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Transformation of the Legal Paradigm in the Context of Globalization: Philosophical View

Experts discussed the issues of the law philosophy, related to the development of society and law in the globalized world, at the IX St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

Director of the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences Aleksandr Savenkov moderated the session. Counsel at the legal firm Dentons LLP, President of the Brooklyn Law School (in retirement) Nicholas Allard, President of the Law School Association Sergey Baburin, Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Nikolay Bondar, Chief Researcher of the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrey Gabov, Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Gadis Gadzhiev, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Konovalov, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Pligin participated in the discussion.

As Aleksandr Savenkov mentioned at the beginning of the discussion, back in 2012 the government of the Russian Federation pointed out that there was a serious crisis in the world, which was going to last for a long time. “Our point of departure was that the following was highlighted at the level of the policy makers of the Russian Federation back in 2012: “Today’s world order, what the world is facing today is a serious crisis. It’s a tectonic process of the global transformation, it's a vivid testimony to the transition to a new cultural, economic, technological, and geopolitical era. The world is coming into the area of turbulence and there is no doubt that this period will be long and painful and we shouldn’t cherish illusions here.” It was said already seven years ago. Today no one has any doubts about it. At the international discussion platforms, they say that what's happening today is some kind of a transition to a totally new quality not only of the political paradigm, but also a legal one”, the moderator explained.

According to the moderator, this process is happening both at the international level, and inside of the country. “What was absolutely prohibited in the past, is happening in the world today. First of all, the verb “must” and its interpretations dominate in many documents. The terms “to force”, “enemy-state”, “aggressor-state” started to be used. Such things were not admitted even in the most important international documents, which were developed in the aftermath of the international wars. However, it’s our reality today», Aleksandr Savenkov added.

The Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Konovalov spoke about the distinguishing features of the modern civilized model. “First of all, the traditional hundreds-year old vertical structures of the society integration are being destroyed dramatically quickly. And the famous book “The Fourth Revolution” that made a great stir several years ago, openly says that the vertical organization of the society is indisputable evil. And countries, societies, and communities need to be managed horizontally – just like non-profit organizations, specific institutions, which combine public and non-public management of various processes. <…> Second, as for globalization, which is mentioned as one of the factors, determining the formation and existence of law at this stage, most probably there will be quick atomization of the societies, their break-up into other structures and formats together with the process of globalization. The break-up into various countries, which existed in the horizontal plane. I believe, it’s a process that we cannot stop”, he said.

All in all, he characterized the events that are happening today as a return to the mythological type of people’s consciousness. “We observe the growing exterritorial application, expansion of specific law enforcement instruments and the whole jurisdictions. As a matter of fact, it’s a normal market competition, on the one hand. But on the other hand, it is not a fair competition at times and is aimed at dominating in the network law enforcement at the end of the day. And unfortunately, we observe that the standards of justice are being blurred”, the Minister noted.

Aleksandr Konovalov shared his view about the development of law in the future. “We shouldn't exclude, we should even suppose that there will be some kind of a law separation, so the break-up of law, in the future. The corporation law will be separated, which will be characterized by instrumentalism, out-of-context priority-based resolution of complicated network management tasks. To my way of thinking, the role of customs will increase”, the head of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation concluded.

The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Nikolay Bondar, in his turn, explained that the main problem of the modern law is equality deficit. “Equality is the very essence of law. Law is an equal measure of freedom. And if we can witness and state that the deficit of essential features of law –its equality - is manifesting itself in some way, won’t it lead to the loss of normativity and regulating abilities of law? Perhaps, the problem is formulated in an exaggerated way, but it's quite possible in this context. When I speak about equality, I mean not only social equality and stratification, which happens globally and has some extreme forms of manifestation, but also equality before the law, equality before the courts. These are classical formulas of the legal equality. And in this case, we are talking about the deficit of the constitutional equality”, Nikolay Bondar said.

According to the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Gadis Gadzhiev, subjective human rights develop with fits and starts. “Sometimes there is a flash, an hour of triumph of the countervailing powers, for example. But now, in the nearest future, the hour of triumph is coming for the personal rights, right of privacy, image right. And most probably, that small chapter of the Civil Code about the protection of such rights will be not enough for those risks we face today”, the expert said.

According to the President of the Law School Association Sergey Baburin, the main question is – will law be able to ensure social future of the humankind. “All other sections of our Forum depend on the answer to this question. I would like to compare them to the disputes about the color of wallpaper, though I treat all the law branches with due respect. These are all minor issues. We are at the edge of extinction today. Let's face the truth”, the speaker noted.

St. Petersburg International Legal Forum takes place in the Eastern Wing of the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage from May 14 to 18. It is organized with the support of the President of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.