The aim of the research is the multi-dimensional study of the legal aspects of the functioning of BRICS with the usage of a comparative legal approach and its instruments. The participants of the project aimed to resolve the following tasks: the elaboration of methodological approaches and tools for the usage of a comparative legal method in researching the legal aspects of BRICS; determining the potential of the international law and national legal systems of BRICS states for securing the functioning of BRICS; the uncovering of shared and specific traits of the national regulation of homogeneous social relations indicated in the Conjoint declarations of the chiefs of governments and states of BRICS countries; research into the perspectives for the harmonization of legal systems for securing cooperation in fields indicated in the Conjoint declarations of chiefs of governments and states of BRICS countries; definingthe terms of harmonization and the means of its realization; a comparative legal analysis of the fundamental sources of law on actual problems of cooperation, indicated in the Conjoint declarations of chiefs of governments and states of BRICS countries; an analysis of scientific literature on the relevant problems of cooperation indicated in the Conjoint declarations of the chiefs of governments and states of BRICS countries; preparation of a bibliography forstudying the legal aspects of BRICS.
The empirical base of the research project was made of of a wide range of sources of law, including those not previously translated into Russian; scientific literature in Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian; Russian and foreign periodicals; materials and documents deposited in the archives of libraries of Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Tours (France), Cape town, (RSA), Rome and Sassari (Italy); internet resources.
The following conclusions were made as result of the research:
- in the field of theory:
1) None of the goals of cooperation, indicated in the Conjoint declarations of the chiefs of states and governments of BRICS countries can be reached without using a specific legal form. It can be solved in two different ways. The first one presupposes the applying of an international legal framework, created by the conclusion of multilateral or bilateral international treaties. The second one is based on the use of a national level of legal regulation carried out by the harmonization of national legal systems of BRICS countries. Simultaneous or consequent application of both ways is considered to be preferential. But harmonization of national legal systems of BRICS countries is sure to be a more rational and simple way, while elaborating international law usually takes a long time for the reconciliation of participants positions and depends on the will of politicians;
2) The application of the comparative legal approach includes a deep analysis of the basics of BRICS countries cooperation and research into the national legislation of each BRICS state. The objects to be compared are the legal institutions and phenomena of the international and national law of each BRICS state, and legal institutes and phenomena of legal systems of all BRICS countries. It is necessary to study the legal systems of BRICS participants in comparative cross-cultural aspect for the revelation of common and specific features in the legal regulation of different social relations and activities within BRICS;
3) Cooperation within the framework of BRICS, which demands the harmonization of legal systems of BRICS countries, needs a careful retrospective analysis of the legal systems of BRICS participants and a study of the significance of Roman law, as the basis of contemporary law in Russia, China, Brazil and RSA as well as a definition of its role for the development of Indian Republic law. Contemporary law of BRICS countries (its content, form and juridical technique) is believed to be a potential future direction for research;
- in the field of methodology:
1) The wide variety of systems within the BRICS countries presupposes the usage of comparative legal method not only to analyze the positive law provisions and its sources, and also to focus on peculiarities of the legal culture, legal conscience, creation of legal systems, attitude to different regulators of social relations, inherent in each BRICS country;
2) Analysis of legal aspects of BRICS presupposes the respect of political interests, common for the creation of the union and specific for each BRICS state, respect of political international situation, influencing the goals and functioning of BRICS, and the attention to political, economical and social factors, determining the directions of interaction, which needs the legal formalization and guaranties, important for the security and stability of BRICS states;
- in the field of acquiring empirical knowledge:
1) BRICS, as an association of states, evidently, will not be formalized in an international organization in the near future. In terms of BRICS as a platform of cooperation, as a "cross-cultural dialogue", the attention of the lawyer should be focused on the elaboration of optimum legal mechanisms of collaboration, what is not possible without carrying out a legal comparative analysis. The process of BRICS cooperation in general and in certain areas indicated by politicians will demand legal formalization: correspondent legal forms, organizational legal mechanisms, clear distinction of the rights and duties of the participants, working out of the possible consequences (including juridical ones). The study of legal aspects of BRICS is sure to occur in all the fields of cooperation indicated in Conjoint declarations of the chiefs of governments and states of BRICS countries: the forms of embodiment of efforts, cooperation in the field of security enforcement, social rights of individual, in the domain of culture, sport, supply of alimentation, protection of the environment, interaction in the sphere of energetics, commerce, finances, prevention of dangerous and negative consequences of natural catastrophes, economic crisis etc. Furthermore, other questions, and areas of cooperation may well be revealed later;
2) The study of legal aspects of BRICS will encourage the elaboration of norms, constructions and acts to use for formalization of the results of cooperation and interaction of BRICS and provide recommendations for the harmonization of the legal systems of BRICS countries;
3) Legal research of BRICS should be accompanied by the introduction of laws of Brazil, India, China, RSA, translated into Russian, into the sphere of jurisprudence, by the studies of national juridical literature, juridical technique and juridical lexicon, used in the BRICS countries.
Researchers of this topic wrote and published the following works in 2013: three articles in foreign journals (Italy), eight articles in Russian journals, 24 articles in other publications, five preprints in Russian, one in a foreign language. Six legal sources not yet translated into Russian have been introduced into scientific use. 23 articles in Russian language and 14 in foreign were prepared and transferred for the publication.
The results of the conducted investigations have been applied and presented in 35 reports made by the participants of the project at different scientific conferences both in Russia and abroad.
These research results will be applied in further research activities and publications, course subjects teaching at the law faculty, in research scientific work in cooperation with students and by the state functionaries and organs responsible for BRICS cooperation.