Delegation representing the National School of Judges of Ukraine on a working visit to Trier, Cologne and Düsseldorf

The Ukrainian delegation in Trier with Stefan Tratz (in the centre of the photo), Director of the German Judicial Academy, and Wolfram Hertig from the IRZ (on the right)The Ukrainian delegation in Trier with Stefan Tratz (in the centre of the photo), Director of the German Judicial Academy, and Wolfram Hertig from the IRZ (on the right)

From 14 to 18 March, a delegation representing the National School of Judges of Ukraine visited various judicial training centres in Trier, Cologne and Düsseldorf. The delegation was led by the Rector of the School of Judges, Mykola Onishchuk, who was Minister of Justice for Ukraine from 2007 to 2009. Other participants in this working visit included Zenovii Kholodniuk, Director of the Ukrainian State Judicial Administration, and Valentyna Ustymenko, a member of the High Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The expert discussions were opened by the Director of the German Judicial Academy, Stefan Tratz, who welcomed the guests to Trier and presented the German model of judicial training. The delegation then went on to learn about the basics of German legal training at the University of Cologne. The welcome speech for the talks in the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany was delivered by Secretary of State, Karl-Heinz Krems, and Ulrich Becker, President of the regional Law Examinations Board. The focus of the talks at the Ministry of Justice was on the issue of selecting, recruiting and promoting judges and also on procedures for state law examinations.

The Ukrainian guests with delegation leader, Mykola Onishchuk (front centre) and the President of the regional Law Examinations Board, Ulrich Becker (front right), in front of the Ministry of Justice in Düsseldorf The Ukrainian guests with delegation leader, Mykola Onishchuk (front centre) and the President of the regional Law Examinations Board, Ulrich Becker (front right), in front of the Ministry of Justice in Düsseldorf

These subjects, as well as a particular focus on legal traineeships (the German "Referendariat"), were also on the programme during the subsequent intensive full-day expert discussions at the Higher Regional Court of Cologne. There, the representatives of the Ukrainian justice system were welcomed by the President of the Court, Peter Kamp, and Vice-President Christian Schmitz-Justen.

In view of the intense constitutional reforms that are currently underway in Ukraine, legal training and case law - including in connection with the issues of selecting and promoting judges - are a high priority. The working visit to Germany provided plenty of inspiration in this respect.

IRZ hold Expert Discussions on Municipal Law in Lviv

  • Wolfram Hertig, IRZ; Ulyana Tybinka, Head of the International Department at the Lviv City Council; Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, MdB [member of the German Bundestag]; Anatolij Zabarylo, Chairman of the Lviv City Council; Oleg Sorochkin, representative of the Lviv City Council (left to right)

    Wolfram Hertig, IRZ; Ulyana Tybinka, Head of the International Department at the Lviv City Council; Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, MdB [member of the German Bundestag]; Anatolij Zabarylo, Chairman of the Lviv City Council; Oleg Sorochkin, representative of the Lviv City Council (left to right)

  • Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt during his lecture to students from the IRZ supplementary course on German law

    Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt during his lecture to students from the IRZ supplementary course on German law

  • Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, Natalia Kvit from the National Ivan Franko University and Ruslan Sydorovych, representative of the Verchovna Rada (left to right)

    Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, Natalia Kvit from the National Ivan Franko University and Ruslan Sydorovych, representative of the Verchovna Rada (left to right)

Expert discussions on municipal law were held in Lviv from 7 to 9 December, led by IRZ expert Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, member of the German Bundestag (MdB) and member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection of the German Bundestag. The event, which was organised by the IRZ, handled issues concerning municipal law and changes to the constitution regarding plans for decentralisation.

Following an opening lecture by Dr. Hoppenstedt on "The federal structure of the German Constitutional law: strengths and weaknesses", the first day of the event at the National Ivan Franko University continued with talks with the Dean of the law faculty and the Vice-President of the university, as well as with participants from the IRZ supplementary course on German law.

The second day was devoted to expert discussions with local parliamentarians. Dr. Hoppenstedt was a guest at a round table with community representatives from the city of Lviv and from various communities in the region. In connection with the current draft changes to the Ukrainian constitution involving decentralisation, the current organisation of municipal services and the issue of administrative services as a whole were discussed.

To look further into this issue, IRZ expert Dr. Hoppenstedt went on to meet the Chairman of the Lviv City Council, Anatolij Zabarylo, and the Deputy Chairman of the Regional Council of Lviv, Volodymyr Hirnjak, both of whom took up their posts after the recent municipal elections.

Colloquium for Ukrainian Administrative Court Judges in Koblenz

The Ukrainian delegation with their German hosts in KoblenzThe Ukrainian delegation with their German hosts in Koblenz

The 11th Colloquium on administrative procedure law for Ukrainian administrative court judges began in Koblenz on 7 December. The Ukrainian delegation was welcomed by the President of the Constitutional Court and of the Higher Administrative Court of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Lars Brocker (back row, centre), and by the Director of the IRZ, Veronika Keller-Engels (front row, 2nd from left).

Attending this year's colloquium are a judge from the Supreme Administrative Court, the President of the Administrative Court of Ternopil and the President of the Administrative Courts of Tscherniwtsi and Tscherkassy. The main topics being discussed, besides process maxims and the issue of delimiting responsibilities, include judicial independence, allocation of responsibilities, Article 6 of the ECHR, the right of assembly as well as press and publicity work.

Since Ukraine may well introduce constitutional complaints as part of the changes to its constitution, experiences gained in Germany in this respect will also be discussed during the colloquium. The Ukrainian guests will therefore be able to gain a direct insight into the daily judicial work of their German colleagues.

In addition to these expert talks, to mark the occasion of Human Rights Day, there will be another meeting in Mainz with the Minster of Justice for Rhineland-Palatinate, Prof. Gerhard Robbers, and the President of the Landtag, Joachim Mertes.