International Law

A Chat with Yevgeny Tarlo, Russian Senator

By: Marat Almaganbetov, LexisNexis Russia Head of Business development

  In our blog we tell about International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg (Russia). We talk to Yevgeny Tarlo, doctor of law, professor, Russian senator.

Marat Almaganbetov :  Dr. Tarlo, a round table about Rule of Law was held at the conference. There is much talk about rule of law in Russia. However Russian companies have their legal proceedings with other Russian companies in High Court of Justice in London. How it deals with the rule of law in Russia?

Yevgeny Tarlo: First of all, not all companies solve their legal affairs abroad. There are only single instances of such assizes. As a rule, we talk about transnational companies, which cannot be considered to be fully Russian. Their shareholders who were born in Russia, but now most of them have foreign citizenship or residence permit in UK, Israel, USA etc.

As a rule, these are big oil corporations that practice transboundary deals. In this case it is clear why they apply to Stockholm or London courts of arbitration. Besides, these disputes often appear on the territory of these countries, because the stock is at LSE or NYSE and the contracts are fulfilled abroad.

There is also a problem concerning funds transfer pricing, that results in understating the price inside and earning the largest profit share outside Russia. Of course it causes to loss of a huge amount of money by Russian budget.

Russian economic legal base was newly formed. Shock of nineties, lack of legal norms and traditions, as well as lack of state control caused those unnatural phenomena for any national economy, when national companies find mediation of their economic disputes abroad. I hope this is a temporary effect and soon it will be rather an exception than a rule.

MA: Which steps should be undertaken to help the rule of law to triumph in Russia?

YT:  I think, it should start with making all state institutions to observe the law. If state institutions, judicial system, law enforcement bodies observe the law, then citizens will have no other options than observing the law. The violation of law often starts from state.  This is sad but true.

One more remark. To make law observed we need to recondition the moral atmosphere of the society, restore values: of labor, creation, social confidence.  It creates a base for the rule of law. When I was a first-year university student I wrote a work about interrelations between law and public morals. Those relations resemble communicating vessels. Moral provides base for law but law influences morals. Legal values should coincide with moral values because moral values have been formed during longer historical period. Legal norms undergo personal influences and accidental facts. Sure, moral also has historical roots but it deals with centuries and millennia.

MA: Thanks for your time.

YT: We look forward to see LexisNexis grow in Russia.  Access to global information sources such as LexisNexis is the only way for developing global economic relations.


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