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BRICS Law Journal

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Academic peer-reviewed journal “BRICS Law Journal”

The BRICS is an acronym for an association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, evolved from mere investment lingo to an organized network, in the process assuming a greater geopolitical role aimed at institutional reforms that shift global power. All five countries adhere to principles of inclusive macroeconomic and social policies and are focusing on responsible national growth strategies. The BRICS Law Journal is a platform for relevant comparative research and legal development not only in and between the BRICS countries themselves but also between those countries and others. The journal is an open forum for legal scholars and practitioners to reflect on issues that are relevant to the BRICS and internationally significant. Prospective authors who are involved in relevant legal research, legal writing and legal development are, therefore, the main source of potential contributions.

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Current issue

Vol 7, No 2 (2020)
View or download the full issue PDF

SPECIAL ISSUE: DIGITALIZATION IN LAW

ARTICLES

10-36 574
Abstract

Step by step, new digital technologies are capturing different spheres of our life. The opportunities of their application are almost infinite, and potential is very promising. But digital innovations as a trend represent a challenge for every modern state. Especially for member-countries of the BRICS union who seek to become the world’s leading countries. For this reason, the most important task for the members of BRICS is to create adequate “smart” regulation, which offers alternative ways of regulatory impact on transforming business relations. Using the regulatory sandbox as an experimental legal regime is one of the ways to test the creation, production, and realization of digital innovation. Having been first applied in 2016 in the United Kingdom, nowadays this model is successfully implemented in such countries as Singapore, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Member-countries of BRICS are only beginning to adopt this unorthodox tool; in most of its countries the legal framework is ongoing now. The aim of this research is to analyze current legislation and legal framework on the regulatory sandboxes in BRICS countries, define features of national models, difficulties and further prospects of its usage. This research is based on the comparative and formal juridical analysis of legislation, draft laws, and research papers dedicated to regulatory sandboxes in BRICS. The authors identify different barriers and risks of using regulatory sandboxes for the digital innovations successfully and offer some ways to overcome these challenges, including the formulation of guidelines for operating regulatory sandboxes based on a balance of public and private interests. The authors conclude that it is necessary to update legislation on the regulatory sandboxes for reaching positive effect from the digital transformation and make several suggestions for optimization its provisions. The results achieved in research paper can be used both in the lawmaking process as well as the foundation for further scientific researches.

37-65 374
Abstract

The article presents a comparative legal analysis of the modern legal regulation of the multidimensionality of digital electronic currency in BRICS countries. It assesses the possibility of civil circulation of a digital property right as an economic and legal segment without clear legal regulation. It analyzes the judicial practice related to confidentiality, acquisition, and trading of virtual currency. The article justifies the ability to integrate a single digital currency – CRYPTOBRICS, a single equivalent for all payments in the form of cryptocurrency within the framework of BRICS for settlements and increase in the trade exchange volume on these international platforms. This will provide for the legalization and consolidation of the legal framework of cryptocurrency within the context of objects of civil rights, allowing BRICS members to become regulatory leaders in the field of digital assets. We formulated a proposal to create an international agreement defining the parameters of the digital currency issue based on blockchain technology for interstate transactions, which allows the BRICS counties to establish the next stage of their mutual integration for the free trade zone and the customs union. Unifying the civil circulation of cryptocurrency and using the platform of modern non-monetary digital circulation as our foundation, we concluded that BTC can be classified as a type of digital property right. The article justified the theoretical definition of digital property right in the form of cryptocurrency as a resource stored in a device or electronic system which allows the end user to complete transactions using virtual currency and denominated in another payment unit, as opposed to currencies issued by sovereign states. We suggested that insurance companies be insured against all possible risks associated with cryptocurrency circulation and cybersecurity as a civil measure to protect the order of intangible digital codes – cryptocurrencies.

