Forum starts in
 
SPBILF Prize

Digest 49

We are glad to present you the 49th issue of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Digest.

To subscribe to regular mailing please follow the link.

"To sustain a favorable business climate, to tap and strengthen the investment potential of territories we are compelled to continuously search for new ideas and enhance regulatory environment, mechanisms and tools to invigorate entrepreneurship"

Mikhail Galperin
Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation
Moderator of the Conference on “Models of the Organization of Regional and Local Governance: Best Management Practices for Economic Growth”

more...

What makes the subject of the conference relevant?

Truly successful encouragement of capital inflows of territories, enhancing their attractiveness for investment and competitiveness largely depends on favorable regulatory environment, reduction of local administrative barriers for businesses, and, on a broader scale, on comprehensive targeted leadership efforts of regional and municipal authorities, their challenges and accessible resources in order to ensure the level of comfort required by investors and entrepreneurs.

To sustain a favorable business climate, to tap and strengthen the investment potential of territories we are compelled to continuously search for new ideas and enhance regulatory environment, mechanisms and tools to invigorate entrepreneurship. In many cases, however, partnerships with businesses merely demonstrate the unique advantages of individual regions and municipal entities.

What are the main issues to be discussed?

  1. Main institutional challenges and constraints for regional and municipal economics that hinder the achievement of the investment potential.
  2. How much does success in attracting investments and ensuring economic growth depend on systematic work and coordinated efforts of regional and municipal authorities? What will investors gain if investment-specific municipal powers are redistributed to the regional level?
  3. Regional investment standard and competition development standard in Russia’s constituent entities: do they yield tangible results to attract investments and enhance business-climate?
  4. Municipal economic policy: is it there, and what is its main content?
  5. The problem of direct and indirect encumbrance of local government. Are there any ways to reduce the load that distracts from searching for and implementation of economic development projects?
  6. Region’s investment environment: how does it work (from the "entry point" to the practical implementation of a project)?
  7. Public-private and municipal-private partnership: international experience and disadvantages of federal regulation for investment project structuring.
  8. Yearly concession plans for ineffective communal facilities. A new business approach: main challenges and results.
  9. How can local governments combine the provision of services to the population and goals of territorial development?
  10. Anti-corruption and anti-trust restrictions and effective investment management: where are the limits?
  11. Tapping the potential of inter-municipal cooperation for the purposes of regional development. Are the mechanisms of modern budgetary and judiciary system feasible?

In your opinion, who of the legal community could be strongly recommended to come to this round table (consultants, internal lawyers, lawyers employed by Russian / international companies, notaries, attorneys etc.)?

The conference will be of interest to lawyers working for federal and municipal government, who are responsible for the improvement of regulatory environment for businesses, potential investors and their lawyers, as well as to investment consultants, the academia engaged into municipal law, and to everyone who is concerned about the legal issues of interaction between authorities and businesses.

Who are the experts of the round table?

The round table experts are expected to cover the subject from a variety of viewpoints. Among the experts are those who promote investment inflows, establish and implement development strategies on the regional and municipal scale, i.e. Dmirty Yalov (Vice Governor of the Leningrad Region), Alexander Chuprakov (Deputy Chairman, Moscow Region Government), Yury Kuzin (Mayor of Cherepovets).

Apart from the general picture, it is highly important to have well-balanced analytics for as many best practices as possible, both for the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and individual municipalities. Vera Adaeva, Head of Investment Climate Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, will inform on the results of investment standards in regions and best municipal practices to support and develop small and medium businesses. Alexey Chichkanov, Executive Vice-President, Head of the Public-Private Partnership Center, JS “Gazprombank”, will share his experience in preparation and implementation of PPP-projects.

Members of the academia are expected to be among the conference participants too – Ekaterina Shugrina (Center for Support and Monitoring of Local Government Authorities, RANEPA) and Istvan Hoffman (Budapest University), will refer to the experience of Russia and Europe to provide their expert outlook on business participation in municipal services by engaging private partners in new and revitalized infrastructure projects to improve municipal welfare and services.

"Amid economic changes, when it becomes difficult to fulfill previous obligations, three institutions in the Russian civil law draw particular attention"

Mariya Erokhova
Attorney, Moscow City Bar “Delcredere”
Moderator of the session 5.5. Doing Business in Russia: Influence of Economic Developments

more...

What makes the subject of your round table relevant?

The economy of Russia is currently undergoing transitions: since in autumn 2014 the Central Bank of Russia cancelled the fixed corridor that it had set for the bi-currency basket, the rouble has been losing its value; foreign states imposed economic sanctions on Russian companies.

During these economic changes, when it becomes difficult to fulfill previous obligations, three institutions in the Russian civil law draw particular attention:

  • extraordinary circumstances as sufficient ground to relieve the person from liability for failure to discharge his obligations (Art. 401 of the Russian Civil Code);
  • impossibility to discharge the obligation caused by the circumstance for which neither of the parties is answerable (Art. 416 of the Russian Civil Code);
  • the amendment and cancellation of the contract because of an essential change of circumstances (Art. 451 of the Russian Civil Code).

It seems relevant to analyze cases where these concepts must be applied.

Least understood is Art. 451 of the Civil Code, which gives the right to change or terminate a contract when discharge of an obligation is difficult due to unexpected circumstances which the parties cannot overcome. It may well be that Russian lawyers confuse the instances of significant changes of circumstances with the instances of objective impossibility of discharging an obligation.

European experience, and especially the Continental law, is particularly relevant here, as the closest to the Russian system of private law. When and under what circumstances in the times of economic change did European courts apply exemption from liability or from discharging an obligation, or when did they alter contracts.

