A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 180 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 81 countries worldwide, and 186 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, Spanish – t.me/RoscongressEsp and Arabic t.me/RosCongressArabic. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation:roscongress.org.

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The Professionalization of Judicial Proceedings
30 June 2022
16:30—18:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Jurisprudence in Russia has great potential for development

I am involved in civil and administrative proceedings in which there has always been a separate role for the court. The inquisitorial principles from Soviet civil procedure are now embodied in our rules of law. If you take the Administrative Court Procedure Code, it outlines the principle of adversarial proceedings with an active role of the court. The active role of the court remains and the court must ensure equal conditions for the adversarial principle when the parties are absolutely unequal in their ability to defend themselves in court. <...> What can be said about some perspective on professional representation? It can be in all courts and at all times, it can be in certain judicial institutions, for example, compulsory representation has been introduced in constitutional courts. There, the function of professional court representation increases considerably — Yuri Ivanenko, Judge, The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

For corporations, it is essential what kind of lawyers they employ. <...> I have great respect for corporate lawyers. I think they are quite motivated employees. <...> We will provide the opportunity [for submitting legal documents to the court in electronic form]. We have the program, we only need to agree with the court department, so they could use it. And powers of attorney will also be in electronic form — Maxim Beskhmelnitsyn, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Russian universities play a leading role in improving legal professional competences

The fresh student mind is much sharper than that of seasoned professionals who are overloaded with information. <...> The fact that the requirement that sets an educational qualification in the form of a law degree exists now is a reasonable measure that ensures a sufficient level of professionalism of the representative — Stepan Zaitsev, Legal Director, Siemens.

The criterion for representation in court is having a law degree. About 300 thousand law students graduate in our country every year. All of them pass the state examination before the state examination commission. We make them pass through this sieve – the examination – we require them to confirm their qualifications. Improving the quality of education is a hot topic now. We can start with education as the foundation in which all knowledge, skills, and qualifications of future lawyers are laid — Dmitry Dubenetsky, Managing Director, DOM.RF; Vice President, DOM.RF Bank.

ISSUES
Lack of competences and qualifications among lawyers

The situation with civil cases still poses problems. Now, according to the law, it is enough to have a law degree, and you can go to court and represent the interests of the principal in civil and arbitration cases with a clear conscience. Many lawyers, especially young ones, think they know how to do everything. When they go to court, it turns out they don’t — Maxim Beskhmelnitsyn, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Today, a lawyer – whether they work at a law office or association – no one actually examines their professional activity unless there is a complaint. <...> I have been representing the government in the Constitutional Court for twenty years. The applicant's side is represented by either lawyers or PhDs. <...> If I had to name some skilled ones, it would only be lawyers. It's tradition, culture, behaviour, even the way one comes to the Constitutional Court. <...> I'll never forget one person who came to the Constitutional Court wearing jeans, red plaid shirt, suspenders, and a bow tie. <...> In Moscow, with a population of seven million people, there were 950 lawyers. Today, there are 14 million people living in Moscow, and how many lawyers there are – 11,700. <...> I see the degradation of the quality of lawyers’ work — Mikhail Barshchevsky, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of the Russian Federation at the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

Insufficient level of expertise

In no other country in the world can you become a judge without having practical experience in other professions. Only in Russia. As for legal education. In the Soviet Union, there were 52 universities which graduated lawyers. How many universities do you think are offering law degrees in the Russian Federation today? There were 1,200, now there are 900. There are almost a hundred in Moscow. What quality legal education are we talking about here? — Mikhail Barshchevsky, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of the Russian Federation at the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

When it comes to higher education, we must be guided by practicality, among other things. And this is where the corporate sector advocates maximum practicality and utilitarianism. As a team leader who decides every day who should go to court and who should stay in the office to do less skilled work – writing contracts, for example – I value practical skills the most. The graduates who come to work to us now lack practical skills, and it is my task to teach them. I will do my best educating them and passing on the experience that I and my colleagues have — Dmitry Dubenetsky, Managing Director, DOM.RF; Vice President, DOM.RF Bank.

SOLUTIONS
Introduce admission to legal representation for aspiring lawyers

We propose to introduce some kind of admission to legal representation. <...> We need yet to figure out what institution will grant this admission. <...> There is a huge layer of corporate lawyers. They too will have to get a license for court representation. <...> If we introduce this admission, then it means that we are not happy with the way things are in the legal community. We know that the rules of the game are outlined in the legal profession, so our opinion is that lawyers should be granted admission automatically. Once they join and get a certificate, we put them on the register, and they start working — Maxim Beskhmelnitsyn, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

There are two options. The first option is that we have the Association of Lawyers of Russia, which has territorial branches, and, in theory, we can give it the authority to take the admission exam. On the other hand, there is no need to reinvent the wheel – we have territorial chambers of lawyers in which there are qualification commissions representing the state and it is possible to give them the right to take this exam — Mikhail Barshchevsky, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of the Russian Federation at the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

Improve our higher education system

There are a dozen of criteria that a person must meet in order to be a representative in court and not to embarrass either the court or his or her principal. A law degree, preferably a full-fledged degree in law rather than a bachelor's degree, [is necessary]. They should preferably have practical experience before going to court. Obviously, they must pass a special examination: not only for their knowledge of the theory of state and law but also for the special techniques that are used in court during the process. The next criterion to be met by a person is compulsory professional development: not once in a while, it should be standards of professional development — Yury Pilipenko, President, Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS