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    International rounds champion – Australia. Three Russian teams advanced in the international rounds.

    Champion of the Russian National rounds – Russian Academy of Justice (Moscow). Runner-up - Baltic Federal University named after Immanuel Kant (Kaliningrad).

    Threefold Legal Advisors is pleased to inform you of the Russian and international rounds results of the 2014 Philip C. Jessup Moot Court Competition.

    On 12 April 2014, the 55th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world’s largest and most prestigious English-language competition for law students, ended in Washington DC, USA.

    2014 Jessup Russian National rounds

    Fourty-five Russian universities participated in the XIII Russian National Championship of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which ended in Moscow on 2 February 2014. Five teams were selected to represent Russia at the international stage of the Competition.

    Thirty-nine teams took part in the Russian National Championship oral rounds, and over 100 international lawyers took part as judges. The judges convened in Moscow hailing not only from Russia but also other major jurisdictions, such as the UK, Denmark, Israel, India, Italy, Canada, Poland, the USA, the Ukraine, France, South Africa and other countries.

    This year, the judges in the Final round of the National Championship were Judge Vagn Joensen, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Professor José Alvarez of New York University, and Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.

    After a lengthy discussion in the deliberations room, the judges awarded victory to the Russian Academy of Justice (RAJ) team, which had been one of the leading teams during the preliminary rounds and had made it among top-four Russian teams to enter the advanced rounds. The winning team was represented by oralists Alena Tikhonova, Alla Ershova and Vladimir Muzhchinin, who participated in the Competition not for the first, but unfortunately for the last year. The team’s coaches were Pavel Myslivskiy, post-graduate student at the RAJ chair of international law, and Maxim Popov, 2011 RAJ graduate. The victory was the RAJ team’s first as a Russian National Champion, with Alla Ershova being awarded the title of the best oralist of the 2014 Russian National rounds.

    It was a pleasant surprise to see the team from the Baltic Federal University named after Immanuel Kant ranking among the finalists for the first time. The Immanuel Kant University team managed to break through into the Final round and put up a laudable struggle for the National Champion title.

    In line with the trend for the last few years, teams that were comparatively new to the Competition and not the traditional winners of the national rounds, came out in front as the leading teams. Throughout the years, Russian Jessup Competition participants have proved that no team is invincible and there can be no permanent leaders at the Jessup Competition. Here, the will to win can deliver outstanding results.

    2014 Competition leaders also included teams of the Moscow State University (MSU), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University) and the Siberian Federal University.

    The five teams represented Russia in the international rounds of the Jessup Competition.

    Moreover, the teams of the Moscow State Law Academy and the Ural State Law Academy gained the opportunity to represent Russia during the friendly rounds of the Jessup Competition that took place in Vienna, Austria, in March 2014. The team from the Ural State Law Academy managed to place first in the overall team ranking.

    A new Russian National Championship award "For the outstanding contribution into the development of the Russian Jessup" was established this year. The founders and national administrators of the Jessup Competition in Russia, long-term participants, permanent judges and partners of the Competition were presented with the first memorable acknowledgments.

    2014 Jessup international rounds

    International rounds of the Jessup Moot Court Competition were held in the USA at the beginning of April 2014.

    Following the results of the international rounds, three Russian teams (the MGIMO-University, the MSU and the Siberian Federal University) took part in the advanced rounds in Washington DC. Two of the teams, the MSU and the MGIMO-University, made it to the octo-finals, later yielding the right to plead in the quarter-finals to the teams from the Columbia University (this year’s semifinalist team) and Singapore (this year’s runner-up team of the Final round) respectively.

    The University of Queensland (Australia) became the Jessup Moot Court Competition International Champion, Australia’s 11th victory in 55-years of Jessup history.

    The Final Round judges were Judges Julia Sebutinde and Dalveer Bhandari of the International Court of Justice and Cherif Bassiouni, the Emeritus professor of law at DePaul University.

    The 2014 Jessup case addressed comprehensive international law questions in the areas of environmental impact assessment for construction, cultural heritage, pursuit and arrest in an exclusive economic zone and the principles of criminal jurisdiction.

    The international rounds of the Jessup Competition took place with the administrative and financial support of White & Case LLP.

    The Russian National Championship of the Jessup Competition is organized jointly by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), Threefold Legal Advisors and White & Case LLP.

