- Published: May 18, 2016
Legal policy starting point
The rule-of-law development of Ukraine focused on constitutional reform in 2015. The Constitutional Commission which was established by the President for this purpose is broken down into working parties on human rights, decentralisation and justice.
Public interest also continues to centre on the efforts in the fight against corruption. After a comprehensive package of laws had already been adopted in the autumn of 2014 on the fight against corruption, civil society is now observing the establishment of the institutions in question, in particular of the National Anti-Corruption Office of Ukraine, as well as of the Specialist Anti-Corruption Public Prosecution Office.
The reform efforts remain overshadowed by the unresolved conflict in the East of the country, albeit the military conflicts have now become less intense. Ukraine also held local elections in the autumn, with the exception of the Eastern regions. Cooperation with the IRZ has re-intensified once more in light of the extensive reforms which have been launched.
This year too, the IRZ's consultation focussed on the project entitled "Promoting the rule of law in Ukraine", funded from the budget of the Federal Foreign Office, with its five pillars of constitutional law, the judiciary, criminal law, public law and administrative courts, as well as combating corruption.
Cooperation was primarily stepped up in constitutional reform, and has focussed within this area both on decentralisation and on judicial reform. Since an IRZ expert was included in the group of advisors on the decentralisation working group, the IRZ was able to provide considerable support here.
A major step is likely to be the introduction of the constitutional complaint, provided for in the constitutional draft, on which the IRZ immediately started consultation. The continuing support for the Ukrainian administrative courts, which celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2015, was continued amongst other things by means of regional seminars in Ukraine and by the annual colloquium held at Koblenz Higher Administrative Court.
This year, the IRZ was able to further step up and successfully continue its cooperation with its main partners such as the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, etc.
The IRZ continued to promote young lawyers in 2015 with the conclusion of the fifth and the start of the sixth year of studies of the German-language supplementary introductory studies in German law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov. The IRZ was able to engage the Chairwoman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Bundestag, Renate Künast, MP, to give the keynote speech on the occasion of the opening of the sixth year of studies. High-ranking discussions were also held in Kiev, amongst others by Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and Dr. Stefanie Hubig, State Secretary at that Ministry.
Foci of activity in 2015
Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability
- Various advisory opinions on constitutional reform
- Expert consultations at the sessions of the Constitutional Commission
- First specialist constitutional discussions in Bonn with three constitutional court judges
- Second specialist constitutional discussions with three constitutional court judges and the head of the administration of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in Bonn on the topics of the constitutional complaint and the protection of social rights
- Specialist discussions in Kiev by the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange, and the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Bundestag, Renate Künast
Civil and commercial law
- Attendance at the VIII Lemberg Forum entitled "Alternative dispute resolution"
- Attendance at the "First Southern Ukrainian Forum on Mediation and the Law" in Odessa
Administration of justice
- Specialist discussions in Kiev by the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Dr. Stefanie Hubig, in the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice et al.
- Working visit to Karlsruhe and Leipzig by a delegation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the Federal Court of Justice, to the Federal Public Prosecutor General, as well as to the Federal Administrative Court
- Attendance by representatives of Ukraine at the conference of the Judges' Associations in Chișinău
- International conference at Lvov Appeal Court with judges of Cologne Higher Regional Court, of Arnhem Appeal Court and of Cracow Appeal Court
- Specialist discussions on the start of cooperation at Kiev Appeal Court
- Specialist discussions on mediation in cases of international child abduction in Kiev
- 11th German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedure law at Koblenz Higher Administrative Court and Administrative Court
- Seminar on administrative procedure law at Poltava Administrative Court
- Seminar in Kramatorsk on administrative procedure law
- Specialist discussions in Kiev on the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine
- Specialist discussions in Lvov by Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, MP, on decentralisation and on the law on local authorities
- Report on the new Ukrainian Act on Public Prosecutors
- Report on the new Ukrainian anti-corruption legislation
- Specialist discussions in Kiev with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of asset recovery
- Working visit to Wiesbaden, Mainz and Trier on the topic of "Further training for public prosecutors" in Germany
- Attendance by a representative of the criminal law committee of the Federal Bar at the Lawyers' Forum on the topic of criminal defence in Kiev
- Continuation of the work on a guide for public prosecutors
- Drafting of a manual on the fight against corruption
- EU project to Support Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine (EU grant) (further information p.)
Basic and further training
- Supplementary introductory studies in German law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov
- Research stay in Munich by the best graduate of the supplementary studies on the introduction to German law at the National Ivan Franko University Lvov
- Summer course for the best graduate of the supplementary studies on the introduction to German law at the Foreign Language School of the National Ivan Franko University
- Fifth IRZ "German law" summer school in Brühl and Bonn
- Attendance by a representative of the Office of the Public Prosecutor General at the "German for legal experts" language course in Bonn
The reforms of the Constitution and in the fight against corruption will also determine cooperation in 2016.
It is to be hoped that the work on the draft Administrative Procedure Act, which came to a standstill in 2015, will be taken up once again. Codified administrative procedure law would be highly beneficial not only as a substantive law foundation for the case-law of the administrative courts, but also as an important step in the fight against corruption.
Cooperation between Ukrainian and German judges will be stepped up, both at the level of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and at the level of several appeal courts, as well as in cooperation with the Ukrainian Judges' Association.
The German-language supplementary studies on the introduction to German law, which is in considerable demand, are to be continued.
The IRZ will continue to support Ukraine on its path towards rule-of-law reforms in 2016 through intensive and trust-based cooperation in many relevant legal fields.