Simple and elegant as a theoretical concept, an appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection (ALOP) has proven complicated to implement in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement. While the Appellate Body has insisted that ALOP must be defined with sufficient precision to apply the relevant provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), ‘high or conservative’ remains as precise a formulation of ALOP as one can get. Despite the Appellate Body’s clear guidance that SPS measures are not to be confused with ALOP, panels – including the Appellate Body – have routinely mistaken one for the other. The most to suffer has been Article 5.5 of the SPS Agreement, which prohibits ‘arbitrary distinctions’ in ALOPs applied ‘in different situations.’ By substituting differences in SPS measures for differences in ALOPs and finding two different situations, i.e., two ALOPs, where there is only one, the jurisprudence has eviscerated this provision of its meaning and converted it into a peculiar version of the least-trade-restrictive-measure requirement. This article takes stock of the panel and Appellate Body jurisprudence on ALOP and offers some thoughts, de interpretatione ferenda, on the direction future jurisprudence should take.
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 certi cate of ownership of the new plant variety are issued to di erent 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 signi cant 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.
Currently, there is a need for reform of global monetary circulation and credit, which in a sense has stalled. The key is to restore the connection between monetary circulation and real production. In the first part of this study, I provide a brief analysis of the catastrophic consequences that the current design of reserve currencies has led to for the world economy. At the same time, the transition from the dollar to other reserve currencies operating on the same principles, the ethos of which is now being actively promoted in the West, will not improve the situation. In the second part, I demonstrate the efforts being made to de-dollarize settlements by both the BRICS, the EU, and the EAEU countries. The third part shows the successful historical experience of the transferable ruble as an international currency that functioned in 1960-1980 on non-discriminatory principles within the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA). In the fourth part, the international currencies already functioning in the world are described, as well as some existing proposals for the introduction of new international currencies. I argue that reliable physical access to reserves in basic food and medicines in controlled warehouses is becoming a matter of great importance. The transition is necessary from the ideology of reserve currencies to the ideology of reserves of critical goods. Such an incentive of a new BRICS currency on the demand side will be food and healthcare security. On the supply side, for all states that have established a currency, there should be a clear vision of how they can develop their exports using this currency. In order to secure currency, such goods must be pledged to international BRICS warehouses that correspond to the main export directions of the project countries and/or are critical for their import. These are basic foods such as grains, then medicines, fuel and energy resources, and metals.
This paper evaluates current food commodity trading from the Shariah point of view, which is particularly relevant for the MENA region. It focuses on futures contracts as the main instrument for grain trading and analyzes the traders’ activities. Through a qualitative and multifaceted approach, the paper accumulates and evaluates the suggestions for 15 Shariah-based alternatives to futures by contemporary researchers. Sukuk, commodity funds and takaful programs are among potential structures that could be developed and broadly implemented. The research compares the current criticism of futures markets with the opinions of Islamic scholars and researchers, as well as Shariah standards. The paper also evaluates several recent suggestions by researchers to raise the efficiency of the international commodity trading market for the sake of food security. The results show that there is space for cooperation taking into account Islamic financial principles and conventional commodity exchange regulations, in combining existing best practices of the latter and the rulings of the former in engineering a sounder system of grain trading for the benefit of market players and the end consumers. This would require a joint effort and support from exchanges, standard-setting bodies, and regulators. Among the areas of cooperation are the approach towards corners (ihtikar), squeezes, speculation (gharar, maysir, and najash), and defining the border between reasonable and excess speculation; financial architecture using new technologies in developing a commodity trading contract conforming to the Shariah regulations and the exchange requirements. There is a need to develop the ideas for global food contracts and grain reserve systems, and to test the contracts based on existing exchanges.
