Forum starts in
 

Digest 47

We are glad to present you the 47th issue of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Digest.

To subscribe to regular mailing please follow the link.

Law students wishing to receive the personal scholarship of the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation are now free to send their entries

News of the VI SPBILF

more...

The one-time personal scholarship is awarded to authors of the best essays on issues of private law (including law of obligations, contractual, corporate, and private international law) or on legal integration in the Eurasian space (including a comparison of legal systems, ideas on harmonization of national legislation of the EEU member states and effective international cooperation).

Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, will announce the winners at the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, which will take place on May 18–21, 2016, in St. Petersburg.

The recommended length of the essay is from 10 to 20 pages. The language of the essay is Russian. The essay must be scientifically innovative and written by contestant him or herself.

Both on- and off-campus law students of any year receiving a Bachelor, Master or Specialist degree are eligible to participate in the competition.

The entries are to be submitted until April 29, 2016 to the following e-mail address: awards@spblegalforum.com.

In case of any further questions, please call +7 (812) 449-36-21 or write to awards@spblegalforum.com.

«Modern business presents new demands for lawyers. Today they are required not only to have profound knowledge and experience; priority is given to the ability to think strategically, to make effective management decisions and to organize your work based on the latest technologies»

Alexandra Nesterenko
President, Russian Corporate Counsel Association
Moderator of the session 8.1. Disruptive Technologies: are Corporate Counsels Ready?

more...

1. Why is the topic of your panel discussion relevant?

Such terms as “disruptive technologies” and “innovations” become extremely popular today and they are used increasingly often to describe the future of Russia. The vast majority of companies’ interest in innovative technologies, products and services is clear and justified: they promise development and growth. At the same time, the main burden of innovative development organization and creation of innovative products falls on the manufacturing companies themselves. Practice raises many questions about how and what should regulate the innovative products and technologies that have not been previously known to lawmakers and law enforcers.

Today the business goes into this uncharted territory at its own peril and through trial and error comes to realize the constraining factors of disruptive technologies: a high risk of rejection of the new product by a regulator or society, absence of regulation, etc. If there were a common legislative approach to innovations, companies would be more willing to invest in innovation and innovative products. This way the businesses can build confidence in innovative products being accepted by lawmakers and law enforcers.

We are ready to discuss the issues of legal regulation of disruptive technologies (innovations) in Russia, as well as examples of overcoming legal barriers during implementation of disruptive technologies and issues of legal stimulation of innovations. Together we will analyse and draw conclusions about how well business and corporate lawyers are prepared for new legal regulation in the field of disruptive technologies (innovations), as well as estimate the value of a corporate lawyer's role as one of the key strategic partners of modern business.

2. What are the main questions you are planning to discuss?

We want to offer the participants a review of recent innovations that have changed the industrial landscape, and invite them to discuss development and launching of innovative products as well as the role of disruptive technologies as a factor of social and legislative landscape change, and to analyse core competencies of “disruptive” corporate lawyers.

And, of course, we will discuss the role of the Russian Corporate Counsel Association as a leading professional organization with a wide range of tools to synthesize and accumulate modern experience and how to integrate the most advanced trends into the work of “disruptive” corporate lawyers.

3. Which legal experts in particular should attend your discussion?

Modern business presents new demands for lawyers. Today they are required not only to have profound knowledge and experience; priority is given to the ability to think strategically, to make effective management decisions and to organize your work based on the latest technologies.

That is why I am sure that our round-table will be of interest to in-house lawyers, legal counsels and attorneys: to all those who deal with new technologies and, inevitably, with the issues of legal regulation.

4. Which experts are going to participate in the discussion?

The speakers will include:

  • Yuliya Bondarenko, Director of the Legal Department, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., Canada;
  • Ruslan Ibragimov, Vice-President for Corporate and Legal Affairs, Mobile TeleSystems OJSC;
  • Steve Crown, Vice-President, Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft;
  • Vadim Pokotilo, Partner, McKinsey&Company;
  • Olga Demidova, Managing Partner, RichartsMeyer;
  • Michael Fawlk, Vice-President and Deputy General Counsel on Technologies and Intellectual Property Rights, Philip Morris International Management SA.