    The 2014 Competition took place under the auspices of the MSU Law Faculty and the MGIMO-University. The Competition was also supported by the Norilsk Nickel company, Vegas-Lex, Garant, ConsultantPlus, the US Embassy, e-Graduate Internet portal, ABA ROLI, Pravo.ru information portal, "Mezhdunarodnoe Pravosudiye" (International Justice) Journal and the Pericles ABLE Project. The Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) was the main media partner for the Russian National Championship of the Jessup Competition.

    The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is held between teams from various law schools. During the Competition students represent the interests of the parties to a mock dispute before a fictional International Court of Justice. Established in 1959 by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), today the Jessup Competition brings together up to 700 teams from more than 90 countries around the world. 

  • Article by Maria Issaeva and Maria Kiskachi discussing recent amendments to the Russian legislation in the area of the right to private life and freedom of speech published in the Russian Law Journal
    Article by Maria Issaeva and Maria Kiskachi discussing recent amendments to the Russian legislation in the area of the right to private life and freedom of speech published in the Russian Law Journal

    The Russian Law Journal has published an article by TLA managing partner Maria Issaeva and TLA associate Maria Kiskachi, entitled "Immoral Truth vs. Untruthful Morals? Attempts to Render Rights and Freedoms Conditional upon Sexual Orientation in Light of Russia's International Obligations".

    In this article, the authors discuss recent developments in Russian legislation and practice in connection with their compliance with international human rights protection standards. In particular, the article is focused on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant jurisprudence of international bodies.

    The article can be found in Russian Law Journal issue 1 vol. 2 (2014). With kind permission from the journal we publish this article on our website - you can read it here.

  • Russian judicial reform: Changes to commercial procedure law may affect the determination of domestic remedies to be exhausted in commercial cases prior to bringing an application to the European Court of Human Rights

    On 5 March 2014, a bill amending the Commercial Procedure Code of the Russian Federation was introduced in the Russian Parliament as part of a major judicial reform project that will join the Supreme Court and the Higher Commercial Court, transferring the latter’s jurisdiction to the new Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Subject to their adoption, the proposed amendments may affect future applications to the European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") arising out of commercial cases.

    Pursuant to ECtHR case law, the current supervisory review procedure before the Higher Commercial Court is regarded an effective domestic remedy for commercial disputes, which must be exhausted by the applicant before bringing a case to the ECtHR (see, for example, Kovaleva v. Russia (dec.) (2009), OOO Link Oil SPB v Russia (dec.) (2009)). As such, the six-month period for submitting an application to the ECtHR has thus far run from the date on which the relevant Higher Commercial Court ruling or decree entered into force.

    However, the aforementioned bill, inter alia, changes the cassation appeal and supervisory review procedures for commercial cases. In particular, it introduces a new set of cassation appeal proceedings before the Supreme Court's Judicial Chamber for Economic Disputes, including for those cases that have already been subject to cassation appeal review in regional courts. Also, certain aspects of cassation appeals and supervisory review proceedings in commercial cases are apparently intended to be brought closer to the existing civil procedure rules.

    These changes would require the ECtHR to assess de novo the effectiveness of domestic remedies for any future applications arising out of commercial cases where the new procedural law would be applied, as amended.

    An example of rules that may raise concerns on the part of the ECtHR are some of those relating to the powers of the President and the Deputy President of the Supreme Court. These rules are quite similar to those of the earlier version of the Civil Procedure Code, which have already been criticised by the ECtHR in the past (see, for example, pp. 17, 36 of the bill and Denisov v. Russia (dec.) (2004) for a more detailed discussion of this issue).

    Before the ECtHR has an opportunity to express its position in relation to the above-mentioned amended procedures, it is therefore advisable to carefully consider the time of bringing an application to the ECtHR in connection with a commercial case that would be considered under the new procedural rules after they enter into force. Such consideration may avoid the application being found inadmissible by the ECtHR.

    The bill may be subject to further changes before it is formally adopted.

    Threefold Legal Advisors will continue to follow developments in Russia’s judicial reform and any effects that such developments may have on ECtHR proceedings. Please visit our website for further updates.

    The present publication does not provide legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is issued for information purposes only.

  • Maria Suchkova's article concerning Internet news portal liability for users' comments published in the Mezhdunarodnoe Pravosudiye (International Justice) journal

    The Mezhdunarodnoe Pravosudiye (International Justice) journal has published an article by TLA partner Maria Suchkova, entitled "Delfi AS v. Estonia: Internet news portal liability for users' comments. Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 10 October 2013".

