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UPDATE: A Guide to Legal Research in Russia

 

By Arina Popova and Lev S. Soloviev

 

Arina V. Popova earned her Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) at the New York University School of Law (2006). She received her law degree (J.D.) in 2005 from St. Petersburg State University School of Law, Russia. Lev S. Soloviev earned his Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) at the New York University School of Law (2008). He holds a J.D. (2003) from St. Petersburg State University School of Law, Russia.

 

Published August 2008

See the Archive Version!

 

Table of Contents

 

I. Russia—General Information

A. Geography and Population

B. Language, Religion, and Currency

C. State Symbols

II. Political System and Governmental Structure

A. Democratic and Federal State

B. Separation and Balancing of Powers

C. State and Local Self-Government Authorities

1. State Authorities of the Russian Federation

2. State Authorities of the Subjects of the Russian Federation

3. Local Self-Government Authorities

III. The State Authorities of the Russian Federation

A. The President of the Russian Federation

1. The Role of the President of Russia

2. The Requirements for Becoming a President of Russia

3. The Major Powers of the President

4. Impeachment

B. The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

1. General Notes

2. The State Duma

3. The Council of the Federation

4. Legislative Process

C. The Government of the Russian Federation

D. The Judicial System of the Russian Federation

1. The Judicial System (the Federal Constitutional Law, “On the Judicial System of the Russian Federation,” N 1-FKZ, dated December 31, 1996)

2. The Constitutional Courts

3. Courts of General Jurisdiction

4. Commercial (“Arbitrazh”) Courts

5. Private Arbitration

IV. Regional State Authorities

V. Sources of Law

A. General Notes

B. The Constitution of the Russian Federation

C. International Treaties

D. Federal Constitutional Laws

E. Codes

F. Federal Laws

G. Decrees and Orders of the President of the Russian Federation

H. Decisions and Orders of the Government of the Russian Federation and other State Executive Authorities

I. Regional Laws and Regulations

J. Court Decisions

K. Official Publications

L. Russian Legal Databases

1. Consultant Plus

2. Garant

3. Kodeks

M. Legal Publications

VI. Legal Education and Career in Russia

A. Legal Education

B. Legal Career

1. In-house Lawyers

2. Advocates

3. Government Lawyers

4. Judges

5. Lawyers at Consulting Companies

6. Lawyers at Law Firms

VII. Doing Business in Russia Guides

I.                   Russia – General Information

A.                 Geography and Population

The Russian Federation, or Russia, is the largest country in the world, bordering a number of European countries (including Poland and the Baltic countries) to the west, Finland and the Arctic Ocean to the north, Asian countries (including China) to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

The population of the Russian Federation numbers approximately 141 million people. The capital of Russia is Moscow (with a population of approximately 10.4 million people). The so-called “cultural” and historical capital of the nation is St. Petersburg (with a population of approximately 4.7 million people).

B.                 Language, Religion, Currency

The Russian language is the official state language of the Russian Federation. English is taught widely and is the principal foreign language in the Russian Federation.

Orthodox Christianity remains the main religion.

The ruble (RUR) is the national currency of the Russian Federation.

C.                  State Symbols

The National Flag (English language access) of the Russian Federation is a rectangular cloth of three equal horizontal stripes: the uppermost is white, the middle is blue and the bottom is red.

 

The National Anthem (English language access) is one of the official state symbols of the Russian Federation.  The Anthem’s words reflect feelings of patriotism and respect for the country’s history.

 

The State Emblem (English language access) of the Russian Federation is an official state symbol. The double-headed eagle has regained its status as the centerpiece of Russia’s State Emblem, testifying to the continuity of Russian history.

 

II.                Political System and Governmental Structure

A.                 Democratic and Federal State

After the demise of the Tsarist regime in the 1917 Revolution, Russia (and later the Soviet Union) was governed by the Communist Party.  With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the history of modern Russia begins.

Today, Russia is a democratic, federal state with a republican form of government consisting of 86 independent regions, literarily referred to in Russian as the, “Subjects of the Russian Federation”.  At the same time, the federal structure of the Russian Federation is based on its state integrity.

