The I St. Petersburg International Legal Forum which was held in St.Petersburg on May 19 - 21, 2011 became the largest platform for dialogue between politicians, lawyers, economists and academics representing all major economic and legal systems. The event has become unique not only for our country but also for the whole world. More than 700 participants from 35 countries were discussing during the plenary session and panel discussions the most current issues of Russian and international law, interaction between national and supranational institutes, the major aspects of development of law and economy in the modern world. The President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev gave a speech at the plenary session of the Forum. The head of the state has outlined a number of significant problems such as creating a legal infrastructure for economic growth, balance between national and international law, unification and harmonization of legal systems.
In particular, the Russian President has specified that “…the deeper are the changes in the economy, the more important mechanisms and institutions become. Ineffective, insufficient, or quite simply backward institutions and mechanisms or those that are going too forward, which is just as dangerous, are the major obstacle to economic growth and modernization of our economic and social life.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Valery Zorkin, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, the Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Hans van Loon, the President of the International Bar Association Akira Kawamura, the Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales Peter Lodder also delivered their speeches at the Forum. The Minister of Justice of Russia Alexander Konovalov appeared with a welcome address to the Forum participants. Ministers of Justice from 15 different countries among which were India, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Belarus, Tajikistan, Turkey and Vietnam as well as the Chairman of the Supreme Сommercial Court Anton Ivanov, the Chairman of the Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev, heads and members of the highest courts of the CIS countries, Finland, Great Britain, Singapore also took part in the Forum.
The Forum has become yet more unique due to exceptionally wide attendance of the heads of professional legal communities and best practicing lawyers from Russia, CIS, EU, USA and other countries. Judges, notaries, attorneys, legal consultants, law academics from different countries had an opportunity to exchange their opinions on the most relevant issues of the current development of law. The Forum agenda consisted of the plenary session and the round-table discussions with a main focus on the international legal issues, as well as the “tea/coffee” discussion sessions dedicated to the major problems of development of the Russian law. The major interest of participants was given to the following sessions: “Creating an International Financial Centre: Legal issues”, “A New Civil Code: What should it be like?”, “Law in the Global World: Rule of Law Concept and Actualization of Traditional Fundamentals and Principles”, “Justice on the Guard of Business: Modern Instruments of Enhancement of Accessibility and Efficiency of Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution”. The organizers have announced that St. Petersburg International Legal Forum would become a regular event and a more intensive content program would be offered at the second Forum. In particular, it is planned to expand the number of the specialized round-tables for the in-house counsels and legal consultants. The Forum was initiated and held by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Foundation under the auspices of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, the Government of St. Petersburg and with participation of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation.
The I St. Petersburg International Legal Forum was hosted at the Mikhailovsky Castle (also known as the Engineer's Castle), one of St. Petersburg's most striking and interesting venues, steeped in legend and mystery.
The General Partner of the Forum was Gazprombank.