Advice Centre for Conflict Guidance and Prevention
The external Advice Centre for Conflict Guidance and Prevention was set up following a resolution by the Executive Board of the Leibniz Association. It supplements existing local and central advice structures in instances where a suspected case of misconduct does not primarily concern good scientific practice but relates to other principles governing behaviour – for instance if it falls within the area of good conduct, or protection against discrimination and bullying. Employees of the Leibniz Association institutions can access the Advice Centre free of charge. It is run via the ZENK law firm, which has offices in Hamburg and Berlin. The contact person is
Available: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm
How the Advice Centre works
The Advice Centre is a point of contact providing initial advice over the phone and by email, in German or English, on conflict prevention, guidance and resolution channels. It acts as an independent body, outside of the institution involved, to enable fast, efficient progress on existing or looming conflicts and to avoid unfounded reputational damage to the individuals and institutions involved.
The Advice Centre asks the person requesting advice to outline the relevant circumstances. It works with them to clarify related issues in order to conduct an appropriate initial evaluation of the conflict in question, based on an adequate presentation of the facts. It evaluates conflicts from a legal – especially employment law – point of view. The legal assessment is intended to constitute a preliminary overview appraisal, based on the facts as presented by the person seeking advice. The Advice Centre also directs individuals to the relevant contact persons and procedures within the Leibniz Association (ombuds system, equality officers, staff and works councils) and, where appropriate, the relevant public offices and authorities. The aim is to give the person seeking advice an initial response and guidance so that they are in a better position to assess the conflict and possible courses of action.
The Advice Centre will not represent the person seeking advice in any employment law conflict situation. Even during the initial consultation, the Advice Centre does not see itself as a lawyer acting for the person seeking advice, but rather as a source of neutral advice.
The person seeking advice can make use of the service offered by the Advice Centre while maintaining full anonymity and retaining full control over the information they share. Transparent information is provided at the start of every consultation about relevant data protection issues and about the anonymised recording of incoming requests. Moreover, provided the person seeking advice explicitly agrees, Leibniz Headquarters can also be informed of the conflict situation.