The 86 Subjects of the Russian Federation are comprised of:

·         21 Republics;

·         7 territories;

·         48 regions;

·         2 cities of federal importance (Moscow and St. Petersburg);

·         The Jewish autonomous region; and

·         7 autonomous areas.

The Subjects of the Russian Federation have their own constitutions/charters and legislation, as well as their own regional state authorities.

In addition to the division of the Russian Federation into 86 Subjects of the Russian Federation, each Subject also contains a number of municipalities.

B.                 Separation and Balancing of Powers

In the Russian Federation, state authority is divided between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, which are independent from each other.

State power is also divided between the state bodies of the Russian Federation and the state bodies of the Subjects of the Russian Federation.

C.                  State and Local Self-Government Authorities

1.             State Authorities of the Russian Federation

The State Authorities of the Russian Federation are:

·         The President of the Russian Federation;

·         The Federal Assembly (the State Duma—the lower chamber, and the Council of the Federation—the upper chamber);

·         The Government of the Russian Federation and relevant executive authorities; and,

·         Courts of the Russian Federation.

2.            State Authorities of the Subjects of the Russian Federation

State power in the Subjects of the Russian Federation is exercised by the state authorities, which are comprised of regional legislative, executive, and judicial branches.  Legislative authorities are elected by the respective population of the Subjects of the Russian Federation.  Executive authorities are appointed by the President of the Russian Federation.

3.            Local Self-Governing Authorities

Power within the municipalities is exercised by the local self-governing authorities, which are independent from state authorities. The limits of their power are prescribed by federal laws.

III.             The State Authorities of the Russian Federation

A.                 The President of the Russian Federation

1.             The Role of the President of Russia

The President of the Russian Federation (English language access) is the head of State; he determines the guidelines of the State's internal and foreign policies.

The current Russian President is Dmitry A. Medvedev (English language access), who was elected President of Russia on March 2, 2008 and inaugurated as president on May 7, 2008.

2.            The Requirements for Becoming a President of Russia

Any citizen of the Russian Federation not younger than 35 years of age and with a permanent residence record in the Russian Federation of not less than 10 years can be elected President of the Russian Federation.

The President of the Russian Federation is elected for four-year terms by the citizens of the Russian Federation. The same person may not be elected for more than two consecutive terms.

3.            The Major Powers of the President

The President of the Russian Federation has a right to:

·         Appoint the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation (provided that there is consent on the part of the State Duma);

·         Chair meetings of the Government of the Russian Federation;

·         Present candidates to the Council of the Federation for appointment as judges of the highest courts of the Russian Federation, as well as appoint judges of other federal courts;

·         Dissolve the State Duma in certain cases;

·         Submit bills to the State Duma, sign or veto them and make public the federal laws; and,

·         Issue decrees and orders related to a great number of spheres, which are binding throughout the Russian Federation. (Those decrees and orders cannot, however, contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the federal laws).

4.            Impeachment

The President of the Russian Federation may be impeached by the Council of the Federation on the basis of charges of high treason or other grave crimes, advanced by the State Duma and confirmed by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

There is no precedent of impeachment in Russia.

B.                 The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

1.             General Notes

The Federal Assembly is the parliament of the Russian Federation, which sits on a permanent basis and consists of two chambers: the State Duma—the lower chamber, and the Council of the Federation—the upper chamber.

The State Duma and the Council of the Federation have separate sittings.

2.            The State Duma

The State Duma (Russian language access) is the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

The State Duma consists of 450 deputies, each of whom is elected to a four year term. A citizen of the Russian Federation over 21 years of age is eligible to be elected deputy of the State Duma.

The State Duma sets up committees and commissions; it also holds parliamentary hearings on issues within its jurisdiction.