«Expensive» divorces have always attracted a lot of attention; and while abroad people have already got used to them, in Russia the topic is only starting to gain popularity»

Yury Pilipenko
President of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the Russian Federation
Moderator of the session 1.1. Divorce of Wealthy Spouses in Russia and Abroad: Key Differences and New Developments

more...

1. Why is the topic of your panel discussion relevant?

Recently, there have been an increasing number of stories in the media about rich people getting divorced, and such stories never fail to spark interest of the general public. “Expensive” divorces have always attracted a lot of attention; and while abroad people have already got used to them, in Russia the topic is only starting to gain popularity. This might be explained by the fact that major family disputes of Russian business people and top managers include division of assets acquired in 1990-s and 2000-s with the advent of market economy and with their businesses getting on a new, international level.

With the “opening up” of state borders after the collapse of the USSR, many enterprising citizens began actively using foreign mechanisms of doing business – through offshore structures, trusts and foundations – and, of course, started acquiring property abroad.

The number of divorces grows annually in proportion to the number of marriages, and wealthy families are no exception. Such families always have something to divide; so primarily from a professional standpoint, it is interesting to see and discuss what happens to foreign assets of spouses when they divorce and how they solve the related issues, particularly the issue of child support.

2. What are the main questions you are planning to discuss?

What can you discuss when the topic is Divorce of Wealthy Spouses? Their property, naturally! It is a joke, of course. But with a good measure of truth in it.

As Leo Tolstoy wrote in the beginning of his famous novel: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Yet our discussion will primarily focus not on the reasons behind the termination of a marriage, but rather on its financial and legal consequences for the spouses.

We will discuss how issues relating to the termination of a marriage, division of assets and child support are regulated in Russia in comparison with several European states; how family disputes in different jurisdictions are settled; which countries are most popular for settling such marital disputes and why. Legal analysts have long identified where Russian business people prefer to file for divorce, and where their unemployed and financially insecure wives prefer to do it. We plan to throw light on how and why this happens.

We also hope our experts will address such issues as division of “difficult” assets and business assets; how to avoid or resolve situations where spouses simultaneously go to court; how to enforce prenuptial agreements and court decisions of foreign jurisdictions; and many others.

3. Which legal experts in particular should attend your discussion (consultants, in-house lawyers, lawyers working in Russian or international companies, notaries, counsellors, etc.)?

Undoubtedly, this discussion will be of interest primarily to practising lawyers and jurists, both Russian and foreign, who are one way or another involved in the field of family law and working with private clients. The topic is also interesting for lawyers and employees of large corporations: people who are engaged in accompanying businesspersons and executives, and sometimes faced with the necessity of solving personal problems of their superiors and thus having to discover a world of family law, previously unknown to them.

The discussion will be useful to legal scholars and young academics whose research interests relate to international private law. In addition, we expect the participation of law enforcers, particularly representatives of the judiciary and notaries.

4. Which experts are going to participate in the discussion?

We have invited leading Russian and foreign practising lawyers with a large experience in family disputes resolution, as well as legal scholars.

Among foreign experts, we expect Mr Timothy Bishop, an English barrister and a QC. He is a member of the Family Law Association and has repeatedly participated in resolving high-profile family disputes in Great Britain.

Speakers also include Florian Roloff, a German lawyer specialising in family law and a member of the presidium of the German-Russian Lawyers' Association, and Tatiana Bersheda, partner at a large Swiss legal firm Canonica Valticos de Preux + Associes.

Russian side will be represented by Olga Dyuzheva, a well-known legal scholar, member of an expert board of the Family and Social Law Committee at the RF State Duma, member of an interdepartmental working group developing a family policy concept for the Ministry of Labour, senior lecturer of the Department of Civil Law of the Faculty of Law, Moscow State University, Vice President of the International Society of Family Law and member of the board of the International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family.

We also expect other experts, both foreign and Russian, to take part in our discussion.

«Modern challenges and increasing demands of contemporary judicial proceedings present an urgent need for forensic technologies to move to a completely new level, in both the Russian Federation and elsewhere»

Svetlana Smirnova
Director, Russian Federal Center of Forensic Science of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation
3.4. Competence and Expertise in Forensic Activities: Nature and Limits, Similarities and Differences

more...

1. Why is the topic of your panel discussion relevant?

Such terms as competence and expertise, their limits and synergetic value, have long come into general use by various legal professionals. Yet definition of these terms becomes more and more important for forensic examination in particular. Modern challenges and increasing demands of contemporary judicial proceedings present an urgent need for forensic technologies to move to a completely new level, in both the Russian Federation and elsewhere. Legislation and law enforcement present more and more complex criteria for forensic objectification, and the role of the examination itself in adversary proceedings has become much greater. Therefore, inadequate competence or lack thereof is not only enough to challenge an expert, but is also sufficient to remove an expert opinion from the body of evidence.

Careful attention is being paid to scientific validity and objectivity as basic principles of forensic activities not only because expert research and conclusions are to be made according to modern scientific, methodological and practical basis of the relevant field of expertise. It also helps to prevent a large number of pseudo-scientific methods, often used by pseudo-experts whose competence is not confirmed in any way, to penetrate into modern forensic practice.

Today there are no legal definitions of mechanisms of evaluating expert competences, apart from state judicial experts, or of the reliability and scientific validity criteria of applied expert techniques. This results in low quality of the examinations they conduct and, therefore, in judicial errors, increase in number of repeated and additional examinations and prolongation of proceedings in general. All participants of judicial proceedings are familiar with common mistakes occurring during forensic examinations, namely, experts overreaching their competence (mainly in addressing legal issues), procedural irregularities, professional incompetence, etc.

We believe that unclear definition of competence in the field of forensic examination is the main issue among all the other threats to the quality use of expertise in judicial proceedings. Currently, competence of a judicial expert is commonly understood as the terms of reference provided to him/her by forensics legislation. Strictly speaking, competence of an expert (from Latin “competo” – to be able) may be viewed from several aspects. These include powers specified by procedural law; knowledge of forensics theory and practice; understanding of the requirements to quality management of forensic activities; etc. We should also distinguish between objective competences, i.e. the knowledge that is required of an expert, and expertise (subjective competences): the degree to which an expert mastered the required knowledge, skills and abilities of expert procedures.

Different states resolve the issue of correlation between competences and expertise in their own way. It seems that such a high-profile platform as the Forum is a very appropriate place for an academic discussion and review of the specifics of these definitions in order to combine the efforts of leading scholars and exchange best practices. We believe that the overall results of the discussion will help to promote fair trial by resolving issues that require expert knowledge.

2. What are the main questions you are planning to discuss?

The aim of the discussion is to analyse and systematize modern practices of creation and actualization of professional competences of forensic experts; to identify regularities in occurring organizational and legal transformations in competence confirmation procedures for forensic experts and reduction of the risks of professional deformation in the field of forensic activities. Therefore, we plan to discuss the following topics:

- Interdependence between the forensic expert qualification concept and scientific and technical progress trends: analysis and reformation of organizational and legal aspects;

- European initiatives in the field of coordination of forensic expert competences: methodology of creating a common European forensic science space;

- Procedural perspective of determination of a forensic expert competence: innovations of the national legislation;

- Effective mechanisms of determination of subjective competence: examples of forensic experts' professional competence confirmation procedures;

- Professional deformation in forensic examination as a reverse side of competence: scientific analysis and prevention;

- Harmonization of the judicial system's needs with forensic experts' competences: is it possible to go beyond the profession of an expert?

- Role of standardization and national technical committees on forensic examination in formation of high levels of competences of forensic experts;

- Modern approaches to modernization and innovations of forensic activity: national experience of professional training of expert personnel;

- Progressive models of educational activity as a prerequisite of training of the next generation of forensic professionals.

