5th International Forum of the Union of Russian Cities on Best Practices in Local Self-Government

The IRZ expert, Jürgen Roters, a lawyer and former mayor of the city of Cologne
The IRZ expert, Jürgen Roters, a lawyer and former mayor of the city of Cologne

From 10 to 12 April 2018, the fifth International Forum on Best Practices in Local Self-Government was held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The main organiser of the Forum was the Union of Russian Cities. The event was supported by the government of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and by the Bishkek city council.

The event served as a platform for the exchange of established practices in local self-government and brought together high-ranking Russian personalities from local self-government, as well as international participants from other countries, including China, Turkey, Finland, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the USA and Germany. The IRZ, supported by an institutional grant from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, was represented by Jürgen Roters, a lawyer and former mayor of the city of Cologne.

The official opening was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Dair Kenekeev, the mayor of Bishkek, Albek Ibraimov, and the chairperson of the Bishkek city council (Kenesch), Almas Kenenbaev.

Many different workshops were held during the event, covering local self-government subjects including:

  • economy,
  • finance,
  • interbudgetary relations,
  • investments and the investment climate,
  • social policy,
  • migration,
  • ecology and
  • international relations.

In his first lecture on “Investments and the investment climate”, IRZ expert Jürgen Roters talked about the great need for investment in building and renewing infrastructure and presented public-private partnerships as a model for the future.

In his second lecture, Jürgen Roters talked about the subject of “climate change”, starting with a general presentation of the causes and consequences of climate change and then introducing the city of Cologne’s projects on energy efficiency and saving energy. He also presented the “GrowSmarter” EU project, which has been awarded to the city of Cologne in close cooperation with other partners.

As these lectures were met with great interest by the participants and event organisers alike, further events on local self-government are being planned with the Russian partners with the participation of Jürgen Roters.

Russian Federation: High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

  • High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

    Official welcome by the Minister, Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback, at the Bavarian Ministry of Justice: Dr. Stefan Hülshörster, Managing Director of the IRZ; Dmitry Rozhkov, International Department of the Lawyers’ Association of the RF; Denis Novak, Deputy Minister of Justice of the RF; Minister Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback (from left to right)

  • High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

    Working visit at the German Patent and Trademark Office with Alexander Wickenhöfer (3rd from left), Head of the Department for International Cooperation and Team Leader of Main Department 3; Christine Moosbauer (to his right), Vice President of the DPMA; Barbara Preißner (centre), Head of Main Department 3 – Trademarks and Designs

  • High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

    Working visit at the Federal Patent Court: Sabir Kekhlerov (left), Advisor to the Public Prosecutor General of the RF, former Deputy Public Prosecutor General of the RF; Beate Schmidt (front, centre), President of the Federal Patent Court; Denis Novak (to her right), Deputy Minister of Justice of the RF

  • High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

    Expert talks at the Local Court of Munich: Dr. Michael Müller (4th from right), Judge at the Local Court as Head of the Main Department and Head of the Registration Court

  • High-ranking delegation discusses commercial and civil law in Munich

    Expert talks with representatives of the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of Munich: Andreas Wimmer (4th from left), Deputy Director and leading Senior Public Prosecutor at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of Munich

From 11 to 13 December 2017 the IRZ held a working visit for a high-ranking delegation from the Russian Federation (RF) in Munich. The Lawyers’ Association of the Russian Federation organised the visit, inviting high-ranking representatives from different organisations and authorities in the RF to discuss the specifics of German commercial and civil law. The following persons took part in the visit:

  • Sabir Kekhlerov, Advisor to the Prosecutor General of the RF, former Deputy Prosecutor General of the RF;
  • Denis Novak, Deputy Minister of Justice of the RF;
  • Igor Savenko, Deputy Director of the Federal Bailiffs Service of the RF;
  • Evgeny Budyakov, Board Member of the Lawyers’ Association of the RF;
  • Georgi Danilov, Deputy President of the Intellectual Property Court of the RF;
  • Ramziya Khatypova, Judge at the Judicial Chamber on Economic Disputes at the Supreme Court of the RF;
  • Lubov Kiriy, Deputy Director General of Rospatent (Federal Service for Intellectual Property);
  • Dmitry Kutafin, Prorector for International Cooperation at the Kutafin Moscow State Law University;
  • Alexey Petrov, Chairman of the Foundation for the Development of the Lawyers' Association of the RF;
  • Dmitry Rozhkov, International Department of the Lawyers’ Association of the RF;
  • Gennady Sharov, Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the RF; and
  • Igor Shurygin, Deputy Director of the Central Office of the Federal Registration Chamber at Rosreestr (Federal Registration Service)
Since the Russian guests had various focuses of interest the topics of the expert talks were very diverse. At the Federal Patent Court and the German Patent and Trademark Office they not only discussed issues of patent and trademark law, but also the specifics of trademark protection and the protection of intellectual property, trademarks in general and the trademark procedure at the DPMA.

At the Local Court of Munich, which acts as the court having jurisdiction over enforcement of titled claims, in particular auctions by court order and compulsory administration of real estate, the following issues were discussed in more detail:

  • requirements for the registration of a legal person;
  • entry of the rights to real estate in the land register;
  • criminal liability of legal persons and
  • the auction of real estate by court order.

Apart from these responsibilities of the Local Court, the delegation also had the opportunity to visit the land registry office and the Registration Court of the Local Court of Munich. Here, the company law procedures and matters of the Commercial Register were met with very great interest.

During the meeting with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of Munich, in which, amongst others, Andreas Wimmer, Deputy Director and leading Senior Public Prosecutor at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of Munich, participated, the professional law procedures concerning lawyers and the criminal liability of legal persons were discussed.

The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Bavarian Ministry of Justice where they collected information about the role and tasks of the Ministry.

Throughout the visit the German organisers were able to ensure the reception of the high-ranking delegation with regard to protocol, in particular the reception of the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Denis Novak, by the Bavarian Minister of Justice, Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback.

The Russian guests appreciated the opportunity for an intense expert exchange with their German colleagues.

The working visit in Munich was a great success for the delegation, so that they hope to continue the cooperation in the future.

Russian delegation learns about migration policy in Berlin

Meeting of the Russian guests with lawyer Rolf Stahmann at the German Bar Association
Meeting of the Russian guests with lawyer Rolf Stahmann at the German Bar Association

On 28 and 29 September 2017 the IRZ organized a study trip to Berlin as part of the bilateral cooperation with the Russian Federation covering the topic “Migration policy: regulation in the face of today’s challenges”.

The following persons took part in the study trip:

  • Vadim Korobov, first Deputy Head of the Head Office of the Investigation Committee of the Kaluga region,
  • Yuri Zelnikov, Commissioner for Human Rights for the Kaluga region,
  • Andrey Savinov, Head of the Office of the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in Kaluga and
  • Oksana Shabarshova, Head of the International Affairs Department of the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

The Russian guests took the opportunity for an intense expert exchange with representatives from different institutions in Berlin.

At the General Secretariat of the German Red Cross they discussed issues of the German asylum policy and the role of the German Red Cross. The meeting with the German Bar Association covered in depth the legal aspects and challenges regarding the protection of refugee rights, also in view of the relation between German and EU law.

The delegation exchanged experiences and gained an insight into the work of the “Zentrum zur Unterstützung der Rückkehr“ (ZUR) (return support centre), which opened this year. The ZUR coordinates collective deportations and provides passport documents, especially in problematic cases, and clarifies identities. The ZUR also processes specific individual cases, e.g. of so-called “Gefährder” (potential terrorist attackers) or habitual offenders who are obligated to leave the country.

The Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) is responsible for registering, providing benefits for and accommodating refugees in Berlin. At the LAF, the delegation learned about the individual steps from registration via security screening to the provision of social benefits. They also learned about the challenges in the daily work at the LAF.