The composition of the State Duma is not based on a bipartisan system like legislative authorities in the United States. Four major parties are currently represented in the State Duma:

·         The pro-presidential party “Edinaya Rossia” (United Russia) (Russian language access) (70.00%);

·         The Communist Party (Russian language access) (12.67%);

·         The Liberal Democrats Party (Russian language access) (8.89%); and,

·         Spravedlivaya Rossia” (Fair Russia) Party (Russian language access) (8.44%).

The State Duma exercises the following major powers:

·            Adoption of federal constitutional laws and federal laws, which are the main sources of law in the Russian Federation;

·            Approving the appointment of the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation by the President of the Russian Federation; and,

·            Advancing charges against the President of the Russian Federation in the event of his impeachment.

3.            The Council of the Federation

The Council of the Federation (English language access) is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. It consists of two representatives from each Subject of the Russian Federation: one from the legislative branch and one from the executive branch of the respective regional state authorities.

The Council of the Federation sets up committees and commissions, and holds parliamentary hearings on issues within its jurisdiction.

The Council of the Federation exercises the following major powers:

·         Approval of the federal constitutional laws and the federal laws adopted by the State Duma;

·         Approval of border changes between the Subjects of the Russian Federation;

·         Impeachment of the President of the Russian Federation;

·         Appointment of judges to the Highest Courts of the Russian Federation; and

·         Appointment and dismissal of the Prosecutor-General of the Russian Federation.

4.            Legislative Process

The power to initiate bills belongs to:

·         The President of the Russian Federation;

·         The Council of the Federation and its members;

·         The deputies of the State Duma;

·         The Government of the Russian Federation; and,

·         The legislative bodies of the Subjects of the Russian Federation.

In addition, the power to initiate bills belongs to the Highest Courts of the Russian Federation on the issues within their authority.

Bills are considered and adopted by the State Duma. After their adoption, bills are considered to be approved by the Council of the Federation.

The adopted bills are submitted to the President of the Russian Federation, who signs and makes them public. The President of the Russian Federation has a right to veto a bill. This may, however, be overcome by a qualified majority of both deputies in the State Duma and members of the Council of the Federation.

Laws shall be officially published for general knowledge either in The Russian Newspaper (only recent legislative acts in Russian are available on the web-site), or The Collection of Laws of the Russian Federation magazine (only the names of recently enacted legislative acts in Russian are available on the web-site).

Unpublished laws are not effective.

C.                  The Government of the Russian Federation

Executive power in Russia is exercised by the Government of the Russian Federation (Russian language access) and the relevant executive bodies.

The Government of the Russian Federation consists of its Chairman (appointed by the President of the Russian Federation with the consent of the State Duma of the Russian Federation), Deputy Chairman and federal ministries. The Government of the Russian Federation resigns before each newly-elected President is inaugurated.   The current Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation is Vladimir V. Putin, who was appointed Chairman on May 8, 2008.

The Government of the Russian Federation has regulatory and supervisory powers in the areas of finance, the state budget, culture, science, education, health protection, social security, ecology, federal property, national defense, state security, the foreign policy of the Russian Federation, public order, crime control, and human rights and freedoms.

The Government of the Russian Federation may issue decisions and orders binding throughout the Russian Federation. These must, however, comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, along with the federal laws and decrees of the President of the Russian Federation.

The Ministries in the Government of the Russian Federation are:

·            The Ministry of Internal Affairs (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Justice (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry for Economic Development (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Finance (English language access);

·            The Ministry for Transportation (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry for Agriculture (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry for Regional Development (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry of Industry and Trade (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Energy;

·            The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology (English lanuage access);

·            The Ministry of Education and Science (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Defense (English language access);

·            The Ministry of Culture (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications (Russian language access);

·            The Ministry for Sport, Tourism and Youth Issues; 

·            The Ministry for Health and Social Development (Russian language access); and,

·            The Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Management (English language access).

D.                 The Judicial System of the Russian Federation

1.             The Judicial System (the Federal Constitutional Law "On the Judicial System of the Russian Federation" N 1-FKZ, dated December 31, 1996) (English language access)

Justice in the Russian Federation is administered by the courts alone and exercised by means of constitutional, civil, administrative and criminal proceedings.

