Significance of the Separation of Powers Principle and the Political Question Doctrine for International Law
Moderators and Speakers
  • Moderator
    Mikhail Galperin

    Representative of the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights — Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation — Professor of the School of International Law at the HSE University

  • Moderator
    Baiju Vasani

    Partner at Ivanyan and Partners

  • Speaker
    Alexei Avtonomov

    Head of Department at the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation

  • Speaker
    Sergei Belov

    Dean of the Faculty of Law at St. Petersburg University

  • Speaker
    Alexei Ispolinov

    Doctor of Juridical Science

  • Speaker
    Surya P. Subedi QC

    Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds, Barrister at Three Stone Chambers (Lincoln's Inn)

  • Speaker
    Eirik Bjorge

    Professor of Law at the University of Bristol Law School

  • Speaker
    Lindsay Reimschussel

    International Associate at Ivanyan and Partners

About the Conference
The separation of powers is one of the fundamental principles of organization of State power in democratic countries. It implies not only the existence of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, as well as a system of "checks and balances", but also the impossibility of transferring or delegating powers from one branch to another. For example, the legislative branch cannot transfer to the executive its powers to establish certain courts and determine their competence. The corresponding constitutional framework determines the activity of a State as a sovereign both on national and international arena.

The submission of a dispute to a tribunal, or, in other words, consent to arbitration, requires an express consent of a State. Since such express consent is directly related to State sovereignty, it should comply with constitutional requirements. In this regard, a question on public control tools that should be available to the national legal order when deciding whether to refer disputes to the international tribunal arises.

Another question concerns an approach the tribunals should take when establishing a properly given State's consent to arbitration in a situation where the principle of separation of powers is potentially violated. Such an issue, for example, arises when determining the possibility of applying the provisions of non-ratified international treaties that limit the scope of judicial control of a State without the approval of its legislature.

In recent years, this problem has become particularly relevant, whereas investment tribunals hear disputes involving political issues and assess sovereign actions of States in cases of high public importance related to the protection of life and health of citizens, the environment, issues of economic, tax, and social policy, status of territories, etc., more often. In this regard, a concept assuming that certain actions of a State are not subject to external evaluation by a tribunal and cannot be limited by an international treaty is noteworthy.

In this context, within the conference, it is proposed to discuss the significance of the separation of powers principle, the place of the political question doctrine, and the issue of justiciability in international law, as well as the questions of where the border of the collision of politics and law lays, and how to sustain political neutrality of international justice.

The event will be interesting for representatives of professional and academic community, employees of international organizations and government bodies.