The VIth Russian Forum on Alternative Dispute Resolution took place within the framework of the St Petersburg International Legal Forum. It was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Professor Valery Musin – ‘Forming a Pro-Arbitration Approach and a Culture of Reconciliation’.

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Lawyers discussed important issues of developing arbitration. The topics included: arbitration proceedings; international commercial arbitration; and conciliation procedures of mediation and judicial conciliation; as well as the presentation of a new unique master programme ‘International Commercial Arbitration’.

Preserving the memory of Professor Musin is an important part of the University’s identity. We are proud to call Valery Musin our colleague and teacher and we try, in ways large and small, to continue and implement his initiatives.

Sergei Belov, Dean of the Faculty of Law of St Petersburg University

A new master programme is one of such initiatives. Valery Musin was its initiator, architect, and inspirational figure.

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The creation of the programme has been completed, and this summer St Petersburg University starts accepting applications. The Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, Deputy Minister of Justice and Associate Professor of St Petersburg University Mikhail Galperin has become the supervisor of the programme. Mikhail Galperin was a student of Professor Musin. In his presentation, he mentioned one of the principal features of the new programme, namely that instructions will be given in a foreign language. ‘The idea to develop a programme in English was proposed by Valery Musin. The purpose was to prepare our students for work worldwide. I am sure that this synergy and fast developing science will help to unite all leading higher legal schools, including the oldest school of St Petersburg University. It will establish a new trend in international commercial arbitration taking into consideration the active development of legislation and the reboot of dispute settlement procedures after arbitration reform’.

The Forum is dedicated to Professor Valery Musin, an outstanding Russian legal scholar, one of the founders of the national school of alternative dispute resolution. He changed the approach to civil law in Russia.

The education process will traditionally last two years. However, it will be divided into two parts: academic and practical. During their first year, students will attend lectures, seminars and master classes. During their second year, students will apply the knowledge they received in practical tasks and write their graduation thesis.

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The programme’s academic courses include: institutional arbitration and arbitration ad hoc; principles of private international law; reforms of Russian arbitration legislation; and the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Russian Arbitration Centre at the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration. Andrei Gorlenko, Executive Administrator of the Russian Arbitration Centre, said that lecturers and students of the University would have an opportunity to work together with foreign practitioners of law and experts in commercial arbitration, and conduct case studies.

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Annette Tabbara, Hamburg’s State Secretary for the European Union and Foreign Affairs, took part in the presentation and spoke about a long-term and successful cooperation between German educational institutions and St Petersburg University. She reminded that Hamburg University looks forward to working together and conducting joint research with students from St Petersburg University. Dr Tabbara is certain that graduates of the new master programme will be in demand not only in Russia, but also in the European labour market.

Hamburg business community is interested in graduates of the new programme.

Annette Tabbara, Hamburg’s State Secretary for the European Union and Foreign Affairs

During the Forum the participants shared their experiences of establishing arbitration centres in Russia, presented several industry publications, and discussed the first results of arbitration reform. In September 2016, two new federal laws regulating arbitration proceedings entered into force. In the process of introducing amendments, lawyers have faced new practical problems of formulating, harmonising and incorporating arbitration clauses into agreements.

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Viktoria Romanova, daughter of Valery Musin, heads the Chair of Energy Law at Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL). She spoke about the Musin Legal Award in Energy Law established last year. In December 2018, the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev became one of the first laureates of the Award.

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