The judicial system consists of three types of courts:

·         Constitutional courts;

·         Courts of general jurisdiction; and,

·         Specialized state commercial courts, named "arbitrazh" courts.

2.            The Constitutional Courts

The constitutional courts include the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (Russian language access) and constitutional courts of the Subjects of the Russian Federation.

The main function of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is to resolve issues regarding the compliance of laws and regulations with the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Constitutional courts of the Subjects of the Russian Federation serve similar functions regarding the compliance of regional acts with their respective regional constitutions and charters.

3.            Courts of General Jurisdiction

A four-tier hierarchical system of courts of general jurisdiction currently exists throughout Russia, with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (mainly Russian language access) serving as the supreme judicial body of this branch.

Courts of general jurisdiction hear: (i) civil cases with the participation of individuals, (ii) criminal cases, and (iii) disputes between individuals and state authorities.

In addition to settling particular disputes, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation regularly issues advisory opinions on matters of judicial practice that are binding on the courts of general jurisdiction of the lower instances.

4.            Commercial ("Arbitrazh") Courts

Commercial disputes in Russia are heard by arbitrazh courts, which have the following four-tier, hierarchical system:

·         The first level is comprised of the federal arbitrazh courts, which are located in each Subject of the Russian Federation;

·         The second level is comprised of 20 arbitrazh appellate courts;

·         The third level is comprised of 10 federal district arbitrazh courts; and,

·         The fourth level is comprised of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation (English language access), which is the superior judicial body for deciding commercial disputes.

Similar to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, and in addition to settling particular disputes, the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation regularly issues advisory opinions on matters of judicial practice that are binding on the arbitrazh courts of the lower instances.

5.            Private Arbitration

Parties may also refer commercial disputes to tribunals of private arbitration (both ad hoc and institutional), which serve as an alternative to state courts.

International commercial arbitration is mainly regulated by the Law of the Russian Federation "On International Commercial Arbitration" (English language access), dated July 7, 1993, which is identical to the Model UNCITRAL Law.

The best known international commercial arbitration courts in Russia are the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (Russian and English language access), the Maritime Arbitration Committee (Russian language access), and the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

IV.              Regional State Authorities

The Subjects of the Russian Federation have established a system of state bodies in accordance with the general principles regarding the organization of representative and executive state bodies established by federal laws.

Therefore, state power in the Subjects of the Russian Federation has traditionally been exercised by the regional executive and legislative bodies elected by the population of those Subjects.

As a result of the legislative changes initiated by Vladimir V. Putin to reduce the influence of regional state authorities, the governors of the Subjects of the Russian Federation are nominated by the President of Russia and approved by the regional legislative bodies.  This promotes centralization by making the Subjects of the Russian Federation more dependent on the federal state authorities.

V.                 Sources of Law

A.                 General Notes

The Russian Federation is a civil law country. This means that legislative acts are the sources of law, which serve a primary role, whereas court decisions, contrary to the basic tenets of the common law legal system, are not regarded as the sources of law.       

B.                 The Constitution of the Russian Federation

The Constitution of the Russian Federation (English language access / Russian language access) is the supreme law throughout the territory of the Russian Federation and is self-executing.

Laws and other legal acts adopted in the Russian Federation may not contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The current Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted through a referendum on December 12, 1993.

C.                  International Treaties

International treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party are an integral part of the Russian legal system.

The laws of the Russian Federation should not contradict international treaties; in the event of s conflict, however, the rules of the international treaty will apply.

D.                 Federal Constitutional Laws

No laws in the Russian Federation may contradict the federal constitutional laws. Federal constitutional laws are adopted only on the issues exclusively envisaged by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, such as:

·            A state of emergency in the Russian Federation;

·            The admission to the Russian Federation or the creation therein of new Subjects of the Russian Federation;

·            Changes in the status of the Subjects of the Russian Federation;

·            Descriptions of and regulations regarding the official use of the state flag, coat of arms and anthem of the Russian Federation;

·            Referendum in the Russian Federation;

·            The regime of martial law;

·            Appointment and dismissal of the Commissioner for human rights in the Russian Federation;

·            The status of the Government of the Russian Federation;

·            The judicial system of the Russian Federation;

·            The rules and powers regarding the formation and functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation.

