St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in Budapest


The Conference on “Legal Protection of Investments in Central Europe and Hungary” took place in the capital of Hungary on December 9-10,2013, having become the first Guest Conference of the Forum in the Eastern Europe. The event was organized on behalf of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of the Government of Hungary and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation

On December 9, the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Hungary hosted a solemn reception for all the participants of the Conference under the auspices of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

On Tuesday, December 10, the Conference was opened in the Károlyi-Csekonics Rezidencia by Róbert Répássy, Minister of State for Justice of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary and Elena Borisenko, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

The conference in Budapest is the fifth in the series of guest conferences under the auspices of the SPBILF. Its subject is very appropriate, as it is crucial for us lawyers to understand which legal tools are effective from the point of view of investment, and which are not. Our primary objective is to make the law a practical and useful tool
Elena Borisenko

The business programme consisted of three sessions: 1) “Questions of Legislation, Legal Protection and Strategic Partnership in Russia and Central Europe” under the chairmanship of Gusztáv Bienerth, Chairman in Roland Berger Strategy Consultants; 2) “Law as an Instrument for Investment Development. Investment Protection and a Private Sector Perspective” moderated by Elena Borisenko, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation; 3) “Economic Criminal Law: A Tool of Last Resort for Protecting Investments. Legal Developments in a Changing Political and Economic Environment” under the chairmanship of Julianna Béndek, legal advisor in the Department of International Judicial Cooperation.

In the course of the first panel featuring Tatiana Andreeva, Deputy to the Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation; Andrea Holikova, Director of Department of Specific State Operations of the National Reporting Section of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic; Maja Menard, Partner in Ulčar & partnerji (Slovenia) speakers addressed...

We are interested in the development of relations between Russia and other governments. For that we need to be sure that we have the corresponding legal provisions for that cooperation as well as legal mechanisms that allow us to protect proprietary rights and investment flows. Speaking at the conference to the judicial community, I would like to note that we have such mechanisms in Russia and that they are reliable. In Russia arbitrational courts work, while their jurisdiction includes protecting business interests. In our 20 years of existence we have demonstrated our effectiveness
Tatiana Andreeva

The second session started with presentation of Dr. Pal Kara, General Counsel of MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company. Ondřej Dušek, Partner in Peterka & Partners (Czech Republic); Joerg Bauer, President of GE Hungary; Valery Musin, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Head of the Civil Procedure Department of the Faculty of Law at St. Petersburg State University and Member of the Board of Directors Gazprom, also took part in the discussion.

“We have two different types of bilateral investment agreements: the first is within EU legislation, while the second is with third countries. It is worth noting that bilateral investment agreements help boost the flow of mutual investment between EU countries. Implementing Europe-wide investment agreements protects foreign investments made by EU countries,” said Mr Dušek.

Valery Musin, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and board member at Gazprom, noted that in Russia the corporate law sphere is distinguished for its stability. “The Russian Civil Code was amended in recent years to include many changes touching on, for instance, regulating investment. These changes were drafted to protect foreign investors in Russia,” said Mr Musin.

Finally, economic issues in criminal law was addressed by speakers of the third session, namely, Konstantin Dobrynin, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation, Judicial and Legal Affairs, Civil Society Development and Dr Gábor Miklós Molnár, Judge of the Curia. He spoke about new functions in the Hungarian Criminal Code:

“Hungary’s new Criminal Code has been in effect since June 2012. It regulates the issue of economic crimes and answers the new challenges related to regulating economic activity overall”, added the speaker.

After each session certain time was left for a short Q&A session and discussion.

The Conference ended with closing remarks by Andrei Lisitsin-Svetlanov, Director of the Institute of State and Law at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Gusztáv Bienerth, Chairman of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.