ABOUT
On 15-16 May 2008, the second session of the Euro-Asian Law Congress was held in Yekaterinburg. The second session was devoted to discussing the main directions and priority projects of legal assistance for the effectiveness of the EurAsEC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the implementation of partnership agreements with the European Union.

The second session was organised by Association of Lawyers of Russia and the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Community with the participation of the Ural State LawAcademy and assistance from the Government of the Sverdlovsk Region.

Some 350 lawyers from EurAsEC, the SCO and the EU attended the session. Representatives of the Interparliamentary Assembly and the EurAsEC Integration Committee, the CIS Economic Court, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the International Labour Organisation, the International Organisation for Migration, the State Duma and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Majilis and the Senate of the Parliament of the Kazakh Republic, the Russian Federation Presidential Administration and executive bodies of the state authorities participated in the discussion.
THE CONGRESS INCLUDED THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS:

· EurAsEC: Legal Means of Forming the Community's Legal Space;
· The Legal Framework for the EU-European-Asian Partnership: New Opportunities;
· Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: problems of legal support for political interaction and energy security.

The work of the second session was structured in two days. On the first day there was a plenary session with speeches by Veniamin Fedorovich Yakovlev, Chairman of the Association of Lawyers of Russia, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Pyotr Mikhailovich Latyshev, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Urals Federal District, Petr Borisovich Zverev, Executive Secretary of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Community, Tatiana Konstantinovna Andreeva, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, Yuri Mikhailovich Zolotov, Deputy
ON THE FIRST DAY IN THE AFTERNOON THERE WAS A THEMATIC DISCUSSION ON " EURASEC: LEGAL MEANS OF FORMING THE LEGAL SPACE OF THE COMMUNITY" LED BY P.B. ZVEREV, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE EURASEC INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY. IN THE COURSE OF THE THEMATIC DISCUSSION THE FOLLOWING ISSUES WERE DISCUSSED:
- problems and challenges of developing economic integration in the EurAsEC
- experience of economic integration in the EU
- problems of implementation of legal acts of the EurAsEC
- problems of formation of judicial bodies of the EurAsEC
- issues of indirect taxation reform in EurAsEC
- problems and prospects of using the potential of EurAsEC for legal regulation of labour and social protection of migrants
- legal instruments for cooperation at international and interregional levels to ensure energy transit and use of the transport potential of SCO and EurAsEC member states
- mechanisms for the participation of Russian business circles in improving trade and economic cooperation within the framework of EurAsEC integration processes.
ON THE SECOND DAY, MEETINGS OF THE CONGRESS PANELS OF EXPERTS WERE HELD. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS PREPARED FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE CONGRESS WERE DISCUSSED, AS WELL AS LEGAL PROJECTS THAT ARE CURRENTLY A PRIORITY FOR ENSURING INTEGRATION PROCESSES IN THE EURASIAN SPACE:
· legal support for inter-state partnership and integration in the areas of economic cooperation, finance, taxation and customs relations;
· unification of transport legislation;
· developing unified acts on the legal regulation of labour and social security of migrant workers;
· coordination of legal education and research activities;
· developing integration instruments in the field of combating international terrorism, extremism and money laundering.
As a result of the work of the expert groups, the main areas for legal co-operation and approaches to resolving legal problems concerning Eurasian economic integration were outlined, and a standing body of experts was set up who will be called upon to work on the relevant issues during the course of the year. Participants in the Congress emphasised that 2007 saw the entry into force of an agreement on the status of the Basic Legislation of the EurAsEC, their drafting, adoption and implementation. This brings EurAsEC integration bodies to a new level of task, not simply to develop unified documents, but to make direct-action acts that would provide a common framework for legal regulation in EurAsEC Member States. This raises the need to involve a wide range of legal experts from EurAsEC countries in their drafting and discussion, and to carry out extensive comparative legal research. The experts have expressed their intention to become actively involved in this work in order to assist the EurAsEC Interparliamentary Assembly, which will bear the main burden of drafting such documents. To this end, the expert groups of the Congress will continue during the year to discuss draft EurAsEC Frameworks of Legislation and Concepts of such frameworks and to conduct comparative legal studies in the relevant areas, with a view to submitting a consolidated opinion of the expert community on these issues for consideration by the EurAsEC integration bodies by 2009.

Experts at the Congress noted that an essential condition for the successful implementation of the Agreement on the Status of the Basic Legislation of the EurAsEC, their drafting, adoption and implementation procedures and other EurAsEC integration acts is the professional development of practical personnel - executives, middle and lower levels of government of EurAsEC member states, the business community and human rights organisations. Even now, the development of major national infrastructure projects should take into account the possible existence of the corresponding elements of the EurAsEC - the Transport Union, the Customs Union, etc. - and for this the developers should have an idea and understanding of the basic legal and economic characteristics of such structures. The same applies to the formation of national legal frameworks in various areas: transport, public-private partnerships, foreign investment, finance, education and labour, which have recently been actively developed and improved in EurAsEC member states.
In order to meet this challenge, it is already advisable to start developing relevant competence centres and piloting relevant educational programmes. The Congress experts can also provide assistance in the development and implementation of such programmes.

