SPILF 2024: Results

SPILF 2024: Results

‘Law: The Foundation of Global Balance’ was the main theme of the 12th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, held on 26–28 June in the northern capital. The best legal experts, politicians, and representatives of the business and law enforcement communities discussed the rule of law. During the course of numerous discussions, they unequivocally confirmed that in modern conditions, it is the universally recognized legal norms that remain the solid foundation upon which work to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and human rights and freedoms must be built.

In his welcoming address to the participants, organizers, and guests of the Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia has consistently upheld the principle of the rule of law, both in domestic life and in the international arena. <...> “Russia is the BRICS chair country this year. Along with our partners, we are committed to developing effective legal regulation that can strengthen food and energy security and contribute to the protection of the environment and climate, as well as to the creation of fair rules for global trade and technological cooperation. We are ready to step up cooperation in these areas with other countries, above all from the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and Latin America,” the Russian head of state emphasized.

In today’s realities, at a time of large-scale international legislative changes, debating the themes set out for discussion at the Forum helped to identify areas for improving national legislation and addressing law enforcement issues, while the recommendations and ideas proposed and developed at the Forum should serve as a basis for improving key legal institutions, strengthening the authority of the law, and developing digital technologies in the fields of law, public administration, and the economy.

Modern realities dictate the need for digitalization of legal processes, since, according to Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, “the transition to digitalization is also much-needed in the field of justice: without it, further steps to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of justice for the citizens of our countries will be significantly hampered.”


The plenary session was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and representatives of the legal systems of four countries: Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez, Minister of Justice and Deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba; Festus Katuna Mbandeka, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Namibia; Rein Mullerson, Professor Emeritus, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University (Republic of Estonia); and Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights (Republic of Belarus).

In his speech, Dmitry Medvedev noted that SPILF is becoming a genuine meeting ground for representatives of the legal community, business, science, and citizens from Russia and a wide variety of countries, especially from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. “Today the world has not just become radically different. Unfortunately, it has, in fact, reached the point of no return, and the legal system with it. Our common goal is to do everything we can to find a basis for resolving heated controversies. The strongest basis for that is to realize and reaffirm the value of international law, which we are obliged to preserve globally, despite all conflicts and disputes. Despite the lack of mutual understanding, this must be done,” he said.




For the first time, the legal community was asked to share its views and help shape the Forum’s business programme. About 1,000 people discussed potential topics for the sessions. As a result, the Forum programme was structured into nine themes, which included more than 120 events. Thanks to such a rich agenda and a representative composition of participants, the Forum has become a significant social event.

Participants discussed numerous issues, from digitalization to the development of the legal services market, from alternatives to imprisonment to effective corporate governance, as well as the protection of property rights of citizens, regulation of legal relations in the corporate sphere, improvement of legislation in the area of family and inheritance law, and other topical issues.

The key theme was the international agenda: international law in the new reality.

As part of the international events, Forum participants carried out in-depth analyses of mechanisms for strengthening cooperation between countries, and proposed a number of strategies to promote sustainable development and the alignment of interests in the international arena. In the course of their discussions, experts discussed how to adapt international law to modern conditions.

According to Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the SPILF Organizing Committee, “the most important source of the existing dissonance in the legal sphere on the international scale is the fundamental contradiction between the continental legal system, codified and built on a system of laws, and the so-called British legal system, built on a precedent that suits the judge, whereas the generally accepted continental legal system is based on the law and the democratic expression of the will of citizens.”

Numerous questions concerned the relationship between Russian business and its Asian partners; the volume of trade and investment between the two has increased by an order of magnitude, reaching a qualitatively new level. Legal regulation cannot keep up with rapid changes such as the speed of registration of companies with foreign participants, migration requirements for staff, mutual settlements under sanctions, and the complexity and variability of legislation; these problems were discussed with Russia’s Asian partners.

Sanctions have broken down ways of doing business, logistics chains, and established business processes in the area of financing and corporate governance, and established business relations in general. Domestic companies have therefore begun to open up new jurisdictions for themselves, facing many challenges: the particular features of doing business outside the Russian jurisdiction were also discussed at the internationally themed sessions.

The pace and scale of the introduction of new sanctions is such that virtually every Russian business is at risk, so during discussions, experts offered options on how to proactively master the new rules of the game and identify creative solutions.

