering. In connection with this monitoring role, IRZ will provide the Chamber of Notaries of Ukraine with a translation of the leaflet provided by the German Federal Chamber of Notaries on the application of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the European Union.

There continues to be a high requirement for these discussions. IRZ and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries will therefore provide additional written material and organise further online meetings on individual issues concerning notarial law.