What are the main issues to be discussed?

  • Сlausula rebus sic stantibus as a fundamental doctrine allowing to amend treaties: a dogmatic approach (speaker Dmitry Dozhdev)
  • The role of еconomic force majeure for treaty relation. Experience of the Stockholm Arbitration (speaker Johan Gernandt)
  • Changes in the Russian rouble value vs. Other currencies as sufficient ground for amendment of treaties. Reasons for and against for the Russian law (speaker Andrey Egorov)
  • Legal Effects of Unexpected Circumstances in Belgium and France (speaker Denis Philippe)
  • Institutions of bankruptcy law that allow to tailor clauses of the treaty to the changing economic situation. Weak and strong aspects of the Russian legislation (speaker Oleg Zaytsev)
  • Unexpected circumstances and their influence on the treaty destiny. German experience. (speaker Josef Nachmann)

In your opinion, who of the legal community could be strongly recommended to come to this round table (consultants, internal lawyers, lawyers employed by Russian / international companies, notaries, attorneys etc.)?

This subject should be of interest to attorneys, in-house lawyers and members of the academia.

Who are the experts at your round table?

  • Professor Dmitry Dozhdev, Doctor of Law (The Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
  • Andrey Egorov, Doctor of Law (Private Law Research Centre)
  • Oleg Zaytsev, Doctor of Law (Deposit Insurance Agency)
  • Doctor Johan Gernandt (Sweden), Former Chairman of the Arbitration Institute, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
  • Professor Denis Philippe (Belgium)
  • Josef Nachmann (Germany)

Moderator – Maria Erokhova, Doctor of Law (Moscow City Bar “Delcredere”)

"Today the state and businesses are intensively looking for specific patterns and legal mechanisms to move forward from strategic planning in the Arctic towards efficient development of the Russian Arctic territories"

Alexander Zavtrik
Head of Legal department, PJSC “MMC “Norilsk Nikel”, Member of the Scientific Expert Council of the State Commission on the Development of the Arctic, Member of the Coordinating Council for the Development of the Northern Territories and the Arctic region of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
Moderator of the session 2.6. Development of the Legal Regulation of the Economic Activity in the Arctic Zone

more...

What makes the subject of your roundtable relevant?

The Arctic area possesses unique resources that are bound to facilitate social and economic development of many Russian Federation constituents; however, this area is a economically challenged in terms of its geography, nature, climate and demography.

Today the government and businesses are intensively looking for specific patterns and legal mechanisms to translate strategic and tactical planning into efficient development efforts for the Russian Arctic territories.

As an active participant in this process, our company is ready to share our best practices, learned throughout our 80 years of successful experience in developing the northern territories of the Krasnoyarsk and the Murmansk regions.

I believe that this expert discussion on the development of the Arctic, that brings together relevant public authorities, the academia and businesses, will yield a well-balanced legal solution to the Arctic economics challenge identified by the government.

What are the main issues to be discussed?

The round table is expected to address the development and implementation of legal mechanisms to make the Arctic region more attractive in terms of its economy, investments and migration, as well as to enhance our vision of an specific legal framework tailored to the demands of the developing the Russian Arctic.

In your opinion, who of the legal community could be strongly recommended to come to this round table?

The round table could be of interest to representatives of federal and regional authorities who draft and implement state policies to develop the Arctic, as well as to major businesses, investment consultants, the legal community and the academia at large.

Who are the experts at your round table?

The round table is organized jointly with the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation. It will bring together representatives of relevant ministries (Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Justice), heads of Russian Arctic Regions, law experts, major businesses, operating in the Arctic or planning to do so, as well as representatives of foreign Arctic governments to disseminate their best practices in developing economically challenged areas.

“Extraterritorial application of sanctions is a relatively new practice that raises many theoretical and practical questions”

Khristofor Ivanyan
Managing Partner, Ivanyan & Partners, Law Office in the Russian Federation
Moderator of the round table on 6.3. Unilateral Sanctions: Extraterritoriality and Scenarios of targeted States’ Counteraction

more...

The round table will address unilateral sanctions and extraterritorial implementation of national law. This issue is particularly relevant for the Russian Federation in the aftermath of the pro-Ukraine sanctions of 2014-2015.

Over the last two decades the role of unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, Canada, Australia and the EU as a tool of foreign policy has significantly increased. Sanctions, that used to be applied by countries to restrict national cooperation with the targeted state, have now translated into an effective tool to intervene in the relations between the targeted state and other countries. In legal terms, this is demonstrated by the fact that the standards of national sanctions regimes are now acquiring extraterritorial nature.

Extraterritorial application of sanctions is a relatively new practice that raises many theoretical and practical questions. The participants of the round table will discuss the following issues:

  • where are the boundaries and limits of extraterritorial jurisdiction of a country that imposes unilateral sanctions;
  • what legal means of protection and self-defense are available to the targeted state according to the existing international law;
  • apart from sanctions, what were other cases when countries tried to apply national law unilaterally on an extraterritorial scale and what how did the targeted countries respond?
  • what are the best practices to counteract extraterritorial application of national law?

Naturally, for the Russian Federation it is crucial to have its lessons learned from the well-known cases of national and international counteraction toward foreign extraterritorial legislation as far as the “pro-Ukrainian” unilateral sanctions imposed in 2014–2015 are concerned.

The round table will bring together leading Russian, American, and European experts in national sanctions law and applicable international law, among them those who possess work experience with relevant US bodies.

Video-interview with V SPBILF's participants: Marina Gassiy, Legal Support Director, SUE Vodokanal of St. Petersburg

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