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HSE University to Improve Qualifications of Russian Lawyers from Companies Doing Business in China and India

HSE University to Improve Qualifications of Russian Lawyers from Companies Doing Business in China and India

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HSE University’s Faculty of Law has developed two new Continuing Professional Development programmes: ‘Introduction to the Indian Legal System’ and ‘Introduction to the Chinese Legal System.’ What makes these programmes unique is that well-known practising lawyers from these countries will teach there, while leading local law universities will act as partners. The target audience of the programmes is lawyers from Russian companies conducting foreign economic activities in India or China.

The creation of these programmes was based on requests from corporate clients of the Continuing Professional Development Centre at HSE University’s Faculty of Law. Many Russian companies, which have reoriented their business to the East since 2022, have questions regarding legal support for foreign economic activity in the countries of the Middle East, China, and India. It has not been easy for company employees to understand the nuances of contract law, banking and investment law, customs clearance and arbitration, as the legal systems of these countries are different from those of Russia and Western Europe.

The Faculty of Law already has experience in implementing similar programmes. Last year, it successfully developed and launched a Continuing Professional Development programme ‘Islamic Finance: Legal Foundations, Compliance and Business Practice,’ which is in constant demand among lawyers and financiers from companies doing business in Turkey, the UAE, and other countries of the Middle East.

During the development of CPD programmes dedicated to India and China, it was decided to invite practising lawyers from these countries as teachers. In Russia, there is a lack of experts who understand the specifics of the legal systems in India and China. Similarly, there are only a few relevant books published on the topic, and there is still very little fundamental and applied research. HSE University has become the first to attract such experts as teachers for CPD programmes in law.

HSE University partners with leading foreign universities in the implementation of both programmes. In China, it is Shanghai University of Political Science and Law (SHUPL), which falls in the top 1000 world university rankings and in the top 10 universities in China. It specialises in legal issues, with a strong law school and a long-standing partnership with HSE University’s Faculty of Law.

In India, HSE university is partnered with O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), which is also included in worldwide rankings and is placed at 961 in the QS ranking. This is a prestigious and well-known private law university, from which many representatives of India's current legal elite have graduated.

Extensive preparatory work for the launch of both CPD programmes was carried out by the International Cooperation Centre of HSE University’s Faculty of Law.

The programmes ‘Introduction to the Indian Legal System’ and ‘Introduction to the Chinese Legal System’ were developed jointly by HSE University and partner universities, taking into account the wishes of potential students. Particular attention was paid to the selection of teachers. All of them are thoroughly versed in the issues of banking, contractual, customs and investment law as well as arbitration in their countries. Many have experience supporting transactions with Russian companies, and some Indian colleagues have worked in court. In addition, they understand the needs of the Russian audience and are skilled in teaching adults.

An outline of the programmes can be found on their HSE University CPD Marketplace pages. However, foreign experts can teach Russian lawyers something that goes beyond the curriculum—an understanding of the special legal culture of China and India, their unique mentality, and the various nuances of local approaches to law. For this purpose, joint activities with students are provided—for example, solving legal cases (half of the entire course is allocated for this) and answering questions from practice.

The programmes are designed for lawyers of any companies that conduct foreign economic activity in China and India. These could be banks that conduct operations or plan to open branches in these countries, exporters—oil and gas, metallurgical, gold mining companies, as well as companies importing consumer goods to Russia (cars, electronics, household appliances, clothing, etc.).

Trainings will be conducted online; knowledge of foreign languages ​​is not required as simultaneous translation will be provided during lectures and discussions. Students will receive printouts of all lectures, assignments, and cases in Russian in advance, which will simplify the understanding of complex legal structures.

Vadim Vinogradov, Dean of HSE University’s Faculty of Law

The main objective of the CPD programmes ‘Introduction to the Indian Legal System’ and ‘Introduction to the Chinese Legal System’ is to help students understand the nuances of these countries’ legal mentality and legal culture. This can only be done through interaction with expert practitioners, highly qualified Indian and Chinese lawyers. Textbooks are unlikely to help in this aspect.

Graduates of these programmes will feel more confident when supporting the business of Russian companies—exporters and importers in India and China, and will be able to avoid legal errors when drawing up contracts. Their careers will be improved by professional connections established with foreign colleagues during their studies.

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