We are glad to present you the 25th issue of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Digest!
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Lawyers of the V St. Petersburg International Legal Forum are invited to participate in Legal Run 2015 national charity project
News of the Forum
On 31 May, the day following the V St. Petersburg International Legal Forum the delegates are invited to participate in Legal Run charity event, unparalleled fund-raising project to support children and young adults of Gift of Life Charity Fund. Along with St. Petersburg the lawyers from Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Novosibirsk will participate in local events as part of Legal Run 2015 initiative.
The venue chosen for the event is Sosnovka, one of the biggest recreational parks in the city and a popular place for jogging and walking. 5 and 10 km tracks will cross the central part of the park and its picturesque landscapes.
The fee is charged during on-line registration from 20 April to 29 May.
The event is organised by the professional team of marathon-running lawyers, marketing managers, dedicated volunteers and passionate representatives of Russian law firms, who like sports and 'smart charity'. In 2015 the race has got the national dimension and will be traditionally held under the auspices of the RF Federal Chamber of Lawyers. The day chosen for the race is associated with the National Bar Day on 31 May, World No Tobacco Day and Children's Day on 1 June.
Legal Run was first held on 31 May 2014 in Moscow in picturesque Novodevichy Prudy Park. Over 500 000 Rubles raised there went to Gift of Life Charity Fund to support Andsordzhon Asrorov, a two-year-boy from Tadzhikistan diagnosed with retinoblastoma. After the treatment the boy's condition has significantly improved.
Run. Smile. Help motto reveals the core message of the project and calls professional community to come together and support those who need our help to survive. The organizers of the race invite the community to communicate, find new friends and do good things together, cheering, smiling, making your body and spirit stronger, because running and working hard to get better is such a big fun! Join us to run together, support your colleagues and counterparts, friends, relatives, and all other participants and enjoy our favourite city!
Video - Report Legal Run 2014
«During these 70 years, starting with the Charter of the International Military Tribunal and the beginning of the Nuremberg trials, international criminal justice has become a legal reality, which has its impact on the development of the respective branches of international and national law»
Judge, Appeals Chamber of the International criminal tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia
Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, Judge, Appeals Chamber of the International criminal tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia, moderator of 1.3. International and National Criminal Justice: Compatibility and Interaction
During these 70 years, starting with the Charter of the International Military Tribunal and the beginning of the Nuremberg trials, international criminal justice has become a legal reality, which has its impact on the development of the respective branches of international and national law. However, after the post-WWII international tribunals finished their work, more than 40 years had passed before the necessity – destructive and slaughterous armed conflicts in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda – made the international community remember about the international criminal justice and rapidly establish special courts aimed at prosecuting genocide and other severe crimes, committed during these wars, and at punishing criminals. Currently these and some of the other courts have almost completed their mandates, while the International Criminal Court is beginning more active. Nevertheless, some issues both in the work of the ICC and its relations with certain jurisdictions are obvious. The experience of special courts is not spotless, but suggestions about the establishment of new tribunals appear again and again, so this topic is never out-of-date.
International and national systems of criminal law interact and affect each other in a jurisprudential dialogue. However, neither this mutual influence nor the dialogue are always constructive and free from conflict. Their harmonization is an important task for both systems, and our panelists will highlight this matter.
We hope to attract a wide audience of lawyers, including students who are only choosing specialization, attorneys working in international courts, members of parliaments who might be interested in ideas of how to enhance national criminal and procedural legislation with the help of international experiences, as well as Russian judges, whose international views are often limited, for obvious reasons, by the European Human Rights Court’s practice.
The list of contributors is well-balanced: it includes academics with vast practical experience, as well as practitioners with good academic background. Gleb Bogush, Associate Professor of the Law Faculty from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Gennady Esakov, Head of the Department of Criminal Law from the Higher School of Economics, will give a talk on possible ways of the development of the Russian legislation. Vagn Joensen, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, will share the experience of the Tribunal, while Sergey Knyazev, Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, will address the topic of the panel from the point of view of constitutional law. Nizami Safarov, Head of Legal Department in the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, will focus on the results of a comparative legal research aimed at harmonizing national legal systems with the Roman Statute of the ICC. Anita Usacka, Former Judge of the International Criminal Court, will tell us about a short, though already very controversial, experience of the ICC activity.
I’d like to mention that I have a fruitful professional relationship with all the participants of the session, some of whom are my old friends. I am grateful for their decision to take part in our collaborative work.
«In judicial practice, application of remedies is a central problem since disputes concerning violations of contractual obligations are mainly based on whether there is basis for the application of remedies and which remedies can be applied for which violations»
Head of the Institute of Private Law, University of Tartu, Partner, Law Firm "VARUL"
Paul Varul, Head of the Institute of Private Law, University of Tartu, Partner, Law Firm "VARUL", moderator of 2.4. Remedies in Case of Non-Performance of Obligations
It is important for the development of economy that contracts would be performed as required. One way of guaranteeing the performance is the possibility of applying remedies in cases when contracts have been breached. In judicial practice, application of remedies is a central problem since disputes concerning violations of contractual obligations are mainly based on whether there is basis for the application of remedies and which remedies can be applied for which violations.
