Prof. Dr. Rolf Knieper in conversation

The famous Professor Dr Rolf Knieper – until 2006 university lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bremen – in conversation with Thomas Hoeren.
The internationally renowned professor of civil and commercial law is highly respected, especially in numerous countries of the former Soviet Union especially Georgia. Here he has rendered great services to the development of civil and commercial legislation.
In 2002, he was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Moldovan State University. In 2004, Knieper was awarded the title of honorary professor at the Kazakh University of Humanities and Law in Almaty. Another two years later, the Bremen lawyer was honoured with the Symbol Medal by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This honour was in recognition of his support for legal and judicial reform in Azerbaijan.

Alumni Meeting 2023

The annual ITM alumni reunion took place once again on 4 November. I was delighted to welcome an overwhelming number of almost 60 participants from 25 years of the institute’s history. The main focus of the presentations was on the upcoming restructuring and digitisation strategy of the institute. In addition, a veteran guest researcher from the Latvian Supreme Court, Mr Rihards Gulbis, came to Münster and reported on his activities as a consultant for the government and courts. Later, Jan Spittka, a lawyer, reported on his exciting work in cyber security cases. Then it was time to visit the Münster Paint Museum, followed by coffee and cake. I was definitely delighted to be able to meet so many important people from my past again. Anyone who feels connected to the ITM as a former doctoral student or employee is cordially invited to become a member of the alumni association for a small fee. I look forward to the next meeting on 2 November 2024.

Successful international day at ITM

On 31 October, the ITM International Day took place with three exciting lectures by international guest researchers from Georgia and China.

Sergi Jorbenadze from Georgia kicked off the day with an exciting talk on blockchain and digitalisation in Georgia. Mr Jorbenadze is an associate professor at Ivane Javakhishvili University (TSU) in Tbilisi and used the example of the Georgian land register to explain that distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain are no longer a glass bead game, but have recently started to provide practical benefits and are being used to digitise public registers. Sergi Jorbenadze is also a partner in an international commercial law firm and was therefore able to convey to the audience in a practical way how smart contracts are used in contract drafting and what legal problems are involved.

The second lecture by Prof. Lika Sajaia dealt with the challenges for freedom of expression and anti-SLAPP regulations in Georgia. SLAPP is an acronym (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) for an abusive form of lawsuit against critics, especially journalists, who publicly criticise a certain corporate practice, the behaviour of public authorities or individuals. SLAPP is used to intimidate critics and is usually used by the criticised institutions to suppress the criticism expressed. Lika Sajaia is a professor at New Vision University.

Prof. Zhou Lin, former deputy director of the Centre for Intellectual Property of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, rounded off the lecture series with a fundamental lecture on the relationship between technology, copyright and information law. By analysing various copyright cases in China, Zhou Lin showed what significance artificial intelligence already has and will have in the future. Zhou Lin concluded his presentation with the thesis that the current copyright and information law offers adequate solutions for the challenges associated with AI and does not need to be changed de lege ferenda.

The lectures were followed by intensive discussions with the participants before the International Day ended in the evening with a cosy get-together with Lebanese food.

The lectures were recorded and can be viewed on Thomas Hoeren’s Youtube channel. The ITM would like to thank the guest researchers for their interesting lectures, the fruitful discussions and an all-round successful event.