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From June 17th till 24th, 2018, a delegation of judges from the Supreme Court of India and Indian legal experts visited Berlin, Leipzig, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg for a study and dialogue program.

The program is the continuation of the first Indo-German Judicial Dialogue, which began in 2014 in India. Then, German judges of the Federal Finance Court, Federal Constitutional Court, Federal Social Court, Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Court of Justice had exchanged views with Indian judges and legal experts and the Indian Vice President and Minister of Justice on various legal issues. The dialogue focused on topics, like the role of the courts in the implementation of socio-economic rights, legal standards relating to bilateral economic and trade relations between India and Germany and national applicability of international law. As a follow up to the first dialogue, a six-member delegation from India visited Germany in June 2018.

The six-member delegation consisted of Hon’ble Justices Madan B. Lokur and Rohinton Nariman, J.S. Khehar (retd.), former Chief Justice of India, B.S. Chauhan, Chairman of the Indian Law Commission, Addl. Solicitor General A.N.S Nadkarni and former Director of the National Judicial Academy and renowned legal educationist Prof. N. R. Madhava Menon.

The visit began on 17th June with a reception hosted by the Indian Ambassador Mukta Dutta Tomar in Berlin at her official residence, where she emphasized the importance of an exchange on judicial topics between India and Germany. In the evening also Dirk Augustin, Head of the Division AP 04 “India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maledives, Nepal, Bhutan, Reg. Org.: SAARC, BIMSTEC” in the Federal Foreign Office, outlined the significance of a dialogue between the judiciary of both countries. On 18th June, the delegation met Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, Deputy Secretary General of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Christian Hirte, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Dr. Franziska Rinke, KAS Coordinator for its international Rule of Law Programs, Dr. Katja Gelinsky, KAS Coordinator for Law and Politics, and Evelyn Gaiser, Head of Section for India, Central Asia and Climate- and Energy-Related Topics, Team Asia Pacific, in the academy of KAS. They discussed a large variety of topics, especially the question which activities KAS should expand in the field of rule of law in India. Subsequently, the delegation was welcomed by Dr. Matthias Korte, Director of the Directorate R B “Administration of Justice”, in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. There they had an expert discussion with Larissa Thole, Desk Officer in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, about law governing the judiciary, remuneration of judges and training of judges in Germany. After a visit to the Bundestag, the delegation met the two former Heads of the Rule of Law Programme of Asia, Marc Spitzkatz, now Judge at the High Court of Berlin, and Clauspeter Hill. They shared their experiences about the rule of law programme in Asia and discussed the current legal developments in India. On 19th June, the delegation visited the German Judges Association in the House of Law. Kim Matthias Jost, Judge at the Regional Court (Landgericht) Potsdam and Member of the Presidium of the German Association of Judges, gave a presentation about members, organs, targets and functions of the German Association of Judges.

In Leipzig on 19th June, the delegation met the Presidents and Vice Presidents of all Federal Courts. With Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert, President of the Federal Administrative Court, Prof. Dr. h.c. Rudolf Mellinghoff, President of the Federal Fiscal Court, Prof. Dr. Rainer Schlegel, President of the Federal Social Court, Prof. Dr. Ingo Kraft, Presiding Judge at the Federal Administrative Court, Dr. Susanne Rublack, Judge of the Federal Administrative Courts and Deputy Judge at the Constitutional Court of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr. Rainer Störmer, Judge of the Federal Administrative Court, they discussed the topics of separation of power, independence of the Judiciary, the appointment of judges and the relationship to the administration. On 20th June, a tour was organized for the member of the delegation in the Federal Administrative Court, where they discussed electronic/digital legal procedures and court administration, admission of cases to the court and filters as well as the relationship between the constitutional courts of the states and administrative jurisdiction.

In Karlsruhe on 21st June, the members of the delegation met Prof. Dr. Michael Eichberger, Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court and participant of the first Indo-German Judges Dialogue, Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer, Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court, and Dr. Sibylle Kessal-Wulf, Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court, and discussed the role of the Constitutional Court as compared to the Indian Supreme Court. Subsequently, the delegation visited the Federal Court of Justice, where they were welcomed by Rüdiger Pamp, Judge at the Federal Court of Justice, where the delegation also participated as observers at a hearing of the 3rd Civil Panel of the Federal Court of Justice which was followed by a discussion with Dr. Ulrich Herrmann, Presiding Judge at the Federal Court of Justice, and Prof. Dr. Henning Radtke, Judge at the Federal Court of Justice, about current legal topics in Germany and India.

In Strasbourg on 22nd June, the delegation visited the European Court of Human Rights where they met Prof. Dr. Angelika Nußberger, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights and the Judge elected in respect of Germany, to discuss the role of the court and the relationship between European law and German law. It was the unanimous view of every member of the delegation that the visit was highly productive in learning the justice system in a civil law country sharing constitutional values similar to those of India.


ImagePeter Rimmele
Resident Representative India
Phone +91 11 26113520

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