Activities of the Legal Counsel of the
Visit by the Legal Counsel to St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
At the invitation of the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Mr. Alexander Konovalov, the United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, participated from 27 to 29 May 2015 in the Fifth St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.
The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum is a platform for discussing current legal issues, in particular as they relate to doing business in and with Russia and is attended by attorneys in private practice as well as in-house lawyers of major enterprises and companies. At the same time, the Forum brings together high-ranking State officials from Russia and foreign countries as well as leading academics in the areas of law, economics and international relations. The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum was established in 2011 by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and is supported by the President and the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. In the margins of the Forum, the organizers hold other important legal meetings.
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum
On 27 May, the Legal Counsel addressed the opening plenary meeting of the Forum alongside of the Ministers of Justice of Austria, Mr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, and Italy, Mr. Andrea Orlando. The plenary meeting entitled “The Mission of Law in an Era of Change” was opened and chaired by the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev. In his speech, Prime Minister Medvedev, a lawyer by training himself, focused on the business aspects of the conference. He briefed the Forum on innovations of Russian legislation and business law initiatives, underscoring that Russia was an interesting place for economic activities. In his keynote address, Mr. Serpa Soares focused on the framework topic from a United Nations perspective against the background of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Organizations.
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, addresses the opening plenary while Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and Austrian Justice Minister Brandstetter look on
On 29 May, Mr. Serpa Soares participated in a discussion session on the topic of “sovereignty and supranationalism in contemporary international relations” which was co-moderated by the President, Mr. Anatoly Kapustin, and Vice-President, Mr. Alexei Moiseev, of the Russian Association of International Law. The panel focused on the situation of States in an increasingly interdependent world, the legal status of a State in the framework of current international relations and the challenges and opportunities of deepening political and economic integration processes in different regional of the world. For Mr. Serpa Soares, as a long-time practitioner of European Union law, this session was particularly interesting because of the participation of leading practitioners of different organs of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU or EEU) is an economic union of States primarily located in northern Eurasia. The treaty establishing the EEU was signed on 29 May 2014 by the leaders or Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and entered into force on 1 January 2015. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are taking concrete steps to accede to the EEU.
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, participating in a panel discussion on sovereignty and supranationalism in contemporary international relations
The presence of so many Government Officials and other practitioners and experts of international law afforded Mr. Serpa Soares with the opportunity to hold a series of informal and formal bilateral meetings. The most noteworthy meeting was the bilateral with the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Mr. Maxim Travnikov, and the Deputy Director or the Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Alexey Dronov, during which a wide range of current legal issues were discussed.
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, gives an interview in the margins of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum