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Russian Federation - annual report 2016

Published: June 1, 2017

Alexandra Albrecht (2nd from left), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Svetlana Beniaminova (3rd from left), President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Veronika Keller-Engels, General Director of the IRZ (right)

Study visit in Berlin and Potsdam on the topic “Statutory regulation of the working methods of constitutional courts in the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany”: Alexandra Albrecht (2nd from left), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Svetlana Beniaminova (3rd from left), President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Veronika Keller-Engels, General Director of the IRZ (right)

Strategic Framewok

Legal Policy Starting Point

The legal policy situation in the Russian Federation did not change significantly in 2016 when compared to the situation in previous years. However, the law became significantly tighter in the Criminal Code and other statutes within the framework of a package of anti-terror laws which considerably increase the powers of the security authorities and raise data protection law problems. In spite of extensive criticism, the new provisions for the most part entered into force. There are very positive tendencies in the sphere of civil and commercial law: The Civil Code was supplemented in particular in the spheres of contract law and the law of ownership, and the Private Insolvency Act was revised. In addition, the statutes covering the work of a patent lawyer are also intended for preparation.

The political tensions and the economic sanctions have had little effect on cooperation with the IRZ’s long-term partners in the legal field, although a certain reticence is evident in the cooperation with the Russian court system. The IRZ was also able to implement a number of events in 2016, both bilaterally and within the framework of the further training programme established and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office on the promotion of structures in the rule of law.

Overall Concept

Cooperation with the Research Centre of Private Law continued to focus on civil law reform. During the sixth Legal Forum in St. Petersburg, IRZ experts participated in roundtable discussions on insolvency and residential ownership law. Detailed advice was also provided on residential ownership in Germany. The problems in this sphere which arose after privatisation in the 1990s are still very current and are intended to be resolved within the framework of a reform.

A further focus was placed on the protection of intellectual property in the reporting year. The IRZ in particular worked with the Association of Patent Lawyers and the Federation Council. Cooperation was also continued with the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers in the tried and tested way . Support for the professional associations is particular important in today’s situation in order to maintain contacts and networks. The IRZ has also long since supported efforts to strengthen local self-administration and intensified the cooperation with the Civil Initiatives Committee that started last year (KGI).

The IRZ also continued its cooperation with the Federal Penitentiary Service. Current events have shown that issues such as protection of human rights in prison, adjustment to European standards and issues relating to prison service arrangements remain as topical as ever.

Foci of Activity 2016

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

Civil and Commercial La

Administration of Justice

Public Law

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

Basic and Further Training

Outlook

In 2017 the IRZ plans to make its contribution towards the consolidation and strengthening of the rule of law together with its Russian partners. The focus will continue to be on civil and commercial law here. In particular, the intention is to intensively continue the consultations on contract law and in the field of intellectual property. This also affects cooperation with the lawyers and the notaries. Improving the quality of enforcement, strengthening local self-administration and the humanisation of the prison system likewise remain important topics in the cooperation with the Russian Federation in the forthcoming year.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.