En route to the European Union – IRZ accompanies Ukraine

Press Release

The German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ) has accompanied EU accession candidate countries on the long journey to joining the European Union for 30 years. After all, the demand for support among Ukrainian specialists has been rising steadily, despite the war of aggression that Russia unleashed on Ukraine in contravention of international law. IRZ experts are continuing their cooperation with the partner institutions in Ukraine,

a partner state since day one. So far, IRZ has provided support to around 40 partner states. Past cooperation with Ukraine has focused on the democratisation process, legal and judicial reforms and measures to combat corruption. IRZ is now promoting the rule of law to prepare the country for joining the EU. The legal and judicial system will have to rise to new challenges and achieve further harmonisation with European standards due to Ukraine’s designation as an accession candidate. The German legal system serves as a role model in this regard. 

For instance, the President of the IRZ Board of Trustees, Christian Lange (photo), opened a first online consultation of a working group led by the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament on 30 June 2022, with the aim of continuing the reforms of the Civil Code of Ukraine (CC).  This work builds on two policy papers prepared by an IRZ expert team in early 2022.

Receiving significant support from the Federal Fiscal Court, IRZ joined with the Supreme Court of Ukraine on 1 July 2022 to conduct the Fifth Administrative Court Jurisdiction Days as an online event, focusing on tax law issues as a ‘special part of administrative law’.

IRZ has also received requests for further support from the Constitutional Court, the Administrative Cassation Court and from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, among others.

At the very beginning of independence, the cooperation prioritised consultations on the constitution, the Law on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the German-Ukrainian constitutional dialogue and consultations addressing the planned abolition of the death penalty, which the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ultimately declared unconstitutional in its decision of 29 December 1999. Numerous current and former judges at the Federal Constitutional Court are involved in the professional exchange with their colleagues from the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The introduction of constitutional complaints (complaint against a law) in Ukraine, the organisation of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court based on the structure of the German Federal Constitutional Court and the introduction of an independent administrative court jurisdiction based on the German model were nothing short of ground-breaking.

In addition, IRZ initiated an intensive process of dialogue at administrative court level. Important partners in this cooperation are the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Federal Administrative Court and the administrative courts of Rhineland-Palatinate under the leadership of the Higher Administrative Court.

An administrative procedure law, for which IRZ provided pivotal support in the legislative process, was passed just a week before the outbreak of war.

Policy to combat corruption is another priority area within the cooperation. A joint conference was held with the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine just a day before the attack by Russian forces.

Promoting the rule of law is a relevant issue for all generations, so nurturing young legal professionals is among the core concerns of IRZ. It addresses this task by organising supplementary studies in German for advanced students at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv in western Ukraine, among other things. Defying the war, the valedictorian of 2021 spent a research stay at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich during May 2022.

Every step on Ukraine’s independent path to democratic and constitutional reforms is a step towards joining the European Union.

IRZ PRESS RELEASE dated 25 July 2022


Deutsche Stiftung für internationale rechtliche Zusammenarbeit e.V.
Cecilia Szabó
Advisor to the Management
OPublic Relations
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