E.                  Codes

The Codes are those legislative acts which exercise the highest judicial force among all ordinary federal laws in the Russian Federation. The Codes usually provide the basis for the respective areas of law which they address.

The most important Codes in the Russian Federation are the following:

·               The Civil Code (Parts 1 - 4) (Russian language access / English language access for Parts 1 - 3 only);

·               The Tax Code (Parts 1 - 2) (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Labor Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Code on Administrative Offenses (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Criminal Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Criminal Procedure Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Penal Code (Russian language access);

·               The Family Code (Russian language access);

·               The Housing Code (Russian language access);

·               The Code of Arbitrazh Procedure (Russian language access);

·               The Civil Procedure Code (Russian language access);

·               The Customs Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Budget Code (Russian language access);

·               The City-Planning Code (Russian language access);

·               The Merchant Shipping Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Air Code (Russian language access);

·               The Forest Code (Russian language access / English language access);

·               The Water Code (Russian language access); and,

·               The Land Code (Russian language access).

F.                  Federal Laws

Federal laws hold supremacy throughout the Russian Federation. The bodies of state authority, the bodies of local self-government, officials, individuals and companies are obliged to observe federal laws. These may not, however, contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the federal constitutional laws.

Federal laws are passed on the issues within the sole jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, as well as under the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and the Subjects of the Russian Federation (those jurisdictions are explicitly defined by the Constitution of the Russian Federation).

G.                 The Decrees and Orders of the President of the Russian Federation

The President of the Russian Federation issues decrees and orders; it is obligatory that these be fulfilled throughout the Russian Federation.

Said decrees and orders may not contradict either the Constitution of the Russian Federation or federal laws.

H.                The Decisions and Orders of the Government of the Russian Federation and other State Executive Authorities

The Government of the Russian Federation and other state executive authorities of the Russian Federation issue regulations, decisions and orders—which are binding throughout the Russian Federation—in the interest of preserving and upholding the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws and normative decrees issued by the President of the Russian Federation.

The decisions and orders of the Government of the Russian Federation, if they are inconsistent with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws or the decrees of the President of the Russian Federation, may be declared void by the President of the Russian Federation.

I.                   Regional Laws and Regulations

When addressing issues within the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and the Subjects of the Russian Federation, the latter may adopt regional laws and regulations which should comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the federal constitutional laws and federal laws. In the event that a contradiction might arise, federal regulations prevail.

The Subjects of the Russian Federation may adopt regional laws and regulations on issues within their exclusive jurisdiction.

The President of the Russian Federation has the right to suspend acts made by executive authorities of the Subjects of the Russian Federation if they contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation and/or federal laws.

J.                  Court Decisions

As a general rule, court decisions are not considered to be sources of law in the Russian Federation. There is no concept of judicial precedent in Russia.

However, court decisions made by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and regional constitutional courts are considered sources of law, since they may invalidate normative acts on the basis of the latter's non-compliance with relevant constitutions/charters.

In addition, as stated earlier, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation regularly issue advisory opinions regarding matters of judicial practice, which are binding on the courts of the lower instances of the respective judicial branches. In practice, state authorities, companies and individuals also take these general rulings into consideration, when facing relevant legal issues.

Although court decisions are not regarded as a source of law in the Russian Federation, they usually serve as persuasive legal guidance for legal practitioners.

K.                 Official Publications

Federal laws, decrees and regulations made by the President and the Government of the Russian Federation—as well as normative acts of other executive state authorities—are published in the following official gazettes:

·         The Russian Newspaper (only recent legislative acts in Russian are available on the web-site);

·          The Collection of Laws of the Russian Federation magazine (only the names of recently enacted legislative acts in Russian are available on the web-site); and,

·         The Parliamentary Newspaper (only recent legislative acts in Russian are available on the web-site).

