Trilateral working visit on consumer protection in Berlin

The participants in the delegation during the expert talks at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin
The participants in the delegation during the expert talks at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin
Ukraine

From 20 to 23 May 2019, consumer protection experts from ministries, authorities and non-governmental organisations in the Republics of Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine met in Berlin for a working visit. They were welcomed by IRZ Managing Director Dr. Stefan Hülshörster, who underlined the increasingly significant role played by consumer protection in the cooperation between the IRZ and its partner states.

At the start of the visit, the guests visited the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, where talks were held with their German colleagues on the fundamental issues of consumer policy and on consumer policy in the energy sector, in food legislation and product safety.

Other talks were held with the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (“Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband”), where the focus was mainly on law enforcement in consumer protection through the recently introduced model declaratory action (“Musterfeststellungsklage”). Further talks were held at the Berlin Consumer Organisation (“Verbraucherzentrale Berlin e.V.”), which is the first point of contact for consumer protection for citizens at community level.

Aspects of competition law were discussed during a meeting with the German Centre for Protection against Unfair Competition. The keynote address by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information also explained the role and importance of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection when it comes to consumer protection.

This trilateral working visit could mark the start of a series of expert talks, allowing Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine to look in more detail at consumer protection issues specific to their own countries.

Signing of new working program for German-Ukrainian legal cooperation

Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Dr. Katarina Barley (right) with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dr. Pavlo Petrenko
Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Dr. Katarina Barley (right) with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dr. Pavlo Petrenko
Ukraine

On 22 February 2019 the Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection, Dr. Katarina Barley, welcomed the Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Dr. Pavlo Petrenko, to a meeting at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin.

This meeting was also attended by Christian Lange, Vice-President of the IRZ Board of Trustees and Parliamentary State Secretary, and Vice-Minister Mr Petuchov. At this meeting, Minister Barley and Minister Petrenko signed a new working program for a cooperation between the two Ministries until the end of 2021, which will be implemented and brought to life by the IRZ.

The working program is based on a Joint Declaration on Legal Cooperation of the two countries dating from 13 March 2017 and aims to implement the Joint Declaration with specific measures.

The future cooperation between the two Ministries until 2021 will focus on the fight against and prevention of corruption, the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, the law on the legal profession, register law, penitentiary law, law on enforcement proceedings and in particular administrative procedure law.

The IRZ has been advising Ukraine for several years in setting up a draft legislation on an administrative procedure act which was submitted to the Verhovna Rada in late December 2018 after a long process of preparation. Other topics such as the right of petition, the freedom of information laws, the data privacy laws and the law on registered civil unions will be dealt with as part of the cooperation agreement.

A Delegation of the Ukrainian Appellate Administrative Court visited the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig

Working visit of the Ukrainian Appellate Administrative Court of the Supreme Court at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig: President of the Federal Administrative Court, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert (centre), and President of the Appellate Administrative Court, Mykhailo Smokovych (to his left).
Working visit of the Ukrainian Appellate Administrative Court of the Supreme Court at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig: President of the Federal Administrative Court, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert (centre), and President of the Appellate Administrative Court, Mykhailo Smokovych (to his left).
Ukraine

On 5 and 6 December 2018 a delegation of the Ukrainian Appellate Administrative Court at the Supreme Court visited the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. Its President, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert, welcomed his Ukrainian colleague Mykhailo Smokovych and eight other judges of the Appellate Administrative Court at the opening of the two-day expert meeting which the guests from Kiev held with the Presiding Judge at the Federal Administrative Court, Prof. Dr. Ingo Kraft, and the Judge at the Federal Administrative Court, Martin Steinkühler. The professional exchange between the German and Ukrainian Administrative Court judges focused on the role of an appellate court and how it works, the procedural law applicable to it as well as an effective and adequate case processing. They also discussed the role and the importance of the Federal Administrative Court as a court of first instance e.g. in major public infrastructure planning procedures.

The Ukrainian delegation had previously met the President of the Administrative Court of Mainz, Dr. Bettina Freimund-Holler, and her Vice-President, Dr. Christof Berthold, for two days of discussions in Mainz. The guests from Ukraine had also attended two hearings at the Administrative Court there. Before the hearings, the President and the Vice-President of the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Lars Brocker and Dagmar Wünsch, as well as Dr. Stefan Hülshörster, Managing Director of the IRZ, had welcomed the delegation and introduced the professional part of the visit.

With its independent administrative jurisdiction established as early as in 2005, Ukraine plays a pioneering role among the East European states in this branch of courts which is of particular importance for developing the rule of law. Thus, administrative jurisdiction is in the focus of the IRZ’s cooperation with its Ukrainian partners.

In addition, the IRZ has been advising Ukraine for some years on the development of a – long expected – administrative procedure act, which has not yet been adopted. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has revived a working group to discuss the draft in partnership with the IRZ again, and the Verhovna Rada will hopefully adopt it soon.