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Law and Policy in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the CIS

russia belarus kazakhstan kryvoi Yarik Kryvoi

Professor Yarik Kryvoi regularly advises on the legal systems of the former Soviet Union states such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, including their commercial laws, courts, commercial dispute resolution and the legal profession.

In addition to his LLM from Harvard Law School, he has a PhD in law from Moscow State Law Academy and years of practical experience related to dispute resolution, academic and government projects related to the former Soviet Union region.

His experience includes:

  • Regularly acting as a foreign law expert witness in court and arbitration proceedings (primarily on matters of Russian law, rule of law and international law)
  • Practising law with Baker McKenzie in St Petersburg, Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London working primarily on commercial and investor-State disputes involving Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan
  • External examiner at King's College London: Russian Legal System course
  • Preparing a report with recommendations on the development of law and policy related to foreign direct investments in international treaties and domestic law for a post-Soviet State
  • Acting as a member of the Working Group of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan on improving the legal framework and practice of international commercial arbitration in Uzbekistan
  • Leading a World Bank-funded comparative law project examining the best practices among the OECD States to draw recommendations for the government of Kazakhstan on the reform of rule-making, legislative procedures, functions of the Ministry of Justice and corporate governance
  • Visiting professor at Tashkent State University of Law, former lecturer at Belarusian State University
  • Initiating and running multiple projects related to the rule of law, good governance and education reform in Belarus
  • Organising trainings, conference and seminars related to international dispute resolution and law reform issues for senior lawyers and government officials
  • Founder of the Ostrogorski Centre and Belarus Digest, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Belarusian Studies
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Russian and CIS Arbitration Network

His publications related to the region include:

  • Russian Law Experts in English Courts – Practical Aspects, CIS Arbitration Forum, 8 April 2021 || Read || + Abstract ||

    Those unfamiliar with civil law procedure rules followed by English courts may find it difficult to understand how to argue issues related to foreign law.

    Should lawyers representing the parties explain their own understanding of foreign law? Are they supposed to invite experts to do that? Do experts need to be admitted to practice in the foreign jurisdiction? If other courts examined the same foreign law provision, what effect does it have for other cases?

    This article sheds lights on these questions. It reviews the relevant regulations and court practice in the light of the author’s own experience acting as Russian law expert in English and Irish courts.

  • Comparative Analysis of the National Legislation And International Good Practices in the Area of Activities of the Justice Authorities and Recommendations for the Republic of Kazakhstan, World Bank-funded project report for the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 191pp (2018) (not public). || + Abstract ||

    This report analyses policies, legislation and procedures of justice authorities of Kazakhstan, five OECD countries with good practices in the justice sector and high level of trust in the government (France, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as three jurisdictions, which have recently made significant progress in reforming their justice authorities (Estonia, Georgia, and Poland).

    The analysis covers a wide spectrum of issues, including the genesis of justice authorities and their functions, the main principles of their operation, the interaction between the executive branch, the judiciary and prosecution, organisational and operational capabilities of justice authorities. This comparative analysis not only shows the best practices from various jurisdictions but also analyses the strengths and weaknesses of each system and potential problems with implementation of various models.

    The report demonstrates that justice institutions in all jurisdictions face multiple challenges. The challenges faced range from striking the right balance between safeguarding national security with privacy and civil liberties protections, the need to tackle cyber-attacks and high-technology crimes, to managing an overcrowded prison systems as well as promoting trust and strengthen relationship between law enforcement and local communities. The report shows that many jurisdictions look for better ways to facilitate relations between the justice authorities on the one hand, and the executive and the legislative powers, on the other hand.

  • Comparative Analysis of the National Legislation and Law Enforcement Practices of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Relation to Rulemaking/Legislative Drafting and International Good Practices that Regulate Rulemaking, World Bank-funded project report for the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 217pp (2018) (not public). || + Abstract ||

    Rule-making is the main method governments use to achieve their policy objectives, be these policies related to health care, education, security or supporting rulemaking and the efficiency of procedures greatly affect whether the policy aims are achieved.

    Properly implemented high-quality regulations promote economic growth, remove unnecessary burdens, reduce inequality and help improve overall governance. Democracy and the rule of law depends upon sound regulatory frameworks. The empirical evidence suggests regulatory reform stimulates private sector development and economic growth, particularly when the quality of the existing regulatory environment is low. The quality of rulemaking is regarded as an essential element of competitiveness for any country and its attractiveness to foreign investors.

    Governments and international organisations have developed a range of efficient approaches employed at all stages of the rulemaking process, including identifying the problem which requires regulating, preparing drafts and scrutinising them, engaging various stakeholders, adopting the rules or non-regulatory alternatives and monitoring their impact.

    This report identifies the best practices on rulemaking in five the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and other international organisations countries (France, Germany, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States) as well as three jurisdictions which have recently made significant progress in reforming their rulemaking practices (Estonia, Georgia, and Poland). The report also describes in detail the best national practices as well as challenges which various jurisdictions are facing in implementing reforms in rulemaking.

    This comparative analysis suggests that consulting stakeholders, particularly those which do not normally have a loud voice, remain essential for producing high quality regulations. In many jurisdictions, the focus is shifting towards a citizens-centric approach where the interests of citizens should take precedent over those of regulators. A coherent approach to rulemaking requires drafting clear and efficient regulations, adopting the regulatory impact assessment (RIA), ex ante and ex post evaluation of rules, as well as transparency and oversight.

  • Comparative analysis of the National Legislation and International Good Practices for Further Development of the Entrepreneurship Code’s Provisions, in Particular Introduction into the Legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan of Good Practices, World Bank-funded project report for the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 229pp, (2018) (not public). || + Abstract ||

    As businesses in the Republic of Kazakhstan increasingly engage with the world economy and compete to attract foreign investors, adjusting the regulation of the private sector to align with global best practices has become an important task.