No less important was the discussion of a particular issue faced by business: the choice of arbitration. With the ‘pivot to the East’, Russian companies have started looking for a substitute for arbitration courts in London (LCIA) or Paris (ICC), while the Singapore International Arbitration Court (SIAC) has grown in popularity.

Discussions touched upon one of the key trends of this year: the bankruptcy of foreign legal entities in Russia, especially with regard to secondary liability and damages.

The year 2024 will be marked by Russia’s chairmanship of BRICS, which was also reflected in the agenda at SPILF. During the discussions, participants emphasized that BRICS members follow the principles of openness and mutual benefit, taking into account national interests and the multipolar nature of the world. It is these factors that should form the basis for the development of international law. Forum participants also discussed the Russian initiative to establish an International Investment Arbitration Centre.

As part of the talks, participants raised the subject of the corrupt nature of the Federal Reserve System (the Fed) and its role as the main instrument of global financial capital. Experts believe that the current challenges associated with the Fed’s dominance include the need to revise the global financial system and identify alternative mechanisms of global economic governance that would be fairer and more transparent.

A wide range of issues was related to the  legal defence of the national interests of the Russian Federation in the context of the transformation of the world order. The experts stressed that in order to fully protect Russia’s sovereignty, it is necessary to refine current legislation in terms of issues related to prosecution for crimes against the peace and security of humanity, as well as to continue improving legislative regulation on protection from external influence.

In particular, the Forum sessions also raised questions about creating a modern model of a multipolar world relevant to today’s realities, on the basis of international law, the activities of NPOs, migration policy, the introduction of digital justice, legal regulation of the use of artificial intelligence in education and science, and the role of AI in countering extremist and terrorist propaganda.

During the discussion of the role and place of non-profit organizations in the implementation of Russia’s foreign policy, new vectors for developing legal regulation of the activity of NPOs were considered. According to Oleg Sviridenko, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, given the ever-increasing external challenges, it is necessary to continue to take appropriate measures against those organizations through which attempts to destabilize our society and undermine Russian sovereignty are being made.

In addition to the business programme events during SPILF, the following events were held:

·                 Open meeting of justice ministers, attended by representatives of 19 countries. The ministers discussed at length the improvement and systematization of legislation, boosting access to justice and the development of dispute resolution mechanisms, the digitalization of justice, the development of the penal system, and the resocialization and social adaptation of prisoners.

·                 Special meeting of the Expert Advisory Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on the theme ‘The Security Umbrella of Eurasian Integration’. Meeting participants discussed issues pertaining to legal support for military, biological, information, digital, and electoral security, and also considered promising areas for the development of CSTO model legislation and legal aspects of the use of digital and artificial intelligence technologies in maintaining security.

·                 Meeting of the Interstate Council for Combating Corruption working group, attended by representatives of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia, the CIS Executive Committee, the secretariats of the Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units and the Coordination Council of Heads of Tax (Financial) Investigation Bodies of the CIS Member States, and the CIS IPA Council. They discussed work to improve the model legislation on fighting corruption and issues of international cooperation.

·                 Meeting of the CIS Human Rights Commission, in which participants from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan discussed the observance of the rights of foreign labour migrants. 


Valery Zorkin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, gave a lecture entitled The Law and the Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. In particular, he believes that artificial intelligence should not be given personal rights, as AI is not a carrier of important components of personality.

            About 700 speakers took part in the sessions of the main programme (For reference: 500 speakers attended in 2023). Speakers at SPILF 2024 included legal scholars and the leading lawyers of the country, discussing various different areas of the law, politicians and heads of state and international organizations, and representatives of business.

Traditionally, the plenary session of the International Youth Legal Forum has been held on the sidelines of SPILF.



The best legal professionals, politicians, academics, experts, heads of the largest law firms in Russia and abroad, and representatives of the law enforcement community visited the city on the Neva to discuss the most pressing legal issues of our time, and legislative innovations and initiatives.

     Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the SPILF Organizing Committee, said: “During the three days of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, leaders and experts of the world legal community held events to develop ways to solve existing problems in the legal field and to formulate what kind of system of international law there should be in a multipolar world. And the main conclusion was that the law must be upheld! As a result, about 5,000 people took part in the Forum, including 4,300 participants and media representatives from 81 countries and territories, including Russia. On 29 June, the International Youth Legal Forum will continue its work at St. Petersburg State University, with approximately 700 participants expected. In fact, our legal forum today is the world’s main expert legal platform, and it represents a high level of trust. It is here that the definitions that will affect not only and not so much our country, but the whole world, are formed and refined in discussions. We are on the way to a multipolar world.”

 (For reference: in 2023 there were 3,800 participants from 54 countries and territories)

“It is important that in these difficult times, the Forum has not shrunk to become an internal Russian event, but has retained its international status,” emphasized Sergey Stepashin, Chairman, Association of Lawyers of Russia; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Territorial Development Fund.

Guests of the Forum included 19 ministers of justice of foreign states: Bahrain, Burundi, Djibouti, Zimbabwe, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Kuwait, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, Abkhazia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Thailand, the Central African Republic (CAR), South Ossetia,  11 heads of diplomatic corps; Prosecutors General from Venezuela, Namibia, and Tajikistan; 15 heads of foreign courts, from Abkhazia (2 representatives), Egypt, Belarus, Benin, Burkina Faso (2 representatives), Zambia, Morocco, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palestine, Tajikistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and South Ossetia.

The Forum was visited by heads of international organizations and associations: Alexey Dronov, Chairman, Court of the Eurasian Economic Union; Sergey Pospelov, Executive Secretary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization; Moussa Laraba, Secretary General of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa; ​Grigory Ivliev, President, Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) of the Eurasian Patent Organization.

Russian officials worked at the Forum venues, including: Valery Zorkin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Valery Fadeev, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation; Vladimir Medinsky, Assistant to the President; Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice; and Sergey Kravtsov, Minister of Education. Also Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation; heads of federal services and agencies: Valery Tikhonov, Director of the State Courier Service; Arkady Gostev, Director, Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS of Russia); Anzor Muzaev, Head of the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science; Dmitry Aristov, Director, Federal Bailiffs Service – Chief Bailiff of the Russian Federation; and Alexander Beglov, Governor of St. Petersburg.

The sessions were attended by Alexander Konovalov, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Garry Minkh, Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; and Tatyana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation.

Participation by representatives of business and legal organizations exceeded last year’s figures. More than 780 representatives of Russian and foreign businesses from over 400 companies were among the Forum participants. More than 360 representatives from 230 legal organizations from Russia and foreign countries were also present.



An exhibition was organized at SPILF 2024 in which 19 exhibitors, ministries, agencies, educational institutions and organizations, took part: the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law, the Synergy Corporation, Hongqi, Rosfinmonitoring, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI), the Federal Bailiffs Service, the Federal Chamber of Notaries, the Association of Lawyers of Russia, Insight Capital, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, Civil Registry Office (ZAGS), St. Petersburg State University, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Eurasian Patent Office, the Anatoly Koni Exhibition, Diktatura Zakona, the Gorodets Publishing House, and the St. Petersburg University of State Fire Service of Emercom of Russia.

The exhibitors presented current projects, and the latest technologies, products and solutions.

For example, at the stand of the Federal Chamber of Notaries it was possible to familiarize oneself with the new mobile application ‘notariat.rf’ which contains convenient options such as how to search for a notary, make an appointment with one, access all public registers and notary services, check a document by QR code, and more. The Chamber also presented the ‘office in a suitcase’, a mobile system facilitating work in remote areas. The exhibition at the stand ‘Russian notaries: from birch bark manuscripts to ‘teleportation’ of documents’ demonstrated how during changes of technological modes and epochs, notarial certification has always fulfilled its task of protecting people’s rights, their property and their property interests.

The Association of Lawyers of Russia gave a presentation of monographs and textbooks by professors of the Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL) at their stand.

A virtual assistant at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation’s stand advised visitors on legal issues, held a quiz on legal topics, and helped everyone to take selfies, sending the photos to the Forum guests by email.



