Notarial system is impossible outside the digital environment – Gaidar Forum participants

The discussion on The Transformation of Russian Notary System in the New Economic Conditions was held on the second day of the 11th Gaidar Forum. Experts considered the implications of digitalization of a notary’s work, the potential replacement of the notarial profession with digital tools or introduction of new tools in their work, as well as the transformation of notaries’ role in the digital future.

The moderator, Dean of the Higher School of Law at RANEPA IPACS Oleg Zaitsev, said no machine can ever fully embrace a human’s interests, so it would be impossible to completely replace notarial services with technology.

President of the Federal Notary Chamber Konstantin Korsik spoke about the present-day notarial work. The notarial system is a law enforcement institution with broad powers and responsibility to protect the interests and the rights of citizens and businesses. The vigorous introduction of digital technology questions the place and role of a notary public – that professional that traditionally ensured the stability of civil procedure.

“The notarial system is impossible outside the digital environment in our time,” the speaker said.

At the same time, in his opinion, guarantees need to be provided for protecting the digital environment and the rights of its participants. A potential unified notarial database where all transactions concluded would be registered is being considered; that would probably reduce the risk of violations and protect against forgery.

Speaking about the future of the notarial profession, Konstantin Korsik noted that it is going to develop, modernize and integrate into the digital environment.

Creating reliable legal instruments for a stable and secure digital document flow is a new priority for the notarial system development in 2020.

Advisor to the Minister of Justice Maria Melnikova shared her opinion. According to her, the notaries themselves are very active and ready to keep up with the times, which is why the profession, which has existed since ancient times, is still relevant and has a good outlook for the future. The expert also emphasized that the majority of notaries in Russia are private, although, in her opinion, the state should play the key role here: “In a non-public notarial system, the notary is isolated from the parties that request notarial services.” This is important when it comes to providing data security guarantees.

In turn, Alisa Grafton, Scrivener Notary and Cheeswrights Partner, pointed out the experience of the English notarial system, which is rather restrained in introducing digital technologies into the legal sector.

She was supported by Tatyana Kuzmina, Vice President, head of the legal department at Gazprombank. “Legal concepts must stay in the law domain, while technology must remain technology, and there is no need to replace law with technology,” she said. No blockchain systems or banks can give guarantees confirming the accuracy of transactions.

Dmitry Oguryayev, Director of the State Products and Services Division at Sberbank, supported his colleague. He spoke about the need to develop electronic communication between banks and notaries on civil matters. This collaboration would allow people to spend their time on important things, and not on paperwork. The “Losing a loved one” service he cited meets such needs. In his opinion, the future requires the widespread integration of digitalization.

The other speakers supported the key points of the discussion. The participating experts included Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Statehood Development and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov, member of the Federation Council Committee on House Rules and Parliamentary Governance Sergei Fabrichny, and Director for Normative Regulation of ANO Digital Economy Dmitry Ter-Stepanov. The experts agreed that guarantees of the rights of all parties should be provided when introducing digitalization in the notaries’ work.

Arina Garbuz

 

The Gaidar Forum is held at the Presidential Academy under the auspices of the Government of the Russian Federation. Over 11 years, it has become one of the most respected expert platforms that traditionally determine the vector for public and academic discussion.

11th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

Forum partners:

General partners: Gazprom, Gazprombank. Strategic partners: Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis Group, MSD, ACIG Group, EF Education First. Partners: Prosveshcheniye Group, EY, Huawei, RVC, Russian Agricultural Bank.

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