Study trip of a Russian delegation to constitutional courts in Germany

  • Visit at the Federal Ministry of Justice: Alexandra Albrecht, Head of INT-KOR at the Federal Ministry of Justice (second from left); Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Director (right); Svetlana Beniaminova, President of the Constitutional Court of the Repulic of Karelia (third from left)

    Visit at the Federal Ministry of Justice: Alexandra Albrecht, Head of INT-KOR at the Federal Ministry of Justice (second from left); Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Director (right); Svetlana Beniaminova, President of the Constitutional Court of the Repulic of Karelia (third from left)

  • Claudia Eller-Funke, speaker from INT-KOR at the Federal Ministry of Justice (left); Public Prosecutor Johannes Gerds, Division for Civil Procedure and Labour Court Procedure at the Federal Ministry of Justice (right)

    Claudia Eller-Funke, speaker from INT-KOR at the Federal Ministry of Justice (left); Public Prosecutor Johannes Gerds, Division for Civil Procedure and Labour Court Procedure at the Federal Ministry of Justice (right)

  • Expert exchange at the Federal Ministry of Justice

    Expert exchange at the Federal Ministry of Justice

  • Svetlana Beniaminova, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Vadim Vonogradov, Head of the Chair for Constitutional Law and International Law at the  Russian Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation

    Svetlana Beniaminova, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia; Vadim Vonogradov, Head of the Chair for Constitutional Law and International Law at the Russian Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation

  • Guided tour of the Federal Ministry of Justice – history of the building

    Guided tour of the Federal Ministry of Justice – history of the building

  • Visit to the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg: Rita Linderoth (IRZ), Oxana Shabarshova, Thomas Jacob, Rena Schuncke, Svetlana Beniaminova, Andreas Jörg Dielitz, Danil Rybin, Vadim Vinogradov (from left to right)

    Visit to the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg: Rita Linderoth (IRZ), Oxana Shabarshova, Thomas Jacob, Rena Schuncke, Svetlana Beniaminova, Andreas Jörg Dielitz, Danil Rybin, Vadim Vinogradov (from left to right)

  • Guided tour of the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg - Library

    Guided tour of the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg - Library

  • View of the conference room during the expert talks at the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg

    View of the conference room during the expert talks at the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg

In cooperation with the Russian Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation the IRZ organised a study visit on the topic “Statutory regulation of the working procedures of the Constitutional Courts of the Federal States of the Federal Republic of Germany” from 3rd to 6th October 2016 at the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Berlin and of the Federal State of Brandenburg. The delegation consisted of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Karelia, Svetlana Beniaminova, and three representatives of the Russian Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation: Oxana Shabarshova, Head of Unit International Relations, Vadim Vinogradov, Head of the Chair for Constitutional Law and International Law as well as Danil Rybin, Director of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Law Academy at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

At first the Russian guests visited the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection for expert talks. They were received by Ministerialrätin Alexandra Albrecht, Head of the International Legal Cooperation Division at the Federal Ministry of Justice, and Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Director. Then Claudia Eller-Funke, a speaker from the International Legal Cooperation Division at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented the history, organisational structure and remit of the Ministry. Following her presentation, Public Prosecutor Johannes Gerds from the division for civil procedure and labour court procedure, gave an overview of the structure of the jurisdiction and the stages of appeal in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Afterwards the delegation was received at the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Berlin by its Vice President, Dr. Robert Seegmüller, and two judges, Dr. Ulrich Last and Dr. Christian Quabeck. The programme of the expert exchange comprised procedural issues in the constitutional courts, the position and the tasks of the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Berlin, issues regarding the scope of reviews carried out by the constitutional courts as well as the interaction between the Constitutional Courts of the Federal States and the Federal Constitutional Court.

These topics were discussed further during the visit to the Constitutional Court of the Federal State of Brandenburg. Its Managing Director Rena Schuncke, the Presiding Judge at the Regional Court and constitutional judge Andreas Jörg Dielitz and his colleague Thomas Jacob were pleased about the great interest shown by the Russian guests and the lively exchange of experiences. During the intense discussions the similarities and differences in the working procedures of the constitutional courts of both countries were identified in detail. 

Both parties regarded the expert talks as very enriching and would like to continue them in Russia next year. Both the Russian and the German side emphasized the importance of such an expert exchange between colleagues.

Bilateral conferences in Moscow and Kaluga on the role of the internet in official business

  • Jens Schiminowski (left), Regional Court judge in Cologne; Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court in Cologne, at the conference in Moscow

    Jens Schiminowski (left), Regional Court judge in Cologne; Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court in Cologne, at the conference in Moscow

  • Speakers at the conference in Moscow

    Speakers at the conference in Moscow

  • Opening of the conference in Kaluga: Nikolaj Liubimow, Chairman of the regional parliament in Kaluga; lecturer Dr. Andrey Sawinow, Director of the Kaluga section of the Law Academy; Alexander Awdejew, Deputy Governor of the Kaluga region, member of the regional parliament of Kaluga (from left to right)

    Opening of the conference in Kaluga: Nikolaj Liubimow, Chairman of the regional parliament in Kaluga; lecturer Dr. Andrey Sawinow, Director of the Kaluga section of the Law Academy; Alexander Awdejew, Deputy Governor of the Kaluga region, member of the regional parliament of Kaluga (from left to right)

  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Andrey Morozov, Head of the Department of Information Law, IT and Mathematics at the Russian Law Academy

    Lecture by Prof. Dr. Andrey Morozov, Head of the Department of Information Law, IT and Mathematics at the Russian Law Academy

  • Lecture by Jens Schiminowski, Regional Court judge in Cologne, on the legal framework for Information Technology in Germany

    Lecture by Jens Schiminowski, Regional Court judge in Cologne, on the legal framework for Information Technology in Germany

  • Participants in the conference in Kaluga

    Participants in the conference in Kaluga

  • Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court in Cologne, presents the digitalization of legal proceedings in Germany and the electronic register

    Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court in Cologne, presents the digitalization of legal proceedings in Germany and the electronic register

  • Dr. Andrey Sawinow, Director of the Kaluga section of the Law Academy; Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne; Prof. Dr. Tatiana Poljakova, rightful lawyer for the Russian Federation, Head of the Information Law Department at the Institute of the State and Law at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor at the Russian Law Academy; Jens Schiminowski, Regional Court judge in Cologne; Prof. Dr. Andrey Morozov, Head of the Department of Information Law, IT and Mathematics at the  Russian Law Academy (from left to right)

    Dr. Andrey Sawinow, Director of the Kaluga section of the Law Academy; Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne; Prof. Dr. Tatiana Poljakova, rightful lawyer for the Russian Federation, Head of the Information Law Department at the Institute of the State and Law at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor at the Russian Law Academy; Jens Schiminowski, Regional Court judge in Cologne; Prof. Dr. Andrey Morozov, Head of the Department of Information Law, IT and Mathematics at the Russian Law Academy (from left to right)

  • Participants in the conference in Kaluga

    Participants in the conference in Kaluga

In partnership with the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation, the IRZ held a conference on “The Internet in official business: legal organization and security” in Moscow on 30 June 2016. The event was repeated with the same lectures on 1 July in Kaluga.

Russian scientists reported on the legal organization of the use of internet technologies in state administration. In this context, the need to develop an independent code of information was one of the subjects that was addressed. During the event, the Russian speakers also examined the legal nature of the “Electronic state” and “E-government” and proposed legal approaches to these institutions. The Russian colleagues also reported on the legal safeguarding of the international security of information. It was noted that, due to the fact that the internet transcends national borders and in view of the application of international law to the territory of the Russian Federation, intense international legal cooperation is extremely important.

The German speakers described the legal framework for information technology in Germany. The participants in the conference were informed about the IT Security Act, which came into force in Germany in 2015. The legal right to information and its restrictions were also discussed. The German experts also reported specifically on the digitalization of legal proceedings in Germany. In this respect, there was a presentation of the pilot project carried out by the higher regional court of Cologne for processing records purely electronically. The experiences of the German colleagues in this area were very valuable for the Russian participants, especially in view of the fact that the transition to the electronic filing of documents is due to take place over the coming year in Russia.

Conference on the role played by local government authorities in developing the local economy

  • Lecture by Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor of  Schweinfurt

    Lecture by Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor of Schweinfurt

  • Reinhold Karl, Managing Director of GRIBS; Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor

    Reinhold Karl, Managing Director of GRIBS; Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor

  • Viktor Sidnev, former Mayor of the town of Troitsk, introduces the concept of accelerating the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises by increasing the motivation of communities to increase budget revenue under the conditions of the economic crisis

    Viktor Sidnev, former Mayor of the town of Troitsk, introduces the concept of accelerating the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises by increasing the motivation of communities to increase budget revenue under the conditions of the economic crisis

  • Pavel Tulin, Co-Chairman of the organisation committee for the Russian civil forum and entrepreneur; Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor; Reinhold Karl, Managing Director of GRIBS (from left to right)

    Pavel Tulin, Co-Chairman of the organisation committee for the Russian civil forum and entrepreneur; Gudrun Grieser, former Mayor; Reinhold Karl, Managing Director of GRIBS (from left to right)

On 25 May 2016, a conference was held in Moscow on “Developing the local economy: the role of local government authorities”. The conference was organised by the IRZ together with the Russian Committee for Civil Initiatives (KGI). This event was part of a project financed by the German Foreign Office on “Supporting legal collaboration in the Russian Federation”.

Leading Russian academics from the fields of community and tax law, experienced financial experts and local government agency representatives took part in the conference. From the German side, the former Mayor of Schweinfurt, Gudrun Grieser, and the Managing Director of GRIBS (a company offering advice and consultancy for innovations and start-ups based in Schweinfurt, Germany), Reinhold Karl, took part in the event.

The Russian speakers reported on the legal and administrative options for local communities to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The individual mechanisms for providing legal support and the potential for providing informal support and advice were discussed. Questions were raised about the lack of efficiency in implementing legal measures for supporting SMEs. The Russian experts provided an in-depth insight into the fiscal and banking regulations for supporting SMEs. In this respect, the advantages and disadvantages of the Russian system of collecting taxes in the workplace rather than at the home of the tax-payer were discussed, amongst other things. Small communities situated close to larger and economically stronger towns (satellite communities) are at a particular disadvantage thanks to the current tax collection system, which means that there is no or insufficient motivation to support economic development at community level.

The German speakers presented both the legal foundations and their practical experience of community support for the local economy. They explained, amongst other things, the relevant provisions of the German Commercial and Civil Codes (HGB and BGB), the law on limited liability companies (GmbHG) and trade regulations (GewO). They also reported on community support for the economy through the optimisation of location factors, such as the designation of adequate commercial premises, the efficient exploitation of industrial estates, attractive local taxes and the development and support of business incubators sponsored by the community. Further potential for community support for the economy through the upkeep of location factors, such as the community allocation policy, town planning that takes start-ups into account and building permit processes, was also discussed. The German representatives also provided a comprehensive overview of the existing programme in Germany for supporting SMEs. Following the lectures, there were some lively discussions about the similarities and differences between the various measures and mechanisms for supporting SMEs in Russia and Germany.