The expert group meeting on legal support of interstate partnership and integration in the field of economic cooperation, finance, taxation and customs relations heard and considered 22 reports and scientific communications, which included the analysis of legislation of 12 countries of the Euro-Asian region. Professors and scientists representing 9 countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Finland) spoke directly to the expert panel, and written reports were received from representatives of another 3 states (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Malta). Three reports were presented by members of expert councils and staff of the EurAsEC Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. Thus, the discussion was based on the analysis of national legislation materials of all 6 EurAsEC member states, as well as 6 European Union member states.

The main purpose of the Expert Group meeting was to provide an expert assessment of existing legislative restrictions on trade and investment activities: within the framework of the EurAsEC, in relations between the states of the European Union on the one hand, and Russia (as well as the other states of the Euro-Asian region) on the other.
The importance of identifying and phasing out such constraints on (mutually beneficial) basis is in line with the foreign policy strategy of the Russian Federation. This work has been repeatedly recognised as a priority in the messages of the President of the Russian Federation and the strategic documents of the Russian government.

The work of the Expert Group has identified significant legislative constraints and obstacles to cross-border investment and trade and economic activities in the Euro-Asian region. These restrictions and obstacles are generally of a fiscal nature and are expressed in terms of the establishment of different taxation regimes for residents and non-residents; these differences are often unjustified and contrary to concluded international treaties; in the lack of harmonisation of national legislation (even within an integration entity such as the EurAsEC) and differing legal interpretations of many facts and circumstances essential to the establishment of a taxation regime.

In addition, possible and feasible forms of removing unreasonable obstacles to cross-border economic activity have been identified on the basis of agreements concluded within the framework of the EurAsEC, the Russian and European Union treaty legal framework, and bilateral tax treaties and conventions.
THE EXPERT GROUP FOR DISCUSSING THE PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPING EURASEC INTEGRATION DOCUMENTS IN THE AREA OF TRANSPORT LEGISLATION UNIFICATION (THE EXPERT GROUP ON LEGAL SUPPORT FOR TRANSPORT POLICY) PROPOSED:
- form unified Principles for regulating relations in the sphere of transport, following which the Concept of the Basics of Transport Legislation of the EurAsEC should be finalised;
- it is proposed to abandon the Fundamentals of Transport Legislation as a whole in order to prepare the EurAsEC Fundamentals of Transport Legislation for individual modes of transport;
- the relevant documents should be supplemented by provisions on combined transport of goods, combined transport, and pipeline transport;
- the expert group draws attention to the need to develop unified documents and further elaborate legal issues of cooperation between the state and private business in the formation of transport infrastructure.
52 participants from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan took part in the work of the expert group on problems of legal regulation of labour and social security of migrant workers. They included academics from 12 Russian and foreign universities and academic institutions, employees of the International Labour Organization (from ILO Headquarters in Geneva and the ILO Subregional Office in Moscow), a specialist from the International Organization for Migration, employees of the Sverdlovsk Region FMS, employees of the Sverdlovsk Region Human Rights Commissioner, senior officials from the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Community as well as the Deputy Chair of the Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly Committee on Local SelfGovernance. The geography of Russian participants of the expert group is represented by the cities of Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Rostov- on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Omsk, Saratov, Izhevsk, Perm and Krasnoyarsk.
The main topic of discussion was "Legal Support for Migration Processes in EurAsEC Member States". There were 15 speakers and a discussion on the issues discussed.

The following issues were discussed at the expert group meeting:
1) on the formation of state policy in the field of labour migration;
2) on the conformity of provisions of national legislation with international standards;
3) on the form of cross-national regulation of migrant workers' labour and social security (Model Law or Legislative Framework?);
4) on the relationship between migration law and legislation on labour and social security for migrant workers;
5) defects in national regulations governing the labour and social security of migrant workers;
6) practical problems in the use of migrant workers and the most typical violations of the labour rights of foreign workers and ways to prevent them;
7) mediation by private employment agencies for the recruitment of foreign workers.

Proposals were made to create a Migration Labour Exchange within EurAsEC, to create conditions for the adaptation of migrants (including training in the language of the host country), and to systematise state supervision of the use of foreigners' labour. In addition, a number of presentations made specific proposals for improving labour and social security legislation for migrants, including amendments to the Russian Labour Code. As a concrete result of the expert group's work, an agreement was reached with representatives of the EurAsEC Interparliamentary Assembly to have the permanent experts of the Congress carry out a research work on the subject of "Recommendations on harmonising the labour legislation of EurAsEC member states based on a comparative legal analysis" at the Ural State Law Academy's Labour Law Department.
Thirty-two experts participated in the work of the expert group on criminal policy issues in the field of suppression of international terrorism, extremism and money laundering.

As a result of the discussion, the participants agreed to prepare an expert group level meeting as part of the work of the Congress:
- Proposals for amendments and additions to the Criminal Code (February-March 2009);
- Prepare a report on the comparative legal analysis of international criminal law on combating international terrorism, extremism and money laundering (November 2008);
- Prepare a training manual for experts of SCO member states on the suppression of international terrorism, extremism and money laundering (February-March 2010);
- Model Criminal Law (section of the Criminal Code relating to the suppression of international terrorism, extremism and money laundering) for SCO member states (January-February 2010).
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