Remedies that will be covered in the panel are primarily: requiring performance of obligation, withholding performance, right to terminate, price reduction, damages and interests, contractual penalty. Central questions are the preconditions for using those remedies (e.g. when excused non-performance excludes the use of a remedy and when it does not; what is the meaning of violator’s culpability, etc.), also the specifics of violation of different type of obligations. An important issue is also the connection between the said remedies when they are being used – which ones can be used at the same time, cumulatively and which ones cannot be used in such a way. A lot of attention to the development of the system of remedies has been paid in model laws developed by international study groups, such as the Principles of European Contract Law, International Principles of Common Law (UNIDROIT), Draft Common Frame Reference, also Common European Sales Law. It is important to cover how national law in the respective field could be developed by taking into consideration internationally developed recommendations. The issue of the application of remedies in international contracts is also important.
Since in legal disputes the issue which remedies can and must be used generally arises, this field is relevant both for practitioners and in theory. This topic is relevant everywhere, irrespective of the country and legal system in use. The issues covered concerning remedies could be of interest to everyone who deals with the conclusion, performance and results of violation of contracts. Such as attorneys, judges, counsels, in-house lawyers, scientists, notaries, etc.
The panellists are Prof. Denis Philippe from Belgium, Ilya Nikiforov and Vsevolod Baibak from St. Petersburg, Christian Schmies from Germany, Vladimir Gureev and Pavel Menshenin from Moscow and Sunil Gandhia from the United Kingdom. They are all distinguished experts of the respective field and will analyse the experience of their countries as well as the international experience, and also opportunities for developing the law concerning remedies further.
Find more about new TV series dedicated to the lawyers in the fashion column with a legal focus
«Good Wife is the series about difficulties, legal and financial, private and public. This is not series about attorneys, but a true legal series»
The Good Wife series premiered in 2009, at that time when the interest to series as to a full-fledged genre was increasing. The recent economic crisis compelled people to spend evenings at home and enjoy home entertainment activities. So, series became an everyday ritual, a parallel life, which diverted attention from difficulties of a real life.
However, the Good Wife is the series about difficulties, legal and financial, private and public. This is not series about attorneys, but a true legal series. If in all the above-mentioned shows lawyers are main characters and action is unfolding around them, here action is based on concrete legal collisions, against the backdrop of which personal dramas and even personal tragedies take place.
The title character of the show, Alicia Florrick, the wife of Peter Florrick, State's Attorney of Illinois, who goes to prison amid a corruption and prostitution scandal, returns to work as a junior litigator at the law firm Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, after having spent fifteen years as “the good wife.” Humiliated and insulted, at the age of forty, Alicia finds herself at the bottom of the career ladder, but promptly moves up, becomes a partner and toward the end of Season 5, starts a new firm. Meanwhile, her husband manages to cope with all his problems and eventually becomes a governor of Illinois. Alicia runs for State's Attorney, and develops a friendship with prosecutor Finn Polmar.
The fashion element of the show looks convincing. Almost in each episode, Alicia wears new dress, as well as her boss and then partner Diane Lockhart. Nevertheless, their tastes are as different, as are their characters. Reserved Alicia and authoritative and cynic Diane. The costume designer Daniel Lawson keeps in line with their characters. Alicia dresses herself in a modest and elegant way following the dress code. The designer plays up her appearance with red tones or bright rosy colours when she allows herself to feel sensuality, love and passion and a wish to be attractive wins out over call of duty. From a tired woman in a shapeless taupe costume and with a strand of pearls on her neck, with flat hair and pale lips, in Season 5 Alicia turns into a lovely young woman in a scarlet cocktail dress and with red lips.
Diane, in turn, dresses herself in a flamboyant eye-catching manner. And if we think about her age (she is in her fifties) and her status, it is obvious that sometimes her clothes are absolutely inappropriate. She wears massive necklaces and brooches on lapels of her skinny blazers. Very often, she wears white. For example, she comes into a court wearing a narrow white jacket with a puffy basque, and the next day she appears in her office in a white blouse with shawl collar. Diane loves animal print dresses and even leopard print coats which is incredible from the point of view of dress code. All in all, she loves special effects, like mink or camel collars, both being a token of her wealth.
As soon as Alicia enters the office, it is clear that she wants to look elegant and quiet. And only when her mother appears looking like a cheap copy of Elizabeth Taylor, we understand that Alicia is afraid of being vulgar as well and can’t believe this vulgarity isn’t descendible. At the same time, she has complexes about her look. And when a young attorney of the other party says “What a cool jacket you have! My mom has the same!” – Alicia is deeply offended.
Another person to analyse is Kalinda Sharma, the firm's in-house private investigator, antipode of both Diane and Alicia. Kalinda is bisexual and very vulgar. She waddles and wears short skirts showing her solid build. This is also emphasised by high boots and skinny jeans. Kalinda always has something made of leather – jacket, coat or skirt. This points towards her masculinity and masculine character of her profession, full of danger and stress.
These three women define the line of the show. However, the necessity to dress them in each episode made Daniel Lawson think about his own brand. He joined forces with the British brand Number 35 and launched his own fashion line entitled 35DL, the style of which Daniel considered as business professional. However, his biggest pride is the fact that Michelle Obama has once put on the Michael Kors tweed jacket, which Alicia was wearing in one of the episodes of Season 4. And this is, of course, a very American story, as the Good Wife show is itself.
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