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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 3 (2020)
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ARTICLES

4-28 333
Abstract

These days, the world and every country in it are faced with the task of ensuring food security for people. It’s of current interest also for the BRICS countries. The ability to access genetic information and materials for seed production depends on intellectual property regimes. A lack of access to them is a main barrier for contribution in the development of plant varieties. This situation leads to dependence on obtaining hybrid varieties from foreign companies, which poses a threat to food security. It seems that to ensure freedom of research priorities there is a need to provide an opportunity to commercialize new breeding achievements resulting from such discoveries. Correct policymaking also includes the issue of regulating the situation when a patent and a certificate of ownership of the new plant variety are issued to different persons or companies. Capturing in legislation the breeders’ exception is necessary for the use of the patented invention in the frame of creating, discovering and developing a new plant variety. The biodiversity of seeds is a high stakes matter especially for the developing countries, where there are many challenges for smallholder farmers. The guarantee of the farmers’ right to use the saved seeds on their own farms and to exchange such seeds between themselves may be one of the aspects of food security as it is a base of the traditional agriculture economy in some countries, where smallholder farmers play a significant agricultural role. Also the position and scope of farmers’ rights and privileges, based on legislation and, especially, on judicial cases, shows a side of independence on international corporations in the agricultural sector.

29-51 313
Abstract

Until the 20th century, most countries around the world focused on developing the benefits of maritime transport and paid little attention to oil pollution from ships. The truth of the matter is that the development of marine transportation was a leading cause of marine pollution. Today, marine oil pollution is considered a dangerous source of contamination of the marine environment, and the oil pollution from ships is the source that draws the greatest concern. This concern clearly is felt by the BRICS countries, whose members, with vast seas adjacent to their landmasses, are keenly interested in preserving and protecting the marine environment against pollution, including marine pollution caused by oil from ships. The BRICS member states are countries with large economies and significant influence on regional and global issues. In recent years they have played a vital role in the world economy in terms of total production, destinations for investment capital and potential consumer markets. Therefore, the development and improvement of the laws of these countries relating to civil liability for marine pollution damage have significance for protecting the marine environment. This paper explores the legal regimes relating to civil liability for marine pollution damage at the international level and in the BRICS member states. It compares the differences in the domestic legislation of the BRICS countries pertaining to civil liability for marine pollution damage and concludes with recommendations for better implementation.

52-80 296
Abstract

The outbreak of COVID-19 has severely impacted the performance of contracts across the globe. In some situations, the outbreak may render the performance of contracts impossible as a result of governmental restrictions in the form of national lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. In other situations, the pandemic may adversely impact the execution of contractual obligations by dramatically affecting the price of the performance and, thus, resulting in hardship or commercial impracticability, while in certain situations the pandemic may be legally construed to not affect the performance of a contract. In domestic contracts, the consequences of such non-performance would depend on the principles of national law. In comparison, agreements with a foreign element (international contracts) are likely to increase the complexity of deciding claims arising from the non-performance of contracts due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The rights and liability of the parties would chiefly depend on the law that will govern the agreement – which differs across the globe. Some contracts would include a force majeure clause to exonerate the parties from performance on the occurrence of an event such as a pandemic. The courts’ interpretations of such force majeure clauses similarly differ across the globe. The laws of some countries would excuse the parties from performing their contractual obligations even if the pandemic resulted in hardship. Others would strictly construe the terms of such clauses and would invalidate them if the occurrence of the pandemic did not make the performance impossible. This paper examines the non-performance of transnational contracts due to the COVID-19 outbreak when they are governed by Indian law. It highlights the situations when an international contract for the sale of goods or services whose performance has been allegedly hindered due to COVID-19 would (a) frustrate and (b) breach the agreement under Indian law. The paper provides a comparative analysis of Indian law with jurisdictions such as France, Germany, Austria, China, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States to demonstrate that Indian law is not well equipped to deal with complex lawsuits arising due to the non-performance of contracts as a result of the pandemic.

81-103 107
Abstract

The article is a comparative study of legal regulation on non-profits in the Russian Federation by federal law, including the Constitution, federal statutes, decrees of the President of the Russian Federation, resolutions of the Government and Constitutional Court rulings in connection with certain international legal acts dealing with the right to association, and by the law of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The main stages of the development of the law on non-profits both at the federal level and at the level of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, as well as the main trends in the development of non-profit law in modern Russia, are explored.

