Study trip to Germany on “Identity and mobility – the legal framework for preserving and modernising cultural heritage through changing times”

The Russian delegation at the HERITAGE-PRO initiative in Mainz
The Russian delegation at the HERITAGE-PRO initiative in Mainz
Russian Federation

During the first week of December 2019, community experts from the Russian Federation visited community institutions in several federal states of Germany. The study visit was organised jointly by the IRZ, the Kudrin Foundation for the Support of Civic Initiatives (KGI) and the European Club of Experts in Local Self-Government. The subject of the study trip was “Identity and mobility – the legal framework for preserving and modernising cultural heritage through changing times”. The participants were brought together by the reform project “Urban map of Russia: areas of growth”, which aims to increase the quality of local self-government in the Russian Federation and enhance the potential for civic participation.

In order to develop a concept for these reforms, the experts travelled to various states of Germany to learn about municipal administration. During the week of 2 to 6 December, they visited institutions in various German cities:

Aachen:

  • EUREGIO Aachen on the work of the Rhineland association and on the principles and development of the preservation of monuments in Germany
  • Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb (BLB) Aachen (a construction and real estate management authority) on reconciling the preservation of monuments with urban development and on BLB projects in the city
  • ILS Dortmund, a group specialising in the preservation of urban historical monuments as a basis for future city development
  • A meeting with the junior professor, Prof. Dr. Carola Neugebauer, from the Institute for the preservation of cultural heritage (RWTH Aachen) on the status of research on urban redevelopment

Trier:

  • Department for Construction, Environment and Preservation of Monuments of the City of Trier on the work of the preservation department and urban planning

Mainz:

  • Rhineland-Palatinate Cultural Heritage commission on the position and work of the commission, the identification and mapping of monuments and publicity work
  • HERITAGE-PRO initiative on their approaches and strategies for the development of a teaching programme for interdisciplinary cooperation in the preservation of cultural heritage

Braubach:

  • Zweckverband Oberes Mittelrheintal (joint board of the Upper and Middle Rhine Valley) on the working methods of the association and its legal and organisational status

Koblenz:

  • Görlitz foundation for the Florinsmarkt project in Koblenz
  • Rhine/Mosel/Lahn regional federation of the Rhine association for civic involvement in the preservation of monuments in Koblenz

Frankfurt am Main:

  • Planning and Construction department at the Goethe University in Frankfurt on the Campus Westend project
  • Urban Planning office on reconciling the preservation of monuments with modernisation
The participants showed a lot of interest throughout the visit in the work of the various institutions and in the possibilities of integrating their working methods in the Russian administration system. They asked a lot of questions on comparative law issues, targeting the development and incorporation of specific working processes in their own institutions. The Russian guests were particularly interested in the potential for collaboration between the various parties involved.

German-Russian talks on law enforcement

During the talks
During the talks
Russian Federation

On 25 November 2019, the IRZ organised official talks between a delegation from the Russian Federal Bailiff Service at the Russian Ministry of Justice, representatives of the German Association of Bailiffs (DGVB) and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

The first talks were given by the Federal Chairman of the DGVB, Karlheinz Brunner, and Walter Gietmann, Honorary Chairman of the DGVB and a long-term partner of the Russian side. The latter started by giving an overview of the bailiff service in Germany:

  • Legal standards in the area of law enforcement, practical implementation by court bailiffs
  • Organisation structures of court bailiffs
  • Law enforcement procedure
  • Arbitration proceedings in law enforcement

During the second set of talks at the BMJV, which were attended by Ministerialrat Detlef Wasser, Head of the law enforcement and foreclosure department, the Russian guests discussed the following subjects with their German colleagues:

  • The responsible and appealing tasks of court bailiffs
  • Cooperation with private institutions (mediation)
  • Ways of enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement
  • The distinction between the interests of creditors and debtors.

The Director of the Russian Bailiff Service, Dmitry Aristov, reported that the new federal law “on the service in law enforcement authorities in the Russian Federation and on changes to certain laws of the Russian Federation” has been approved and will enter into force on 1 January 2020. The new law will enhance the status of court bailiffs considerably and give them a lot more rights than they had before.

The members of the delegation showed a great deal of interest in continuing the exchange of experiences between law enforcement authorities in the Russian Federation and Germany. The subject of law enforcement in internet auctions is of major interest to the Russians. To round off the visit, Dmitry Aristov invited the German partners to a forum on law enforcement, which will be held in Moscow in 2020.

5th German-Russian legal forum on family law in Hamburg

During the 5th German-Russian legal forum in Hamburg
During the 5th German-Russian legal forum in Hamburg
Russian Federation

On 25 June 2019, EU Member States approved new regulations to provide better protection for children in transnational family affairs. The number of international divorces is currently at around 9,000 per year in Germany alone. For this reason, the IRZ, together with the German Federal Bar Association and the Russian Federal Bar Association, organised the 5th German-Russian legal forum on “German-Russian transnational family disputes”, which was held on 15 November 2019 in Hamburg.

IRZ expert Christian Höhn from the German Federal Office of Justice (department of international child custody, child abduction and the protection of children and adults) gave a lecture on “International family law – child custody and child abduction”. The Russian members of the audience were extremely interested in his lecture. They were particularly interested in the areas governed by the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children.

From the Russian side, lawyer Olga Vlasova and law professional Elga Sykiäinen gave lectures on the legal provisions for transnational matrimonial and family matters in Russia and shed light on the following subjects:

  • registration of marriage
  • possibility of divorce in Russia
  • matrimonial property regime: common property of the married couple, marriage contracts
  • rights of custody and access: determination of the applicable legislation, establishment of parentage (including surrogacy)
  • obligations of family members to pay maintenance
  • international child abduction: national law, case law, enforcement of judgements

Around thirty lawyers attended the event, including thirteen from the Russian Federation.

The event successfully met the objective of holding intense expert discussions between German and Russian lawyers in the field of family law. Both sides expressed the wish to continue this series of events in order to work together on developing potential solutions for the complex issues in this area.