Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice to share best practice with Russia

17 November 2010

A new agreement on justice cooperation between the UK and the Russian Federation was signed today.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke and the Russian Federation’s Justice Minister Alexsandr Konovalov signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Ministry of Justice agreeing that the two Ministries would exchange best practice and expertise on a range of justice matters such as prison reform, the enforcement of contracts and data protection in support of President Medvedev’s rule of law agenda.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said: 'I am delighted to welcome the Russian Justice Minister and his delegation to the UK. I look forward to working with him and his deputy ministers on a range of challenging justice issues.

'The Ministry of Justice strongly endorses President Medvedev’s commitment to embed the rule of law, strengthen judicial independence and tackle corruption in the Russian Federation.  We hope to use this framework for cooperation to share our expertise in support of the President’s agenda and we view cooperation in the justice field as an essential underpinning of the wider relationship.'

Alexsandr Konovalov, Justice Minister from the Russian Federation said: 'I am very pleased to meet my colleague, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, here in London.  I should emphasize that this is a first official meeting between the Ministers of Justice of Russia and Great Britain for a long time, and we both look forward for a fruitful cooperation.

'I believe that Memorandum of Understanding, which we have signed today, will become an effective tool in exchanging best justice practice between our countries and will help to promote further development.'

During their visit, the Russian delegation participated in Russian Commercial Law Week, an event organised by the Anglo Russian Law Association, which aims to improve the UK legal community’s understanding of key aspects of the Russian legal system, foster closer ties between Russian and UK lawyers, and provide a forum to facilitate the exchange of experience and expertise on legal issues.

Seminar topics included the legal mechanisms for fighting corruption, intellectual property rights, regulation of the legal profession, international arbitration and enforcement of judgments and the regulation of insurance law in the Russian Federation.

The delegation met a range of solicitors and representatives of the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Legal Services Board to discuss the regulation of the legal profession in the Russian Federation. The Russian Justice Minister and his delegation also met the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.

The Russian Chief Justice of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court, Anton Ivanov, also visited the UK and played a key role in Russian Commercial Law Week.

The Chief Justice met the Justice Secretary; the Minister of State and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Lord McNally; the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips and other senior judiciary.