As part of the 12th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, 37 agreements, treaties, programmes and memoranda were signed (For reference: 15 agreements were signed in 2023):

·                 A treaty between the Russian Federation and the State of Kuwait on the transfer of persons sentenced to imprisonment;

·                 Five agreements and memoranda of cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and the Ministries of Justice of: the Republic of Djibouti; the Republic of Zimbabwe; the Gabonese Republic; the Gabonese Republic in the field of regulation of non-profit organizations; the Kingdom of Thailand;

·                 Three cooperation programmes for 2024–2025 between the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and the Ministries of Justice of: the Republic of Abkhazia; the Republic of South Ossetia; the Republic of Uzbekistan;

·                 Five Cooperation programmes between the Federal Bailiffs Service of Russia and the Ministries of Justice of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia; as well as the Compulsory Enforcement Service (Republic of Armenia), the National Chamber of Public Enforcement Officers of the Republic of Serbia, and the Legal Execution Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Thailand;      

·                 A cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the Russia-wide non-profit organization, the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the Russian Federation;

·                 A cooperation agreement between the Federal Chamber of Notaries, the socially beneficial foundation, the Centre for Notarial Studies, and St. Petersburg State University, a federal budgetary educational institution of higher education;

·                 An agreement on staff training between the Ministry of Justice of Russia and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation;

·                 Three agreements between the Roscongress Foundation and the Synergy Corporation on cooperation with the Association of Lawyers of Russian, the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation and Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL).

·                 A cooperation agreement between the Roscongress Foundation and the All-Russian State University of Justice (RLA of the Ministry of Justice of Russia);

·                 A cooperation agreement between the Lugansk Academy of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Donbas State University of Justice of the Ministry of Justice of Russia, and others.



The Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System has continued to develop its Summary service, enabling you to receive brief analytical summaries of the discussions with a description of the key conclusions, problems, and solutions voiced during discussions. A total of 34 analytical summaries were issued as a result of SPILF 2024.

This is a translation of material that was mainly originally generated in Russian using artificial intelligence.

The report, Results of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum 2024, will be prepared based on the outcomes of the Forum.

Approximately 50 experts were involved in the expert and analytical support of the Forum. They included representatives of leading Russian universities and research institutions, including the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, St. Petersburg State University, and Lomonosov Moscow State University.



Alongside the Forum, guests and participants were able to visit the exhibition ‘Defence of the Russian State: History and Modernity’. Its main purpose was to show how throughout its history, Russia has faced attempts to violate its sovereignty. For the first time, dozens of historical documents, photographs, unique footage and videos portraying foreign attempts to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs from the Time of Troubles to the present day have been collected and displayed on one platform.



Forum guests and participants were offered an extensive cultural programme as part of the St. Petersburg Seasons Festival of Culture, which included visits to museums, theatres, the architectural monuments of St. Petersburg, and various other events.

Guests of the Forum were also shown an exhibition called Paths of Justice: On the 180th anniversary of Anatoly Kony’s birth. It is located inside an early 20th century Transcaucasus railway luggage car in the Museum of Russian Railways in St. Petersburg, which meant visitors can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the time. Visitors could also see photographic materials, rare documents and the personal belongings of the outstanding Russian lawyer Anatoly Kony.

In addition, a Gala Reception to mark the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum was held on behalf of Konstantin Chuychenko, the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, and Alexander Beglov, the Governor of St. Petersburg. It was attended by over 4,000 people. The event’s musical programme featured the Tavrichesky International Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mikhail Golikov, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra under the baton of Igor Butman, People’s Artist of Russia.

The St. Isaac’s Cathedral Youth Choir also performed at the Forum with the support of the Roscongress Foundation and the Right Outdoor Media Group.



More than 450 SPILF participants played chess, draughts, and Go at the Mind Sports Lounge. Representatives from China, Italy, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia took part in tournaments, masterclasses, and simultaneous play sessions. The winner of the SPILF Chess Cup was Professor Konstantin Krakovsky of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. The SPILF Go Cup was won by German Zakharov, Partner at the Alrud law firm. A draughts tournament was also held.

Sergey Ivanov, international grandmaster and senior coach of the Russian junior chess team, held a simultaneous exhibition, and a similar draughts session was held by Andrey Napreenkov, European Veterans Champion.

The SPILF sports programme was organized by RC Sport, the sports platform of the Roscongress Foundation. The tournaments were organized with the support of the St. Petersburg Chess Federation and the Zvezda Go Club.



The Forum was organized by the Roscongress Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, as well as strategic partner Rosseti, strategic scientific partner the Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre, communication partner MAER Media Holding, and official partners Gazprom and MegaFon. The official car of the Forum was Hongqi.