The article provides an overview of the Islamic finance market in Russia. It accumulated data on 30+ Islamic finance institutions and products launched between 2010 and 2019, including discontinued ones. The range includes banks, non-banking microfinance institutions, mutual investment funds, housing cooperatives, investment companies and others. The article provides the author’s assessment of the market size and its dynamics between 2011 and 2019. It analyzes the range of Islamic finance products rendered by the market players, including the industry break down of certain Islamic finance companies. The article summarizes the results of the survey, conducted among the owners and managers of the Islamic finance institutions. It shows the range of opinions regarding the lack of market special regulation and elicits factors influencing the market and impeding its development. The main legal and tax hurdles for the Islamic finance market, in Russia, are analyzed. The results show that the market is still not mature and lacks internal competition. The geographical reach of Islamic financial services is limited. Despite the lack of Islamic banking law, the market size is comparable to that of Kazakhstan. The lack of market regulation is a negative side that holds back the potential newcomers and clients, and, on the contrary, the relative market freedom allows the existing companies to experiment and make use of the emerging niche segment. There is an acute necessity of a tax-friendly regime for murabaha financing and mudaraba-based investment accounts, and a level playing field concerning the mechanisms of state subsidies. Among potential solutions that could contribute to the market development is the creation of a self-regulatory organization that could establish internal standards, develop liquidity management tools and create a proper mediation of arbitrage system, as well as organize takaful funds. Based on the analysis, the author makes a forecast for further market development.
This collection of articles of Russian researchers from many regions of the country is exploring the contribution that constitutional economics can make to the theory of democracy and to the study of how the choice of rules in the social, economic and political reality affects the constitutional rights of the people of Russia.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an aggravation of the food situation in the world, even in previously prosperous countries. Russia has every chance of becoming a global player, not only supplying products for export, but also defining the international agenda on world agricultural markets, at least for grain crops. In practice, Islamic countries which are large importers of Russian wheat buy it through intermediaries from third countries, which get excessive margins. Instead of introducing export duties and quotas on grain, it is necessary to create an alternative pricing center that is a commodity exchange in Russia (perhaps even an interstate one), which could become a price reference point for food for the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Russia is now almost invisible on the world map of agricultural investments. The Gulf countries, which are actively developing their international investment agenda to address food security problems, can become a strategic investor in the Russian agricultural sector. They themselves are in dire need of food reserves, and also constantly provide assistance to poor Islamic countries, which could move into the format of delivering Russian food. The international market offers a variety of financing solutions for producers and entrepreneurs throughout the whole value chain. A number of such instruments may correspond to the principles of Islamic finance, which is gaining more and more popularity in the countries of the Islamic world, and in some countries of the Gulf already accounting for more than half of the assets of the financial market. These instruments can play a significant role in the development of Russian export potential. This monograph will be useful for the heads of government and management bodies that determine public policy in the field of food circulation, as well as scientists and practitioners working in the relevant field.
The author explores the three myths on which, much like the myth of three whales, the current regime of intellectual property protection in post-Soviet Russia is based, which primarily serves the interests of transnational monopolies to the detriment of Russian economic and human development, especially in the sphere of startup entrepreneurship and innovation. These are the myths of legal monopoly, of great stimulus and of the benevolent foreign investor. The author shows on the basis of numerous economic research and empirical data that the widely accepted in Russian jurisprudence concept of legal monopoly is just a rhetorical method used to deviate from a meaningful discussion about the detriments brought to the Russian economy by the abnormally hefty exemptions for IP rights in Russian competition law; intellectual property protection is not a panacea for incentivising innovation and creativity, and being fully exempted from the competition law it stifles rather than stimulates innovation; and a overly strict regime for intellectual property protection doesn’t make Russia or any other developing country more attractive for direct foreign investors but on the contrary allows global corporations to extract more resources from the Russian consumers without any efforts to bring more production or R&D to the country.
As the global economy is incurring a process of transformation by the ongoing ‘‘fourth industrial revolution’’, competition law is traversing a ‘‘liminal’’moment, a period of transition during which the normal limits to thought, self-understanding and behaviour are relaxed, opening the way to novelty and imagination, construction and destruction. 1 The development of digital capitalism during the last three decades has led to an important ‘‘information overload’’, 2 induced by this rapid revolutionary change. Competition authorities in Europe and elsewhere have been rather slow to react, as they have tried unsuccessfully to deal with the problem by applying industrial-capitalism-era competition law to the ‘‘next generation competition’’of the post-industrial informational capitalism.
The digital economy is gradually gaining traction through a variety of recent technological developments, including the introduction of the Internet of things, artificial intelligence and markets for data. This innovative book contains contributions from leading competition law scholars who map out and investigate the anti-competitive effects that are developing in the digital economy.