Court decisions of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Arbitrazh Court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation are published in:

All of the above are available online in Russian.

L.                  Russian Legal Databases

The three most commonly-used legal databases in Russia are:

·         Consultant Plus;

·         Garant; and

·         Kodeks.

Each of these three legal databases covers all effective codes, federal constitutional laws, federal laws, decrees and regulations of the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, normative acts of Russian state executive authorities, as well as all court decisions of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Arbitrazh Court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.  A considerable number of court decisions made by lower courts, as well as a great number of scholarly commentaries and legal publications, are also contained in each of these legal databases.

In addition, the main features of each of those legal databases are outlined below.

1.             Consultant Plus

Today, Consultant Plus (Russian language access) is the largest (mainly fee-based) legislation and court decisions data bank available in Russia.  The total number of documents available in the Consultant Plus database is 3,200,200. New documents are added into the database every day, within a few days of their adoption by Russian Federation authorities.

From the legal practitioner’s viewpoint, one could say that Consultant Plus contains the most comprehensive database of Russian court decisions. This is very useful when dealing with situations similar to those addressed in the decisions.

It is worth noting that Consultant Plus has free on-line access to approximately 700,000 documents in the Russian language from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. on weekdays (Moscow time) and during weekends.

Consultant Plus also has a special supplementary "Consultant Plus Regions", which provides for access to almost all regional laws and normative acts.

In addition, Consultant Plus is the first Russian legal database to provide the texts of classical, pre-Revolutionary civil law textbooks, i.e. those dating from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Consultant Plus does not provide for legislative texts in English.

2.            Garant

A fee-based database, Garant, includes specialized databases on all spheres of federal legislation.  The legislative acts of 77 Subjects of the Russian Federation and the decisions of Russian courts are also presented in the database.

The information resources of the Garant system exceed 2,500,000 documents.

The main advantage of Garant is that this legal database supplies information on Russian legislation in both English and Russian. At present, all fundamental Russian laws have been translated into English, including documents concerning civil law, tax law and the avoidance of double taxation, customs law, etc.  The Garant database is supplemented weekly with thirty to forty documents translated into English.

A significant number of foreign companies (international organizations, foreign banks and embassies, large audit, consulting and manufacturing companies) in Russia use the Garant database.

The Garant system is also distributed via the LexisNexis network.

3.            Kodeks

Kodeks is a comprehensive fee-based database of Russian laws, other normative acts and court decisions.

M.                Legal Publications

Legal publications are not considered sources of law in Russia.

However, the following fundamental textbooks (available in Russian only) are usually referred to by legal students and practitioners.

Theory of State and Law

·                           Lev I. Spiridonov, Theory of State  and Law (2001)

Constitutional Law

·                           Marat V. Baglay, Constitutional Law of the Russian Federation (6th ed. 2005)

Civil Law

·                           Alexander P. Sergeev et al., Civil Law, Book 1 (6th ed. 2005)

·                           Alexander P. Sergeev et al., Civil Law, Book 2 (4th ed. 2008)

·                           Alexander P. Sergeev et al., Civil Law, Book 3 (4th ed. 2006)

·                           Evgeniy A. Sukhanov et al., Civil Law, Book 1 (3rd ed. 2004)

·                           Evgeniy A. Sukhanov et al., Civil Law, Book 2 (3rd ed. 2006)

·                           Evgeniy A. Sukhanov et al., Civil Law, Book 3 (3rd ed. 2006)

·                           Evgeniy A. Sukhanov et al., Civil Law, Book 4 (3rd ed. 2008)

·                           Oleg N. Sadikov et al., Commentary to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Part 1 (2003)

·                           Oleg N. Sadikov et al., Commentary to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Part 1 (2003)

·                           Alexander P. Sergeev et al., Commentary to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Part 3 (2006)

Contract Law

·                           Mikhail I. Braginskiy & Vasiliy V. Vitryanskiy, Contract Law, Book 1 (2005)

·                           Mikhail I. Braginskiy & Vasiliy V. Vitryanskiy, Contract Law, Book 2 (2004)

