Pushing Boundaries: Potential Effects of International Adjudication on Treaty Practice in the Russian and Norwegian Context
By Mariia Strekalova, PhD candidate, Saint Petersburg State University
Presentation by Professor Dr. Alex Oude Elferink (Utrecht University; University of Tromsø). Photo: Maria Neves.
April, 15th, a usual rainy day in St. Petersburg, Russia, was brightened with an enthralling discussion on the current issues of international adjudication. More than twenty participants (scholars and practitioners in the fields of law and political science) from Norway and Russia gathered at the Norwegian University Center in St. Petersburg to take part in a one-day seminar dedicated to the potential effects of international adjudication on Norwegian and Russian treaty practice.
The opening session started with a welcome from Professor Dr. Tamara Lönngrenn (Norwegian University Center). This was followed by Ms. Alexandra Wacko (Royal Norwegian Consulate General), who stressed the need to develop cooperation further, even in the face of the intricate political situation between the two states, and Professor Dr. Ole Kristian Fauchald, PluriCourts Centre for Excellence, University of Oslo.
The first session unveiled recent international case law involving Russia and its potential effects on the jurisprudence and practice of international adjudication.
Chaired by Professor Fauchald, the first panel concentrated on a general analysis of the Yukos affair in light of the different adjudicatory interpretations of factual background and legal consequences of the multifaceted dispute. Professor Dr. Giuditta Cordero-Moss (University of Oslo) and Professor. Dr. Andrey Bushev (St. Petersburg State University; ad hoc judge, ECHR) were responsible for the topic. Fruitful discussion followed in the comments section, where participants shared their insights on the essence of the arguments in the Yukos case.
The second panel proceeded with the intriguing theme on the parties' conduct at the face of the international dispute, and the role of the international body in making decisions. This is especially true for politically controversial cases. The Arctic Sunrise case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and numerous Chechen cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are often named as relevant examples. Chaired by Professor Dr. Geir Ulfstein (PluriCourts), the discussion contributed to the presentations of Professor Dr. Alex Oude Elferink (Utrecht University and K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø), Dr. Sergey Golubok (Partner, Double Bridge Law), and Dr. Kirill Koroteev (Attorney, Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) and European Human Rights Advocacy Centre).
The second session followed under the heading: The shifting practice of international law in light of exceptional cases. In the next three panels participants debated over international courts’ influence on state practices in different spheres, with particular emphasis on situations in Norway and Russia.
The third panel devoted to the rise of domestic courts' influence in solving disputes on the international level in Russia and on arguments presented by Russia in Dutch set-aside proceedings (in the light of the upcoming decision on the future of Yukos arbitral awards, rendered by the Hague District Court on April 20, 2016). Dr. Daniel Behn (PluriCourts) navigated the discussion with speakers Professor Dr. Alexei Ispolinov (Lomonosov Moscow State University) and Professor Dr. Ilia Rachkov (Moscow State Institute of international Relations; Partner at King & Spalding (Moscow).
The fourth panel led by Professor Dr. Andreas Føllesdal (PluriCourts) delved into the issue of the political costs of non-compliance with international awards and decisions. Dr. Theresa Squatrito (PluriCourts) presented a survey on the political impact of the state’s incompliance with the award. Ms. Yulia Chernykh’s (PhD Candidate, University of Oslo) discussed the prospects of the investment protection in the emergency in light of the Norwegian’s BITs wording.
The last panel moderated by Professor Fauchald considered shifts in treaty practice of Norway and Russia. Ms. Maria Neves (PhD Candidate, K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø) presented her thoughts on Norway’s position in the assessment of international investment law in the field of energy production. Ms. Neves elaborated on the topic of the political and regulatory risks of investing in the exploration of natural resources in Norway. Then, Mr. Sergey Usoskin (Partner, Double Bridge Law; PhD Candidate, Lomonosov Moscow State University) opened a discussion on the definition and limits of state regulatory powers, with the language of the BIT itself being a valuable feature to estimate the potential outcome of the dispute.
The productive discussions on all of the topics deepened the understanding of the international adjudication in Norway and Russia. It also revealed their differences and similarities, and assured further cooperation on the matter. Professor Fauchald and Dr. Daniel Behn concluded the outcome of the conference.