    In this article, Maria discusses the principal facts and legal findings of this European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") case. She also analyses the possible consequences of the judgment for the protection and exercise of freedom of speech on the Internet.

    Maria’s article can be found in Russian in Mezhdunarodnoye Pravosudiye No. 4 (8) (2013). With kind permission from the journal we have also published this article on our own website - you can read it in Russian here.

    It should be noted that the judgment in Delfi AS v. Estonia has not yet become final. The case was referred to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR on 17 February 2014 upon the applicant's request. Please, visit our website for further updates concerning the forthcoming Grand Chamber judgment.

  • Case law review: Lawful town planning decisions resulting in damages to private persons may constitute a compensable violation of the European Convention on Human Rights

    The European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") may award just satisfaction where land development or town planning decisions issued by national authorities constitute a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention") and result in damage to private persons.

    A domestic authority decision on land development and/or town planning can seriously impede an ongoing or planned construction or otherwise result in damage to a private party involved in the relevant real estate project, even where such a decision is issued in accordance with applicable legislation. This may include, inter alia, the expropriation of property for state or municipal needs, the imposition of restrictions on the use of property, and the revocation of or changes to construction or town planning permits and certificates required to proceed with the relevant project.

    If the authorities' decision in question is lawful and/or has been unsuccessfully challenged in court, or if a claim for the recovery of any damages incurred as a result of that decision has been dismissed by national courts, an injured party may consider bringing its case to the ECtHR. Here, it can seek compensation for damages, including for loss of profits, amongst other things.

    The ECtHR has rather extensive practice in this area, which includes assessing the compliance of authority actions with the provisions of Article 1, Protocol No. 1 to the Convention guaranteeing the right to one's property (see, for example, Sporrong and Lönnroth v. Sweden (1982); Pine Valley Developments Ltd and others v. Ireland (1991); Wisniewska v. Poland (2011)). 

    In this category of cases, the ECtHR must first ascertain that the applicant holds a possession that falls within the (relatively broad) scope of assets protected under the Convention. Second, the ECtHR assesses the authorities' actions or decision that interfered with the applicant's possession and, in particular, verifies the existence of a legitimate public interest behind the measure taken. Thirdly, and importantly, even where such public interest exists, the ECtHR must determine whether the relevant actions or decisions were proportionate to the aim pursued by the state authorities in serving that public interest.

    For example, in Pialopoulos and others v. Greece (2001 and 2002), the ECtHR found that the authorities' actions were disproportionate to the legitimate aim of environmental protection due to the lack of compensation offered, awarding the applicants, inter alia, EUR 3,850,000 for lost profits. In Elia Srl v. Italy (2001 and 2004), the ECtHR awarded EUR 1,000,000 for pecuniary damages, stating that the relevant planning restrictions imposed an excessive burden on the applicant company.

    It should be noted that bringing a case to the ECtHR may be said to be a measure of last resort – one where no other effective remedies are available to the applicant party. Nevertheless, it is also possible to raise Convention-related arguments in domestic court proceedings, which may assist in achieving a fair resolution of the case at home. This is particularly true where national legislation might not meet the level of protection granted by the Convention.

    The present publication does not provide legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

    It is issued for information purposes only. 


  • Case law review: ECtHR awards an applicant company EUR 5,000,000 in compensation for unlawful seizure of property in the course of criminal and tax proceedings

    On 23 January 2014 the European Court of Human Rights ("the ECtHR") rendered a judgment in the case East/West Alliance Ltd. v. Ukraine. The ECtHR found that the seizure of airplanes owned by the applicant company violated its rights and ordered Ukraine to pay five million Euros in compensation. 

    The applicant, East/West Alliance Ltd., is an Irish company with a representative office in Ukraine. Between 2001 and 2011 the Ukrainian authorities seized, impounded and sold airplanes owned by the applicant company to third parties on various grounds (including as a provisional measure in tax proceedings and as evidence in criminal proceedings initiated against third parties etc.). Although the Ukrainian courts had ruled in favor of the applicant and confirmed the applicant’s ownership over the contested property, these judgments have never been enforced and the airplanes have never been returned to the company. After seizing the airplanes the Ukrainian authorities failed to take proper care of the property, resulting in significant damage thereto.  