·                           Mikhail I. Braginskiy & Vasiliy V. Vitryanskiy, Contract Law, Book 3 (2004)

·                           Mikhail I. Braginskiy & Vasiliy V. Vitryanskiy, Contract Law, Book 4 (2003)

·                           Mikhail I. Braginskiy & Vasiliy V. Vitryanskiy, Contract Law, Book 5 (2006)

Corporate and Commercial Law

·                           Olga A. Makarova, Corporate Law (2005)

·                           Vladimir F. Popondopulo, Commercial Law (2006)

Civil and Arbitration Procedure

·                           Vladimir V. Yarkov, Civil Procedure (6th ed. 2006)

·                           Vladimir V. Yarkov, Arbitration Procedure (3rd ed. 2006)

International Public Law

·                           Yuriy M. Kolosov et al., International Law (2nd ed. 2007)

International Private Law

·                           Mark M. Boguslavsky, International Private Law (2006)

·                           Lazar A. Lunz, International Private Law in 3 Books (2002)

Labor Law

·                           Sergey P. Mavrin & Evgeniy B. Khokhlov, Labor Law (2007)

Criminal Law

·                           Alexey N. Ignatov, Yuriy A. Krasikov, Russian Criminal Law (Part 1) (2005)

·                           Alexey N. Ignatov, Yuriy A. Krasikov, Russian Criminal Law (Part 2) (2005)

·                           Vyacheslav M. Lebedev, Commentary to the Criminal Code (2008)

Criminal Procedure

·                           Vyacheslav P. Bozh'ev, Criminal Procedure (2006)

Environmental Law

·                           Sergey A. Bogolyubov, Environmental Law (2008)

Land Law

·                           Yuriy G. Zharikov, Land Law of Russia (2008)

Financial Law

·                           Nina I. Khimicheva et al., Financial Law (2007)

Tax Law

·                           Natalia A. Sheveleva, Tax Law, Part 1 (2001)

·                           Natalia A. Sheveleva, Tax Law, Part 2 (2004

Family Law

·                           Alexander P. Sergeev et al., Civil Law, Book 3 (4th ed. 2006)

The following is a list of those publishing houses in Russia which publish high quality texts:

Russian law journals also provide a wealth of material on Russian law. The listing below includes the most popular journals among Russian students and legal practitioners.

·         Vestnik of the Supreme Arbitrazh Code (Russian language access to the list of publications)

·         Arbitrazh Disputes (Russian language access to the list of publications)

·         Corporate Lawyer (Russian language access to the list of publications)

·         Mergers & Acquisitions (Russian language access to the list of publications and a number of articles)

·         Economy and Law (Russian language access to the list of publications)

·         International Commercial Arbitration (Russian language access to the list of publications)

·         Court of Private Arbitration (Russian language access to the list of publications and a number of articles)

·         The Moscow Journal of International Law (Russian language access to the list of publications)

VI.              Legal Education and Career in Russia

A.                 Legal Education

There is no official ranking of Law Schools in Russia.

However, the following Law Schools are considered to be the best Law Schools in Russia both by students and employers:

·         The M.V. Lomonosov Law School of Moscow State University (Russian language access)

·         The Law School of St. Petersburg State University (English, German and Russian language access). The Law School provides for a number of interesting opportunities for foreign students (International Admissions)

·         The Law School of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Russian language access)

·         Moscow State Academy of Law (Russian and English language access)

Most Law Schools are operated and financed by the government.

Legal education takes from 4 (to obtain a Bachelor in Law degree) to 6 years (to obtain a Master in Law degree).  Completing one’s education at the High School level—not the College level, as in the United States—is required to enter a Law School.

B.                 Legal Career

Neither a complete legal education, nor the successful completion of a bar exam is required to practice law in Russia.

The following legal careers are typical in Russia:

·         In-house lawyer;

·         Advocate;

·         Government lawyer;

·         Judge;

·         Lawyer at a consulting company; and

·         Lawyer at a law firm.

