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At the Gaidar forum, the prospects for applying the "Law and Economics" approach in the context of the continental system were discussed

20 January2018
At the Gaidar forum, the prospects for applying the "Law and Economics" approach in the context of the continental system were discussed

On the first day of the Gaidar Forum, January 16, an open dialogue was held to discuss the possibilities of applying economic analysis to legal problems in the areas of trade, public administration and political economy. Professors of leading North American universities Jim Leitzel (University of Chicago) and Alan Mackay (University of Montreal), as well as the Prime Minister of Italy (1992-1993, 2000-2001), Giuliano Amato, expressed their expert opinion on the matter.

Professor Mackay opened the discussion with the statement: "Economics is the analytical engine for the understanding of the common law". He noted that the common law is a useful tool for economists, since many rules are aimed at protecting economic efficiency, correspond with the intuitive sense of justice.

Mackay then pointed to the important challenges that arise in a new reality in which the issue of social impact occupies a key place. "The main objective of the Civil Law Code is to facilitate access to the law. The need to systematize the rules, simplify the language and generalize them pose a challenge for us to create a single form for understanding the laws. Therefore, each code should be subjected to economic analysis," the Professor said.

Experts also noted that the "Law and Economcs" approach is now the best tool for political analysis.

"However, over time the old rules can come into conflict with the new economic reality. Then lawyers need a system that tells exactly when to change the interpretation," said Professor Mackay.

Giuliano Amato addressed the problem from a practical point of view. The question the moderator Valeriya Smirnova, Deputy Director of the Institute for law and national security RANEPA, about the possibility of implementing the discussed approach in everyday life, Ex- Prime Minister of Italy replied that at the moment this approach has already been successfully applied in those areas of law where economic evaluation is needed, for example in antitrust law and even in public law, despite the absence of private interest in it.

"Economic analysis provides answers to more questions than any area of the law. To determine what is the prevailing interest in the decision-making system, economic analysis is needed. In addition, it helps to assess behavioral prospects," he said.

As confirmation of the need to apply economic analysis in the legal sphere Giuliano Amato drew attention to the factors limiting trade. The politician noted that while the main reason is the restriction on the conclusion of contracts, economic analysis allows us to identify other, less obvious but no less important factors.

Jim Leitzel, Professor of the University of Chicago, presented his book dedicated to the concept of "Law and Economics" under the title "Principles of Law and Economics. Guide for the curious". In its pages, the Professor analyzes the extent of impact of law on economic efficiency and the use of law to improve quality of life.

All participants came to the conclusion that the Laws of Economics must be fair for any of legal education in the countries that use a civil law system.


The organizers include the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The program outline is available at the forum website.

Participation is free; preliminary registration is required.

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The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Novartis, Johnson&Johnson, RZD, MSD, AstraZeneca, the ACIG Group of Companies, Mastercard, Coca-Cola, Russian Agricultural Bank, Pharmstandard JSC, Microsoft; O1 Group, Unilever, EY, Russian Brewers’ Union, Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners and RVC.

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