Länderbericht Russland 2013Working meeting on the “Role of local authority self-administration in regional development” in St. Petersburg

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The starting situation is virtually unchanged in comparison to the previous year. There is still the "Act on NGOs", in accordance with which non-governmental organisations that are funded from foreign sources have to refer to themselves as "foreign agents". This however only has a limited impact on the specific work of the IRZ, particularly since the IRZ does not have its own local office. The problems in the context of the sets of criminal proceedings which were the subject of strong international criticism were alleviated for the moment towards the end of 2013 by the release of some of those concerned. The public protests from civil society appear to have abated somewhat. Changes in the judicial system of the Russian Federation are also significant for the work of the IRZ: The Supreme Court and the Supreme Commercial Court will be merging in mid-2014. The newly-formed Intellectual Property Court began work in mid-2013, and is likely to become a cooperation partner of the IRZ, also in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Cooperation to date

Cooperation with the Russian partners at all levels has been very strong for many years. An important role has also been played in the past two years by cooperation within the initiative on legal cooperation funded by the Federal Foreign Office within the German-Russian modernisation partnership. After the IRZ was able to accompany the civil and commercial law reforms for many years, and important reforms came into force such as the principle of "good faith", the modernisation of Russian civil and commercial law was also supported by the German side in 2013 by means of consultation. Specialist discussions in Bonn on property law as well as on selected questions of the law on obligations and of company law should also be particularly mentioned in this context. Cooperation on intellectual property was also intensified. To this end, a seminar took place in Moscow in the autumn of 2013 on copyright for representatives of the Intellectual Property Court and of the Research Centre of Private Law. Because of the considerable interest in stepping up cooperation with Germany, it would also be possible to evaluate this as a launching point for the abovementioned cooperation programme. The promotion of the practical application of peaceful dispute resolution methods took place in the context of a German-Russian conference "Business mediation in practice", which was organised by the IRZ together with the Chamber of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Cooperation on the law on notaries, the law on lawyers, the humanisation of the prison system, the refinement of the commercial courts, as well as basic and further training measures in other areas of the law, were also continued in 2013. Cooperation with the Russian Federation also works in the other direction when German legal experts seek information on Russian law, such as at specialist conferences held at the German Judicial Academy in Wustrau (2012, 2014) or during a study visit by German judges on questions of the Russian practice of e-justice.

Major partners

  • Supreme Court
  • Supreme Commercial Court
  • Research Centre of Private Law under the Russian President
  • Administration of the President of the Russian Federation
  • Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation
  • Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice
  • Federal Bar
  • Federal Chamber of Notaries
  • Federal Prison Service
  • Federal Bailiffs Service

Foci of activity in 2013

Civil and commercial law

  • Specialist discussions on the topic of property law as well as on selected questions of the law on obligations and company law for representatives of the Supreme Commercial Court and of the Research Centre of Private Law
  • Seminar on the topic of "Copyright and neighbouring rights – civil law liability for violation of exclusive rights on the Internet" in Moscow
  • German-Russian conference "Practice of business mediation" in Moscow • Seminar on insolvency law in Moscow for representatives of the commercial courts
  • Conference "Cooperation between notaries and bailiffs" in Moscow
  • Role-play on the law on the topic of "The law on prenuptial contracts in Russia and Germany" in the context of the German Week in St. Petersburg

Administration of justice

  • Participation at the international conference in Yekaterinburg on the topic of "Procedural forms and methods of dispute resolution"
  • International academic and practical conference entitled "Topical problems of enforcement against the debtor's assets: National approaches towards increasing the efficiency of enforcement" of the Federal Bailiffs Service of the RF in Yekaterinburg
  • Working meeting on simplified procedures at the Supreme Commercial Court in Moscow
  • Study visit on the topic of "E-justice and the use of audiovisual media in Russian court procedure" in Moscow
  • Roundtable on the topic of "Professional ethics for lawyers" in Berlin
  • International Lawyer's Forum "Lawyers as judges – a matter for the legal profession" in Berlin
  • Congress of notaries in St. Petersburg on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian system of freelance notaries
  • International conference of the Russian Federal Bar "The status of lawyers and the Bar" in St. Petersburg
  • Roundtable within the legal forum on the topic of "Cooperation between courts against the background of competition between jurisdictions: current challenges"
  • Joint conference between the Russian Federal Bar and the German Federal Bar in Moscow on questions of the "Safeguarding and quality of legal services"
  • Conference on the topic of "The law on notaries as a tool and guarantor for legal certainty" in Moscow
  • Study visit for representatives of the Supreme Commercial Court on the topic of "Self-administration of the courts and the senior judicial officer system" in Dresden

Public law

  • Participation by representatives from the Russian Federation at the international conference of the Judges' Associations in Astana on the topic of administrative justice
  • Specialist conference on the topic of "The role of local authority selfadministration in regional development" in St. Petersburg
  • Conference on the topic of "Modern local authority self-administration Boosting or impairing economic regional development?" in Perm

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Working visit by a delegation from Bruchsal Prison on various topics related to the structure of the prison system as well as of a school and training systems to Lipetsk
  • International conference in Voronesh at the Institute of the Federal Prison Service on the topic of "Technology and security of the objects of the prison system"
  • Seminar and colloquium in Voronesh with students as well as lecturers of the Institute of the Federal Prison Service on selected topics related to the prison system

Basic and further training

  • Participation by representatives from the Russian Federation at the multilateral internship programme for legal experts, for the first time also from the administrative court

Outlook

The IRZ will continue its cooperation with the Russian partners and step it up in individual areas in 2014. This is likely to relate above all to the area of intellectual property. There are also plans to support the Russian Federation in the development of administrative courts. Furthermore, the IRZ will continue consultation on the modernisation of the Civil Code. Another information event will take place in the summer of 2014 on Russian law for German judges at the German Judicial Academy in Wustrau.