How Russia Abuses Western Judiciaries
- This event has passed.
How Russia Abuses Western Judiciaries
30 April @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
A report published last year by the Atlantic Council, a leading US think tank, highlighted Russia’s extensive manipulation of the US justice system. This is a little-known, but important, channel through which the Kremlin undermines Western democracies by using these democracies own institutions against themselves. Issuing Interpol Red Notices to critics, mounting libel actions, and launching lawsuits, are just some of the ways in which the Kremlin abuses the rule of law in the West to further its goals.
By kind invitation of Chris Bryant MP, the Henry Jackson Society is delighted to welcome you to a a fascinating panel discussion on how Russia abuses Western Judiciaries.
Bill Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country and declared “a threat to national security” for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies. In 2008, Mr. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a massive fraud committed by Russian government officials that involved the theft of US $230 million of state taxes. Sergei testified against state officials involved in this fraud and was subsequently arrested, imprisoned without trial and systematically tortured. He spent a year in prison under horrific detention conditions, was repeatedly denied medical treatment, and died in prison on November 16, 2009, leaving behind a wife and two children. Since then, Mr. Browder has sought justice outside of Russia and started a global campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials.
Anders Aslund is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. He is also a chairman of the International Advisory Council at the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE). His work focuses on economic transition from centrally planned to market economies. Aslund served as an economic adviser to the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine and from 2003 was director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Ben Emmerson QC is Appeals Chamber Judge at the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. He has 30 years’ experience representing individual and corporate clients before international courts and tribunals. He is a versatile litigator and has appeared at the highest appellate levels, in numerous leading cases, across a range of disciplines including public international law, public and administrative law, commercial litigation, arbitration and human rights law. He is also a recognised expert in domestic and international criminal law. In this country, Ben is a deputy High Court Judge, a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple, a Visiting Professor of International Law and Security at the University of Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford. He also holds an honorary PhD from the University of Bristol. Ben is a former editor of the European Human Rights Law Review, and co-author of the leading text Human Rights and Criminal Justice (3rd Edition).
Christopher Bryant MP is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rhondda since the 2001 general election and most recently the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons until resigning on 26 June 2016. He is currently a chair of APPG for Russia at the Parliament. He was previously the Shadow Minister for the Arts, Minister of State for Europe, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. He was re-elected in June 2017.
On the 30th of April the Henry Jackson Society hosted a panel discussion with Chris Bryant MP entitled: ‘How Russia Abuses Western Judiciaries’. The panel consisted of Bill Browder, Anders Aslund and Ben Emerson QC. Chris Bryant opened the proceedings by introducing the event and giving a few remarks on Russia’s pursuit of ‘hybrid warfare’ and its exploitation of our ‘soft underbelly’: the rule of law, freedom of speech and expression, before turning over to Anders Aslund.
Mr. Aslund began his remarks by asserting that Putin has completely destroyed Russia’s economic and political systems, and that Russia today was an authoritarian kleptocracy. He went on to describe how after taking control of state companies, Putin had directed funds from them to himself and his five closest ‘cronies’, arguing that these people make their money through privileged state procurement, particularly from Gazprom. Aslund went on to describe how from 2004-2007, Putin’s four closest friends in the commercial area took $60 billion from Gazprom, and how this sort of behaviour has continued. He then described how this money is kept abroad, laundered mainly to two locations, London and Wilmington, Delaware. Aslund concluded by advocating transparency and the prohibition of anonymous property ownership as a matter of national security, arguing the key to stopping Russian aggression lies in exposing this money and establishing Putin’s personal wealth.
The next speaker was Bill Browder, who opened by agreeing with Aslund’s assessment of Putin as being money obsessed, and discussing how in response to his efforts get Magnitsky Acts passed around the world, Putin had weaponised Interpol, using them to issue red notices against him. Browder went on to describe how despite these notices being repeatedly ruled as illegitimate, Russia continues to request them. He also discussed how the Russian government had filed extradition requests to the UK, used proxies to sue him for libel and even accused him of the murder of a Russian Orthodox priest (who would later emerge to announce that he had not in fact been murdered). Browder’s core message was that Western judges needed to be more sceptical of warrants and judgements from the Russian Federation, arguing that the Russians had repeatedly abused Western judiciaries and could not be trusted to use the existing system honestly.
Finally Ben Emerson QC rose to speak, beginning by arguing that the death of Alexander Litvinenko was a turning point in terms of Putin’s Russia being regarded, in the UK at least, as a mafia state. We have for the first time, Emerson argued, a major superpower with access to all of the institutions that the international legal order makes available to states, being controlled and weaponised by an authoritarian kleptocracy. Emerson also expressed concern over the influence of Russian money within Parliament, arguing that this penetration of Russian money into politics, as well as the willingness of the Russians to abuse the West’s judicial systems, posed a grave threat to our democracies.
The event then closed with a round of questions and answers.
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued