The 14th edition of German Week was held in St. Petersburg from 5 to 12 April 2017 under the motto “Gateways to the world”. The week included a glittering and varied programme of attractive events in the fields of culture, education, society, economy, law and science.

This series of events is organised by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in partnership with the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Northwestern branch office, and the Goethe Institute and it offers platforms for strengthening and enhancing the many relations between German partners and partners in St. Petersburg. The partner state for this year’s German Week was the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which in 2017 celebrates the 60th anniversary of its partnership with the city of St. Petersburg.
The IRZ also once again supported the German Consulate General in St. Petersburg, the Russian Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as they prepared and developed the programme for a forum on “Constitutional justice in Russia and Germany” which was held on 7 April 2017 at the Ministry of Justice.

The high-profile conference was opened by the Consul General for the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Petersburg, Dr. Eltje Aderhold. On the Russian side, the participants were welcomed by Walerij D. Sorkin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Dmitry J. Smirnov, Head of Central Office of the Russian Ministry of Justice for St. Petersburg, and Vadim A. Vinogradov, Head of the Chair for Constitutional Law and International Law at the Russian Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation.

On the German side, Friedrich-Joachim Mehmel, President of the Constitutional Court of Hamburg, Jes Möller, President of the Constitutional Court of the State of Brandenburg, and Anke Müller-Jacobsen, a judge at the Constitutional Court of the State of Berlin, contributed to the conference with presentations on comparative law.

German and Russian law professionals discussed current issues concerning constitutional justice in Russia and Germany, such as the legal framework for the activity of constitutional courts in the Russian Federation and the state constitutional courts in Germany. The discussions also covered the legal status of judges in constitutional courts, the question of when a citizen can apply to a constitutional court and the constitutional right to silence of the accused.

The areas of discussion were of enormous practical relevance to the Russian experts present and were immediately met with great interest. Lively discussions and intense exchanges of expertise between the Russian and German sides meant that the successful cooperation, which as far as legal collaboration is concerned has existed for years, could be continued and further enhanced with new content.
In future years, the IRZ will continue to play an active role in organising the traditional German Week in St. Petersburg.

Download: Programme and brochure for German Week