    To facilitate this task, this World Bank supported project draws on practices of leading jurisdictions in the world to reform the provisions of the Entrepreneurship Code, which entered into force in 2016.

    An important element of the proposed reform is to effectively combine elements of Anglo-Saxon and Romano-Germanic systems to reflect the growing complexity of corporate and contractual relationships, growth in foreign trade transactions and new initiatives such as the establishment of the Astana International Financial Centre (“AIFC”).

    The report looks at three areas of law: corporate law, contract law and law dealing with the protection of foreign investments, which are divided into more focused chapters. Each chapter includes an explanatory note, substantive sections, recent reform initiatives as well as policy options and best practices for consideration.

    The national chapters include Kazakhstan, Canada, Germany, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom as well as a special section on public international law. This choice of countries reflects the need to take into account approaches taken in common law jurisdictions, civil law jurisdictions as well as mixed jurisdictions. Most of the jurisdictions have long established traditions of having favourable business climates and proven records of attracting foreign direct investment. The legal system of the Russian Federation is the closest to that of the Republic of Kazakhstan and their recent experience of integrating common law concepts is particularly useful. This executive summary gives a short overview of some recommendations made in the report prepared collaboratively by Kazakhstani lawyers and their colleagues from five countries.

  • ‘Economic Crimes in International Investment Law’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2018) || Download ||.
  • ‘Law and Practice of International Arbitration in the CIS Region (co-edited with Kaj Hobér) (Wolters Kluwer, 2017). || Buy ||.
  • ‘Contract Law in Russia’ (book review), KING’S LAW JOURNAL, Volume 25, pp.488-491 (2014). || + Abstract || Download ||

    The number of disputes involving Russian parties, and Russian law, has been steadily increasing in domestic courts and arbitration tribunals outside Russia. Most of these disputes involve issues of Russian corporate law. A book on Russian contract law in English was long overdue, and Contract Law in Russia authored by Maria Yefremova, Svetlana Yakovleva and Jane Henderson has filled this gap. Two Russian practitioners and a British academic give a comprehensive overview of Russian contract law. The book also marks a new trend of Russian authors writing about Russian law in English. In the past, most books in English were actually written by non-native Russian speakers with limited practical experience of Russian law.

    The book follows a rather unusual approach. Not only does it explain various rules of Russian contract law, it also provides examples from the practice of Russian courts. It also offers comparative insights, by showing how certain concepts in Russian law differ from English law. Unlike traditional textbooks on Russian law, this book includes summaries of cases decided primarily by Russian commercial courts relevant to Russian contract law. This enables the reader to learn about statutory norms and to understand how Russian courts apply them in practice.

  • ‘Corporate Disputes in Arbitration Tribunals: To Be or Not To Be’, Zakon, Issue 4, pp.108-118 (co-authored with Sergey Strembelev, in Russian) (2013). || Download ||.
  • ‘Bribery and Russia-Related Arbitration’, in ARBITRATION IN CIS COUNTRIES: CURRENT ISSUES, pp. 113-126 (Association for International Arbitration 2012). || Download ||.
  • ‘Employee Ownership and Corporate Governance in Post-Privatization Russia’, UC Davis Business Law Journal, Volume 8, pp. 298-322 (2008); reprinted in Corporate Governance in Transition Economies, pp. 221-249 (McGee ed. 2008). || Download ||.
  • ‘Why European Union Trade Sanctions Do Not Work’, Minnesota Journal of International Law, Volume 17, pp. 209-246 (2008); Harvard European Law Working Paper No.02/2007 (2007). || Download ||.
  • ‘Discrimination and Security of Employment in a Post-Soviet Context’, The International Journal of Comparative Law and Industrial Relations, Volume 22, No.1, pp. 5-17 (2006). || Download ||.
  • ‘Smarriti nella transizione: i lavoratori meno giovani nelle economie europee di transizione’, Diritto delle Relazioni Industriali, Volume 15, No.4, pp. 1019-1026 (2005) (in Italian).
  • ‘The Relationship between the State and Trade Unions on the Labour Market: the Belarusian Case’, Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations, Volume 48, pp.223-231 (2003).
  • ‘From Sanctions to Summits: Belarus After the Ukraine Crisis’, Policy Memo (European Council on Foreign Relations, 2015). || Download ||.
  • Bribery, Corruption, and Fraud in Investor-State Disputes: How Should Tribunals Approach Economic Crimes?, 10 August 2018, Kluwer Arbitration Blog || Read ||.
  • Interview with ICSID Secretary-General Meg Kinnear: ICSID and the CIS Region, 31 May 2017, CIS Arbitration Forum || Read ||.
  • More Parties include ICC Arbitration Clauses, the Number of CIS Disputes Rising. Interview with the Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and Director of Dispute Resolution Services of the ICC, 22 December 2015, CIS Arbitration Forum || Read ||.
  • Russia’s Mistral Deal under International Sanctions – will the Dispute be Arbitrable?, 23 October 2014, CIS Arbitration Forum || Read ||.
  • Clash of Giants — the Yukos Arbitration Decision, 12 August 2014, LexisNexis || Read ||.
  • Protecting Foreign Investors in Crimea: Is Investment Arbitration an Option? 29 July 2014, LexisNexis || Read ||.
  • Russia’s Mistral Deal under International Sanctions – will the Dispute be Arbitrable? 3 October 2014, CIS Arbitration Forum || Read ||.
  • National Labour Law Profile: Kazakhstan November 2006, International Labour Organization || Read ||.
  • Over 20 relevant publications in Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian languages.

 
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