Modernisation partnership with the Russian Federation
The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection has maintained wide-ranging contacts with the Russian justice authorities for many years.
The bilateral relationship with the Russian Justice Ministry is anchored in the “Joint Declaration on Cooperation” which was signed by the two Justice Ministers on 23 April 2001. The declaration is put into action by the development and implementation of programmes at the working level according to priority. In addition to the cooperation with the Russian Justice Ministry, a joint declaration was also signed with the Russian Federation's Public Prosecutor General in June 2007. The bilateral legal cooperation between the Ministry and the Russian authorities is largely implemented by the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ).
Legal cooperation as a key priority of the modernisation partnership
In spring 2008, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Russian Federation signed a modernisation partnership to deepen their existing cooperation in key areas such as health policy and demographics, energy efficiency, transport infrastructure, training and education, and the rule of law. The aim of this partnership is to strengthen democratic, market-oriented institutions with the support of civil society. At the Federal Foreign Office's request, “legal cooperation” was made a new priority of the German-Russian modernisation partnership in 2011. As the competent department, the Ministry plays a major role in this area. The political rationale for prioritising “legal cooperation” is set out in the “Joint Declaration on Legal Cooperation within the Framework of the Modernisation Partnership” which was agreed upon during the 2011 government consultations and signed on the German side by the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry. In this declaration, both sides express a desire to intensify their collaborative efforts within the scope of their existing justice-related projects, and to significantly broaden the measures carried out in the context of their bilateral cooperation.
International Legal Forum
The International Legal Forum is a major event focusing on legal issues that is held each year in St. Petersburg. Mainly organised by the Justice Ministry of the Russian Federation, it attracts high-level participants from many countries. Leading representatives from Germany also regularly attend the event.
Russia Round Table
The “Russia Round Table” event – which is jointly organised by the Ministry and the Federal Foreign Office – serves to facilitate the internal coordination of Germany's legal cooperation with Russia, and provides an opportunity to exchange views on the current state of legal cooperation in light of the latest political and legal developments in the Russian Federation. The event is regularly attended by representatives of the agencies and organisations involved in the modernisation partnership with Russia. These include participants representing the relevant ministries, civil society, industry, academia, and organisations of legal professionals (representatives from the Russian Federation are not involved). The last “Russia Round Table” was held at the Ministry in September 2012.