66-93 353
Abstract

The article examines the prospects for the development of an interstate association of BRICS member nations and concludes that it is necessary to expand cooperation in addition to the economic sphere through other areas, in particular, the organization of interaction to combat crime. The article focuses on the fact that an important area of joint cooperation between the BRICS member nations will be activities in the field of security and combating crime. The main promising areas of cooperation between the BRICS member nations in the field of security are formulated and forms of joint activities in these areas are proposed. This area of cooperation of the BRICS member nations should be based on modern information technologies, which is due to the need for coordination of law enforcement activities of the BRICS member nations. The article analyzes the joint system for preventing international crime in the BRICS member nations and concludes that no improvement of this system is possible without appropriate information support for law enforcement based on general principles and approaches. To this end, the necessity of creating a Unified Digital Environment for Law Enforcement Services in the BRICS member nations is substantiated, which implies the speed of achieving the objectives of law enforcement in the BRICS member nations; reduction of corruption risks in this area; as well as automation of individual work processes by replacing a human resource with software. The article describes the concept of a Unified Digital Environment for Law Enforcement Services of the BRICS member nations, substantiates the components that make up its structure. The modern methods of information processing that can be used to build the specified information system are presented. Possible interested users of this environment are highlighted and the capabilities of the Unified Digital BRICS Law Enforcement Services Environment provided to these users are presented.

94-117 441
Abstract

The authors examine certain legal problems of antitrust regulation in the digital economy facing the international community, including BRICS member countries. This article focuses on the problems associated with the use of price algorithms by enterprises as a threat factor to competition. The concept of “price algorithm” and the goals of its use by enterprises are analyzed; it is concluded that the use of price algorithms is just one of the tools for conducting economic activity. At the same time, enterprises can pose a threat to competition by using price algorithms as an element of concluding anti-competitive agreements (concerted actions) between enterprises and illegal coordination of their activities. Restriction of competition through the use of price algorithms can harm consumers of goods, works, and services and should be controlled by antitrust authorities. Based on the analysis of the antitrust laws of the BRICS member countries, it is concluded that currently the concept of a “pricing algorithm” is not enshrined in the laws of any of the BRICS member states, however, there are prohibitions on anticompetitive agreements of enterprises and illegal coordination of economic activity. We refute the need to legally enshrine the concept of “price algorithm” in antitrust law. At the same time, it proves that enterprises should be held accountable for the use of the price algorithm as atool to limit competition. The paper proves that within the framework of interstate cooperation of the BRICS countries in the field of competition law, it is necessary to develop common approaches to antitrust regulation in the digital economy, including to ensure auniform approach to regulating and controlling the use of price algorithms by enterprises in the framework of economic activity.

118-147 322
Abstract

Online contracts are characterized by unequal economic opportunities. The consumer, traditionally, has fewer economic opportunities, the seller – more. Digitalization of consumer-seller relations did not solve the old problem of insufficient consumer protection, but rather exacerbated it. Now the consumer needs to be protected from unscrupulous actions of both the seller and the aggregator of the information on goods, works, and services, i.e. the owner of the site on which the consumer buys the good, orders the work or the service. Acontract concluded on a site is a special type of adhesion contract. If a site sells goods from different sellers (which often happens), the terms and conditions of the adhesion contract are determined not only by the seller, but also by the site owner. Thus, the economically weak party – the consumer, needs to be protected both against the seller’s abuse, and against the site owner’s abuse. The article compares the experience of regulating the relations between the consumer, the seller (contractor) and the information aggregator accumulated by the EU countries, on the one hand, and BRICS countries, on the other. It is concluded that the development of regulation in all the BRICS countries is currently moving towards providing the consumer with the widest information opportunities. It is necessary to support the idea of holding the e-commerce aggregator responsible for any failure to fulfill its obligations to the consumer. The responsibility is considered acceptable when the aggregator has not informed the consumer that it does not provide goods, work, services, or in cases of the aggregator’s gross negligence in identifying the user when registering a potential seller on the site. A separate problem is the public legal status of the online platform aggregator, since when an onsite contract is concluded, the consumer should not receive less secure goods than when a contract is concluded through an exchange of documents in the ordinary “paper” form.

COMMENTS

148-156 335
Abstract

This paper presents a bibliometric analysis of research works in the subject category Law published with the affiliation of India in the Web of Science Core Collection. A total of 529 published works by Indian authors from Indian law schools and institutions on or relating to the subject of the law have appeared in law journals and other sources. The works are indexed in the Core Collection for the years 1999–2019 and have been cited 2,041 times over this 20-year period. To conduct the analysis of the published data based on norms such as author-wise, country-wise and citation-wise figures, normative bibliographic techniques were applied to attain the objectives. After adetailed discussion of the analysis of the data, the research arrives at the conclusion that Indian authors have fewer published works in the subject category Law in the Core Collection than two other Asian countries, but that there has been a gradual increase in their number since 2011.



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