We are glad to present you the fourteenth issue of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Digest.
In this issue we are glad to present you the highlights of the Forum 2014. Please find below the links to the Forum’s newspaper, Daily News, containing the key events of the SPBILF 2014. You can also watch the Forum’s video reports on YouTube and find the best photos on Facebook!
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The IV St. Petersburg International Legal Forum took place on June 18-21, 2014.
In 2014 over 3280 delegates from 79 countries attended the event including 55 official delegations headed by Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Justice, as well as Chairmen of Supreme, Commercial and Constitutional Courts and heads of authoritative international organizations.
424 mass media representatives from Russia and abroad were working at the Forum covering the most interesting sessions and events.
7328 people from 51 countries and 191 cities of the world (including 67 Russian cities) followed the sessions of the Forum online.
The business programme included the Plenary Session, over 50 discussion sessions organized into 10 tracks, and two conferences.
As part of the Forum 6 satellite events were organized by partners of the SPBILF.
During the IV St. Petersburg International Legal Forum IFLR launched a special project entitled Daily News. Each of the three issues on June 18-20 contains the highlights of the Forum 2014.
You can download Daily News of the Forum 2014 by following the links:
Interview about the “Development of the System of Payment Guarantees at the Electric Power Markets: Russian and Foreign Experience” round table
Member of the Management Board — Head of the Legal Affairs Unit of JSC “Inter RAO”
1. What are your impressions of the Forum this year?
Every year the organization is getting better, and many interesting people come to the Forum. The Forum maintained its status. Presidents of Russian governmental bodies, heads of law firms of official agencies participate actively in the Forum, so, naturally, everything is done on a very high level.
2. Why have you, as moderator, decided to arrange a round table on the development of the system of payment guarantees at the electric power markets this year?
This issue is very urgent and controlled by the President and the Government of the Russian Federation. Non-payments in this industry are dangerous even for national security. Income of investments in fuel and energy complex has decreased over the past years. The regulation of this particular matter will result in effective functioning of the fuel and energy complex and electric power industry and attract long-term investments to the sector which really requires modernization and re-equipment. These problems are very well-known and today businesses and all the governmental agencies share the same opinion on how to resolve them.
3. What changes in legislation do you esteem as the important ones to resolve the problem of the payment guarantee system?
The changes that we plan to adopt as part of increasing fines for non-payments will, surely, prevent people from covering their debts at the expense of energy power companies. Of course, direct payments between power supply companies and customers will become a considerably important innovation. It should be also pointed out that there is a universal agreement that criminal law enforcement practice shall be toughened in what concerns liability for non-payments. Moreover, payment guarantee system will be an essential factor for solving this problem. The issue of licensing managing companies is also discussed quite actively.
4. The changes in law you’ve mentioned are a matter for the future. What are the main disadvantages of the energy law that are hindering now?
First of all, nowadays the companies, which seem to belong to the category of uninterruptible in the system of the Ministry of Defense, have no relation to the criteria by which they were allegedly attributed to it. The address list of companies that really should be included to this list may help to change it. To my mind, one of the disadvantages is the lack of financial guarantees for retail customers: financial guarantees in the retail market are already well established, and the level of debts on the wholesale market has declined for the first time this year.
5. Are there any recent changes in legislation which have enhanced the situation?
Important changes related to financial guarantees on the market were adopted a year and a half ago. As for the payment discipline, I can say that the practice goes ahead of the legislation. We have recently held a seminar with retail companies, and court orders against electricity debtors are already rendered by the courts. This practice really exists.