May 16, 2012 the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library hosted the Third Youth International Forum of the Lawyers of Russia Association. Forum for young lawyers and law students has become the traditional venue for communication with colleagues and discussion of urgent issues with major representatives of the legal community.
M. Yu Lavrikova, acting rector of the St. Petersburg State University, addressed the audience with a welcoming speech.
V. F. Yakovlev, adviser to the President of the Russian Federation on Legal Affairs, spoke at the plenary meeting. Addressing young colleagues, he stressed that being a lawyer means to serve human rights, truth and justice. According to the speaker, today lawyers are facing the problem of strengthening the law, because it is the only foundation of a democratic society.
The principle of the rule of law was also mentioned in the speech of V. D. Zorkin, President of the Constitutional Court of Russia. He outlined three major, in his view, components of a modern democratic state - an independent judiciary, law-abiding officials and a high sense of justice among citizens.
As noted at the plenary meeting the Minister of Justice of the United Kingdom, Kenneth Harry Clarke, the conference will help Russian professionals to jointly look for ways to upgrade the law to meet the modern needs of society. According to him, the experience of Russian colleagues in solving the problems of corruption in particular, could be useful for the global community.
Within the forum was held an open discussion "Profession of Lawyer in the World Today." Through videoconference the discussion was joined by representatives of the legal community of Moscow, including the chairman of State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation, P. V. Krasheninnikov.
In his report, acting Minister of Justice of Russia, Alexander Konovalov, shared opinion that today we need to talk about the lawless behavior of lawyers. It is no accident that one of the important topics of discussion was the professional legal ethics
The main issues raised during the discussion concerned the problems of legal education. While discussing the problem of whether a professor of a law faculty should be theoretician or practitioner, the opinions were divided. The older generation fought the need for fundamental legal knowledge, and therefore, in their opinion, the professor need not be a practicing professional. At the same time, students talked about the lack of practical skills while using legal norms.
Among the discussed issues there also were the quality of education, the social mission of a lawyer, entering the legal profession, job search, as well as problems of legal literacy of the population and legal aid.
The conference continued with the meetings of eight subgroups in the halls of the Presidential Library and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Discussions related to the application of election legislation, the modern criminal policy, the effectiveness of international law and other matters of interest to young lawyers.
The forum was attended by about five hundred experts, including representatives of federal legislative and executive authorities of the Russian Federation, the leading figures of the various legal professions, rectors and students of the leading law schools of the country and the CIS.
Previous Youth International Law Forum was held in May 2011 in the premises of the Presidential Library and the St. Petersburg State University.