104-135 109
Abstract

In this article, an attempt is made to determine the legal status of the human body (organs and tissue) both while a person is alive and after a person dies. The article discusses the points of view of various authors in relation to the possibility of considering the human body, its organs and tissue, after their separation from the body, as objects of a person’s property rights, and also as an object of a person’s non-property rights. The article argues the impossibility of qualifying the human body and the organs that were not separated from it during life as parts – and perhaps critical parts – of the existence of the total human being, as objects of real (property) rights including the rights of the persons themselves. The human body as a single object is a personal non-property benefit. The organs and tissue separated from the body may be considered objects of real rights, but on several conditions: if they were indeed separated from the body and if the person gave permission for this in a will. The specific characteristics of the legal status of the separated organs and tissue of a human being are analyzed as things (possessions) with limited turnover. The specific characteristics of the legal status of the organs and tissue separated from the body as possessions in limited turnover are reviewed as well as the impact of personal non-property rights on this status. The main focus of the article is on the legal status of the human body and the organs separated from it after death in view of the fact that transplantology and postmortem organ donation are becoming more and more widespread. This issue is analyzed in terms of the body as a whole and as it applies to the organs and tissue that are not used for transplantation. The proposal is to base our analysis on the status of the human body after death which as a rule cannot be the object of property rights. The human body is disposed of within the framework of the protection of the personal non-property rights of the deceased, including the right of physical inviolability that covers the organs and tissue separated from the body. The article characterizes the legal nature of living wills when people give instructions as to the procedure of their burial and other means of handling their body, including donation of their bodies to science. The article examines the possibility of the right of ownership to organs and tissue separated from the body after death. This right can exist if a complex legal construct is present, including a direct or assumed living will of the person. The specific characteristics of living acts concerning the possibility of after-death organ and tissue harvesting for further use, including for transplantation purposes, and the differences between such acts and last wills are determined.

136-165 113
Abstract

This paper analyses regulations concerning ordinary forms of testament in Russian and Chinese legislation against the background of selected solutions specific for particular European legal systems. It begins with a brief analysis of the development of Chinese and Russian civil law. This is intended to show the differences, but also the similarities, between them, caused, among other things, by the influence of Soviet law as well as ongoing reforms of succession law in both countries. Such similarities justify the need for a comparative examination of these legal orders, while the European context makes it possible to highlight their specific features. Taking into account the aim of this study, particular attention is paid to the normative sources of inheritance law and the traditional division of testaments into ordinary and special wills, something which is a common feature of Russian law, Chinese law and European legal traditions. The paper then examines particular forms of wills commonly found in European legislation, and follows this with a discussion of whether such solutions exist in Chinese and Russian law. Forms of holographic and notarial wills are presented in this manner. Particular attention is paid to forms of wills that occur only in one legal order, e.g. printed testaments as well as video and audio testaments in Chinese law, as well as the several types of notarial wills in Russian law. The paper concludes with a discussion of Russian and Chinese legislation’s various approaches to preserving the genuine will of the testator and the security of the legal transaction.

CONFERENCE REVIEW NOTES

166-168 89
Abstract

This article is devoted to the results of the VI annual Symposium of the journal “Herald of Civil Procedure” held on 27 and 28 September 2019 on the premises of the Faculty of Law of the Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University (KFU). The Symposium took place with the participation of the editorial board of the journal “Civil Law Review” and was titled “2019 – Civil Law and Procedure: History, Current State and Perspectives (Coinciding with the Bicentennial of D.I. Meyer).” The editorial board of the journal “Herald of Civil Procedure” annually invites outstanding legal scholars and practitioners in the field of civil procedure to Kazan to attend the Symposium of the journal “Herald of Civil Procedure”. In only six years, the Symposium has become not only an annual tradition, but also a brand name. The Symposium is an anchor event not only of the Law Faculty of the KFU, but also of the entire Kazan Federal University, which each year cordially welcomes leading civil procedure scholars. In addition, the Symposium hosts participants, friends and interested listeners, and has created a platform for large-scale discussions at the highest level The first and each subsequent Symposium are consistent in scope and organization. Yet, each year something new appears, some highlight that gives the event a unique character and momentum for moving forward, developing, improving and raising the level of engagement.



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