Colloquium for Ukrainian Administrative Court Judges in Koblenz

The Ukrainian delegation with their German hosts in KoblenzThe Ukrainian delegation with their German hosts in Koblenz

The 11th Colloquium on administrative procedure law for Ukrainian administrative court judges began in Koblenz on 7 December. The Ukrainian delegation was welcomed by the President of the Constitutional Court and of the Higher Administrative Court of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Lars Brocker (back row, centre), and by the Director of the IRZ, Veronika Keller-Engels (front row, 2nd from left).

Attending this year's colloquium are a judge from the Supreme Administrative Court, the President of the Administrative Court of Ternopil and the President of the Administrative Courts of Tscherniwtsi and Tscherkassy. The main topics being discussed, besides process maxims and the issue of delimiting responsibilities, include judicial independence, allocation of responsibilities, Article 6 of the ECHR, the right of assembly as well as press and publicity work.

Since Ukraine may well introduce constitutional complaints as part of the changes to its constitution, experiences gained in Germany in this respect will also be discussed during the colloquium. The Ukrainian guests will therefore be able to gain a direct insight into the daily judicial work of their German colleagues.

In addition to these expert talks, to mark the occasion of Human Rights Day, there will be another meeting in Mainz with the Minster of Justice for Rhineland-Palatinate, Prof. Gerhard Robbers, and the President of the Landtag, Joachim Mertes.

Delegation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine visiting Karlsruhe and Leipzig

From 26 to 29 October a delegation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, headed by its President Yaroslav Romaniuk, came to Karlsruhe and Leipzig on a working visit. The President of the Federal Court of Justice, Bettina Limperg, received the Ukrainian judges of all four senates on the second day of the visit to hold expert talks focussing on the consistency of case law.

In Karlsruhe, the delegation was also welcomed by the new Public Prosecutor General, Dr. Peter Frank, who presented his agency and discussed general issues of public prosecution with his guests taking account of the current reform of the Ukrainian public prosecutor's office. Another item on the agenda was the visit to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. Here, the consistency of case law and the cooperation of the Federal Constitutional Court and other Supreme Courts was again a crucial topic. Given the fact that Ukraine has had an administrative jurisdiction for ten years, the German hosts emphasized its importance and particular role in the German legal system. The meetings in Karlsruhe and Leipzig also offered the opportunity to exchange opinions with the Ukrainian colleagues about the current judicial reform. A new court constitution law was adopted in Ukraine in February this year, and also the Constitutional Committee of the President is dealing with the reform of the judiciary in one of its working groups within the current constitutional reform.

Christian Lange and Renate Künast attend expert discussions in Ukraine

On 17 and 18 September, a visit was made to Ukraine by Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange (MP), Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection in the German Bundestag, Renate Künast (MP), and acting Director of the IRZ, Dr Stefan Hülshörster.

The programme for the visit included a meeting with Oxana Syroid, Vice-President of the Ukrainian Parliament (Werhowna Rada), and other Members of Parliament in Kiev. Talks were also held with the President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and with representatives of some NGOs and international organisations.

The delegation learned about constitutional reform, in particular within the context of efforts towards decentralisation, about the difficulties involved in the fight against corruption, about legal reform and about the verification of all those working in public services, which is connected with all of the above points and is known in Ukraine as "lustration". Parliamentary State Secretary Mr Lange also highlighted during the talks the many years of intense efforts by the German government to accompany and support the legal reform process in Ukraine by the IRZ.

As part of the visit programme, Renate Künast opened the sixth German language "Introduction to German Law" course at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, which was initiated by the IRZ at the German Law centre it founded at the university. Talks were also held here with the Mayor of the City of Lviv, Andrij Sadovyi, founder of the "Samopomich" party.

The IRZ has been offering advice in Ukraine for several years now in all of these areas and these discussions also resulted in numerous connections being made to support the continuation and intensification of this cooperation.