Dr. Birgit Laubach is partner and managing director of ElBarlament and a practising lawyer. Born in Wiesbaden (Hessen), she studied law, psychology and philosophy at the universities of Mainz, Geneva and Heidelberg. In 1972 and 1975 she took her law exams at Heidelberg University. Since 1972, she has been a lecturer at Frankfurt polytechnic, since 1976, a lawyer. In 1984, she became a consultant on women's issues for the first Green Party parliamentary group in the German Bundestag and co-authored the anti-discrimination law. In 1986 she returned to the state of Hessen where she set up the Women and Equality Unit for the state government of Hessen. She was also in charge of Hessen's first equal opportunities programme. Birgit Laubach served as an expert to constitutional reform commissions of the states of Thüringen and Lower Saxony and the commission reviewing the German constitution in view of the country’s unification in 1990. Since 1990, she headed the legal staff of the Green parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. In this function she authored numerous legislative initiatives, e.g. the Green party's draft proposal for an immigration law. In 1994 she also became deputy chief whip of the Green Party parliamentary group. Birgit Laubach is a co-founder of the Cologne Heinrich Böll Foundation. From 2002 to 2013 she was CEO of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin. She has frequently contributed to numerous legal as well as to other periodicals. Her dissertation is on the subject of European Civil Rights for Immigrants. She holds a PhD in law from the University of Bielefeld.

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16/05/2022

“Threat to life is often underestimated in a situation of violence”. Interview with Anastasia Maskaeva, Crisis Centre for Women

“INGI. Crisis Centre for Women,” an NGO that has been active in St. Petersburg for 30 years offering assistance to women affected by various types of gender-based violence. In her interview with Legal Dialogue, the Centre's psychologist Anastasia Maskaeva speaks about their clients' most common problems and concerns, the importance of providing “one-stop-shop” assistance, and why helping the victim is more essential than punishing the abuser.
18/03/2022

Anna Kryukova: “I educate healthcare providers about patients’ rights”

Anna Kryukova is a medical lawyer with the Open Medical Club Foundation in St. Petersburg and co-chair of the CSF Working Group on Public and Inclusive Health. In her interview to Vladimir Shvedov, Anna explains how she combines medical and legal practice to help defend the rights of both patients and healthcare workers.
27/01/2022

Elena Shakhova: “There have been attempts to humanise the foreign agents law, but they have led to nothing good”

Elena Shakhova is the Chair of Citizens' Watch, a human rights NGO in St. Petersburg, and a Board Member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. In a special interview for Legal Dialogue, Elena speaks to journalist Vladimir Shvedov about the situation with human rights in places of detention in Russia and how the pandemic has changed things and discusses a highly sensitive issue for Russian civil society today, the law on "foreign agents."
20/12/2021

Galina Arapova: “People have little to no understanding of what independent journalism is and how it should function in a normal society”

In a special interview for Legal Dialogue, journalist Vladimir Shvedov asks lawyer and head of the Mass Media Defence Centre Galina Arapova about her vision of the present and future of Russian journalism, IT giants' policies concerning freedom of speech, and whether the “foreign agents" law can be improved.
17/11/2021

“People here don’t understand that you can’t take a woman by force.” Why sex without consent is rape in Europe, but not in Russia

From an ethical, legal and social standpoint, sexual consent is a complex concept. It has no single definition, and taboos around talking about sex can make it difficult to discuss. Nevertheless, every year more and more countries are recognising sex without consent as rape.
29/09/2021

Ministers and Dissertations: Academic Fraud Scandals and Their Political Consequences in Russia and the EU

A 2013 ‘word of the year’ in Russia was Dissernet, the name of an emerging informal network that set out to investigate infractions of academic integrity in Russia – in particular, to expose plagiarism in the dissertations of high-ranking academics and politicians.
28/06/2021

Tatiana Glushkova: ‘The choice is yours: either to live under constant threat or to post nothing but cute kittens in social media’

In an exclusive interview for Legal Dialogue, lawyer Tatyana Glushkova and journalist Vladimir Shvedov discuss the multiple forms of 'foreign agent' labels in Russia today and their implications for those affected.
03/05/2021

Searching for balance: freedom of expression and the use of criminal measures to combat COVID-19 misinformation

During the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation has become an important problem that threatens the health and even lives of people. But where is the line to be drawn between the fight against the spread of disinformation and the attack on free speech?
31/03/2021

All in the Same Boat?

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, it seemed that we were all equally vulnerable to the coronavirus, which did not discriminate by gender, ethnicity, social status or income. Politicians said that we were all in the same boat. It soon became apparent, however, that this was not entirely true.
22/02/2021

One Year After Mietendeckel: How Berlin Rent Cap Works

A year ago, Berlin passed the Mietendeckel, "a rent cap law". How does it work today and what do city residents and landlords think about it?
11/01/2021

Brexit: implications for human rights in the UK

How are Brexit and human rights related? Simon Cosgrove, the Chair of the Trustees of "Rights in Russia", in his column reflects on how Britain's exit from the EU has impacted the present and future of human rights.
22/12/2020

Repaying Historical Dues: Here Is Your European Passport

Today, a number of European states allow the descendants of people who fled their home countries in the 30-40s of the 20th century, or even in the 15th century, to restore their lost European citizenship. How do these legal initiatives work in practice? Can they remedy the injustices of the past?