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From 5 to 8 November 2019, the IRZ organised a study visit to Munich on “Expert witnesses in Germany” as part of a project supported by the German Foreign Office. As well as four patent attorneys from Moscow and St. Petersburg, two representatives from the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent), which is the equivalent of the German Patent and Trademark Office, and a scientific officer from the expert witness centre at the Russian Ministry of Justice also took part in the study trip.
This visit gave participants the opportunity to visit the Regional Court of Munich I and to discuss the following topics with judge Anna-Lena Klein:
Overview of the basic and specific principles of the Munich procedure in patent lawsuits, at which expert witnesses are only heard in particularly complex and rare patent lawsuits
calling upon expert witnesses in individual cases
advantages and disadvantages of expert assessments
The Russian delegation was also welcomed by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Munich and the German Federal Patent Court, where they were introduced to IHK certification for expert witnesses. Another subject discussed during the visit was the specific nature of so-called technical judges at the German Federal Patent Court. These are all judges with training in a technical and/or scientific field.
The IRZ also organised expert discussions with Manuel Soria Parra and Andrea Kabisch from the “Meissner Bolte mbB” firm of patent attorneys. This meeting covered the following points:
uniform examination of patent attorneys according to the German Patent Attorney Code (PAO)
the procedure for authorising and appointing patent attorneys
work in court cases with expert witnesses
patent attorneys as expert witnesses
The study visit provided an opportunity for intense expert discussions between the Russian delegation and their German colleagues, which will be continued next year if possible.
On 21 June 2019, the IRZ organised a Russo-German workshop on "Judicial Protection of Social Rights in Russia and Germany" in St. Petersburg together with the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy and the State University of St. Petersburg.
The German speakers at the workshop were:
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Becker, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy,
Andreja Bogataj, doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy,
Dr. Olga Chesalina, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, and
Professor Dr. Richard Giesen, holder of the Chair for Social Law, Labour Law and Civil Law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
The main Russian participants included jurisprudence scholars from the Chairs of Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Labour Law and Occupational Safety and Health at State University of St. Petersburg.
Three focal points in the workshop addressed the following topics:
Constitutional protection of social rights in Russia and Germany;
Design of non-constitutional judicial protection of social rights in Russia and Germany. An exchange on German experience with specialised social jurisdiction;
The importance of "law of judges" in social law.
Above all, presentations given by the German speakers on experience with specialised jurisdiction over social matters were of particular interest to the Russian participants. In Russia, the regular courts have jurisdiction over disputes relating to social security rights (e.g. pension claims). There are no separate courts having jurisdiction over this area. In addition, the question of whether disputes in the field of social law should be dealt with in court according to civil procedural or administrative procedural law is a controversial issue in Russia at present. The German participants were very interested to learn that civil procedural rules may also be applied in Russia.
The event was successful in its aim of fostering a dialogue between German and Russian scholars in the field of social law. The lively discussions that took place illustrated the differences that exist in the field of social law between the two countries and underscored that the participants are interested in an expert exchange which both countries can benefit from. In addition, the event provided foundations for further discussions above and beyond this workshop.
From 3 to 7 June 2019, the IRZ, together with the Philipps-Universität of Marburg and the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation, organised a study visit on medical law to Marburg and Bonn. Taking part in the visit were Russian doctors, leading academics in the field of medical law and representatives of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The delegation also included the First Deputy Minister of Health for the Republic of Udmurtia.
German representatives at the event included people from the universities of Marburg and Mainz and from the university hospitals of Frankfurt am Main, Marburg and Gießen and representatives from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and from the North German arbitration body for medical liability issues.
The study visit began in Marburg, offering a platform for the Russian and German participants to discuss their latest theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of medical law. The contributions from the Russian and German speakers revealed a very high level of expertise. On the German side, the focus of the lectures was on the following areas:
The criminal and professional consequences of medical negligence,
offences involving bodily harm and homicide in medical law,
how medical negligence is handled in a hospital legal department and
the practice of the compensation process.
The Russian experts focussed on criminal investigations for doctors and the perspectives for the development of medical liability in the Russian Federation. After the lectures, the participants discussed four practical case examples from Germany and Russia. The expert discussions revealed new perspectives on all sides and enhanced the participants’ professional knowledge of medical law.
On the last day of the study visit, the Russian delegation travelled to Bonn for expert talks at the Federal Ministry of Health, followed by a visit to the IRZ for a lecture on the subject of palliative care in Germany. Here, subjects including patients’ instructions and the financing of hospices were discussed. The study visit was a great success, enabling a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue between doctors and law professionals, as well as an exchange of experiences between the two countries.