3. Which legal experts in particular should attend your discussion?

We invite all members of the legal profession whose work is in any way associated with the issues of special knowledge application in judicial proceedings. We believe that this round table will be particularly interesting to both direct subjects of judicial proceedings in general and to subjects of forensic activities in particular. It might also interest the lawyers who study issues related to the evaluation of evidence, management and didactics in the law.

4. Which experts are going to participate in the discussion?

To date, prominent representatives of the expert community, law enforcers, lawyers, university professors, academics and practitioners from Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and other states have already expressed their wish to participate in our discussion. Speakers include doctors and professors, as well as heads of the largest expert communities and structures: Jan De Kinder (Chairman, European Network of Foreign Science Institute), Oleg Yastrebov (Director, Institute of Law of the People's Friendship University of Russia), Andrei Shved (Chairman, State Forensic Examination Committee of the Republic of Belarus), Isidor Borchashvili (Director, Forensic Examination Center of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan), Giorgi Tvauri (Head of LEPL Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau of Georgia), Ljiljana Trisic (Director, Agency for Forensic Examination and Expertise of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Kaliolla Seytenov (Director of the Institute of Forensic Expertise, Kazakh Humanities and Law Institute of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan), Artashes Javadyan (Director, National Bureau of Expertises of Armenia) and Ulziibayar Khukhuu (Director, National Institute of Forensic Science of the Ministry of Justice of Mongolia).

«The life of any museum and organization of any exhibition requires a great number of legal services; that is why our discussion should attract experts in various spheres: from notaries and lawyers to insurers»

Mikhail Shvidkoy
Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Moderator of the conference «Sacred Space of the Museum. The Area of Culture»

more...

The VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum is a right platform for the conference titled Sacred Space of the Museum. The Area of Culture. First of all, modern museums are not mere storage spaces for the most valuable historical objects, but also centres of active social life that participate in international cultural exchange. A modern museum is both an educational and a social institution whose life largely reflects the social and even political reality; it is influenced by society, but it is also very capable of influencing it in return.

Of course, museums ensure a continuity of cultural memory, but they are also able to influence the formation of the future cultural environment. Culture and art influence the surrounding reality in a unique way, especially through the impact they have on an individual affected by the contact with the great heritage. In this sense, a modern museum is the most important place for the formation of the younger generation.

Museums of the 21st century have to deal with a variety of legal issues. These include preservation and security of valuables both domestically and in international cultural exchange; identification of risks that are present in the inter-museum exchanges; copyright protection of artists, if they still carry copyrights, and museums preserving the masterpieces of the world art. Finally, it is the issue of the relation between museum collections and their representation in the virtual reality, an increasingly frequent occasion these days.

The life of any museum and organization of any exhibition requires a great number of legal services; that is why our discussion should attract experts in various spheres: from notaries and lawyers to insurers. That is why we organize this discussion together with the largest museums of the world, to whom the State Hermitage undoubtedly belongs. Its representatives will certainly make our work quite interesting for experts and art lovers.

Apart from specific practical aspects of our discussion, we will pay particular attention to the fact that culture and cultural values require special protection in the modern world. And not only in the combat areas. Our conference is very aptly called Sacred Space of the Museum. The Area of Culture. Museums and their halls carry out a special mission in history and modernity. That is why our agenda includes a discussion of such important documents as the Roerich Pact and Likhachev's Declaration of the Rights of Culture.

Video-interview with V SPBILF's participants: Gaston Douajni Kenfack, Director of Legislation, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Cameroon

Interview

more...

Leading experts in the spheres of law, economy and international relations, heads of world companies’ legal departments, members of international legal community have been interviewed by our journalist during the V SPBILF and shared their impressions on the Forum.

Find a video-interview in each issue of the Digest and enjoy viewing!



Online Education

In the time of rapidly developing technical capabilities and increasing value of time online training is getting more accessible and relevant. Please advice us which online courses are you taking.

Advice