1.             In-house Lawyers

In-house lawyers are the most common type of lawyer in Russia.

The largest Russian and multinational companies and banks have experienced in-house legal advisers.  In the event of domestic mergers and acquisitions, it is not uncommon for the vendor to have no external legal advice, relying almost entirely on its in-house lawyers.

In-house lawyers are admitted to represent their clients in court without having passed a bar exam.

2.            Advocates

Advocates are a separate category of lawyers, who work in the Unions of Advocates.  These lawyers traditionally represent clients in court.

To become an advocate, it is required that a relevant bar exam be passed.

3.            Government Lawyers

Working as a Government Lawyer (e.g., at state agencies regulating land, property, etc. and in law and tax enforcement bodies) is popular but not well-paid.

The duties of Government Lawyers are strictly defined by federal laws and regulations.

4.            Judges

Judges are a very prestigious category of lawyers in Russia. There are strict requirements to becoming a judge.

As a general rule, judges shall be citizens of the Russian Federation, over 25 years of age, with a higher education in law, who have served in the legal profession for not less than five years. However, particular federal laws provide for additional, stricter requirements for the judges of the higher court instances.

Judges (except for those of the Highest Courts of the Russian Federation) are appointed by the President of Russia.

5.            Lawyers at Consulting Companies

International consulting companies, such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, are allowed to practice law in Russia. In practice, they have considerable legal groups consisting of approximately 50-100 legal and tax specialists.

Lawyers at consulting companies usually provide corporate and tax advice. However, the deals in the consulting companies are usually less complex than those at law firms.  Moreover, in consulting companies, legal departments often play only a support role.

6.            Lawyers at Law Firms

International law firms are traditionally considered to be the most prestigious employers for students graduating from Russian Law Schools. An LL.M. degree from a prominent US or UK law school sometimes serves as a prerequisite for entering a number of international law firms in Moscow.

New associates are not usually hired by a particular department, but may generally choose one of the firms’ major practice areas in which to start (banking and finance, capital markets, corporate/commercial, dispute resolution, energy & natural resources, intellectual property).

At the very top end for the students and clients are such firms as:

·         Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP

·         Allen & Overy

·         Baker & McKenzie

·         Chadbourne & Parke

·         Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

·         Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

·         Clifford Chance

·         CMS Cameron McKenna

·         Debevoise & Plimpton LLC

·         Dewey & LeBoeuf

·         DLA Piper

·         Gide Loyrette Nouel

·         Herbert Smith

·         Hogan & Hartson

·         Jones Day

·         Latham & Watkins LLP

·         Linklaters

·         Lovells

·         Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

·         Salans

·         Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

·         White & Case.

 

According to the Legal 500 Series, few Russian firms have managed to truly challenge the dominance of the Western interlopers. Nevertheless, several (such as Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners and Pepeliaev, Goltsblat & Partners) do compete with international law firms in terms of hiring law school graduates.

The Law Firms operating in Russia which have been ranked with distinction may be found at both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners Russian Internet pages.

VII.           Doing Business in Russia Guides

The ‘Doing Business in Russia Guides’ hyperlinked below provide a quick overview of issues including but not limited to the following:

·         General information about the country;

·         Political system;

·         Foreign investment climate;

·         Forms of business organizations;

·         Mergers & acquisitions;

·         Regulation of securities;

·         Antimonopoly regulations;

·         Currency regulations;

·         Employment;

·         Real estate;

·         Intellectual property;

·         Privatization;

·         Insolvency;

·         Taxation; and,

·         Accounting practices.

Doing Business in Russia Guides:

·         Doing Business in Russia, by the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia

·         Doing Business in Russia, prepared by Deloitte Russia

·         Doing Business in the Russian Federation, prepared by the Ernst & Young practice in the Russian Federation (August, 2007)

·         Doing Business in Russia, prepared by KPMG in Russia (April 2006)

·         Doing Business in the Russian Federation, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers in Russia (2008)

·         Doing Business in Russia, prepared by Baker & McKenzie in Russia (May 2007)