    In its judgment, the ECtHR found a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention"), securing the right to the protection of property. The ECtHR ruled that the seizure of the airplanes in the instant case had been unlawful because it contravened domestic law, as confirmed by Ukrainian courts' judgments. Moreover, this lengthy unlawful restriction of applicant’s property rights was carried out in an arbitrary manner, contrary to the rule of law principle. 

    The ECtHR also established a breach of Article 13 of the Convention, guaranteeing the right to an effective remedy, because the applicant company had been unsuccessful in trying to restore its property rights for many years. 

    Adjudicating on the matter of just satisfaction, the ECtHR decided to award the applicant EUR 5,000,000 in compensation, on the basis that the return of damaged and missing airplanes would not restore the applicant’s rights. In its calculations the ECtHR took into account actual damage and loss of profits as well as non-pecuniary damage caused to the applicant’s management.


    The Judgment (in English) is available here

  • New Conditions for the Institution of Proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights

    On 1 January 2014 a revised version of Rule 47 of the Rules of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) amending the formal conditions for applying to the Strasbourg Court entered into force. 
    Under the new rule any initial communication to the Court must be made by completing an application form. A short preliminary letter will no longer interrupt the six-month period within which an application to the Strasbourg Court must be made in accordance with the Convention. Moreover, the Court has published a simplified version of the application form, which has undergone significant changes as compared to its predecessor. According to the revised Rule 47 and its explanatory note, submission of an incomplete application or a failure to attach copies of relevant supporting documents may result in the application not being registered or examined by the Court. Applicants are permitted to resubmit a duly completed application accompanied by copies of all relevant documents should an initial application fail to meet these criteria. However, the six-month period will be deemed interrupted only once an application fulfilling all conditions set out in Rule 47 has been submitted. 
    Furthermore, the maximum length of an application has now been established. The new application form envisages that the statement of facts shall not exceed about 14,000 characters, and the statement of violations of the Convention by the respondent State shall be no longer than about 2,500 characters. Nevertheless, the new Rule 47 allows for a separate document containing further details on the facts, alleged violations and relevant arguments to be appended to the application form. The maximum length for such a document is 20 pages. 
    For more details about the new rules for the institution of proceedings before the Court please see a note by our partner, Maria Suchkova, available here (at pages 10-11 in Russian).


  • TLA partner, Marat Davletbaev, delivered a lecture to students from the law faculty of MGIMO University as a part of Global Dignity Day

    TLA partner, Marat Davletbaev, delivered a lecture to students from the law faculty of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) as a part of Global Dignity Day.

    Since 2008, Global Dignity Day has been held annually in over 50 countries. The day gives invited speakers an opportunity to discuss the concept of dignity with young people and explain their understanding of this concept. Read more on the Global Dignity Day here.

  • "Mezhdunarodnoe Pravosudie" (International Justice) magazine has published an article by our managing partner Maria Issaeva on legal education in Russia

    Twelfth Anniversary of Russia’s Participation in the Jessup Competition: A View from Behind the Curtain – An article written by our managing partner Maria Issaeva was published in "Mezhdunarodnoe Pravosudie" (International Justice) magazine this September (2013).

    Maria discusses how the Jessup Competition started and developed in Russia from her perspective as one of the first Russian championship participants, a Competition judge and a long-standing national administrator. She speaks of the challenges faced by Russian competitors wishing to take part in the Competition: the difficulties of the Soviet inheritance, the unfortunate state of access to information in Russian university libraries, the absence of a deep-rooted tradition of participation and weak support for the Competition from Russian universities. Maria highlights how in spite to these obstacles, brilliant future lawyers from Russia have overcome to rank amongst the competition’s strongest participants. The secret to success is simple: just change everything and move forward.

    This article has been published in Mezhdunarodnoye Pravosudiye (International Justice) No. 3(7) (in Russian). The table of contents of this issue can be found on the websites of the Institute of Law and Public Policy www.ilpp.ru and of the journal http://www.ijj.ilpp.ru/.

    With kind permission from the journal we publish this article on our website - you can read it here (English translation).

  • Threefold and White & Case announce the start of the 2014 Jessup Season

    The 2014 Russian Rounds of the Jessup Competition will take place in Moscow on 29 January - 02 February 2014.

    Please follow this link to find comprehensive information about the 2014 Russian Jessup.


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