For more than four decades he has advised on and given formal legal opinions with respect to all aspects of Russian and Soviet Law before English, American, and Australian courts and tribunals and in international arbitrations, and has prepared expert opinions and reports for the Office of the Legal Advisor, United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Social Security of the United Kingdom, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Development Programme, and for other international organizations, banks, large corporations, and industry associations.
Professor Butler is The John Edward Fowler Distinguished Professor of Law, Dickinson School of Law, Pennsylvania State University (2005-), as well as Emeritus Professor of Comparative Law in the University of London (2005-). He held a Chair of Comparative Law (1976-2005) and the established Readership of Comparative Law (1970-76) in the University of London and is the founder and Director of The Vinogradoff Institute, University College London (1982-2005), now removed to Dickinson School of Law, and on secondment has acted as the founder and Dean (1993-98) of the Faculty of Law and M. M. Speransky Professor of International and Comparative Law, Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (1994-2004). He was a Member of the Senior Common Room of St Antony’s College, Oxford University (2004-2011). During Spring 2002 he acted as a part-time professor in the Chair of Civil Law, Moscow State Legal Academy, where he introduced the standard course on Comparative Law. In autumn 2009 he offered the course on “Russian Law and the International System” as Professorial Lecturer in International Law, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. In 2014-15 he delivered a number of lectures at the Kutafin University of Law in Moscow.
In May 1992 he was elected Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; in November 1992, of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; and in March 2012, Academician of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine. In March 2009 he was elected to the American Law Institute. He has served as Dean of the Faculty of Laws, University College London (1977-79) and of the University of London (1988-90). He has been Visiting Professor of Law at New York University School of Law (1978) and Harvard Law School (1986-87), Lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law (1985), Visiting Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University (Spring 2005), and Visiting Scholar countless times at Moscow State University and the Institute of State and Law of the USSR (now Russian) Academy of Sciences.
In 1989 he was appointed Special Counsel and Chairman of a Working Group attached to the Commission for Economic Reform of the USSR Council of Ministers. In this capacity he evaluated key draft perestroika legislation and was co-author of the Draft USSR Law on Pledge which, in May 1992, was the basis for legislation enacted by the Russian Federation Supreme Soviet and then of similar laws adopted in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The same Working Group prepared the Edict of the President of the Russian Federation on Trust Ownership, adopted 24 December 1993. He also has advised the President and the Prime Minister of Lithuania and deputies and members of the Government of the RSFSR on draft legislation, was a member of the team funded by the United Kingdom Know-How Fund to advise on the Russian Project Finance Bank (registered January 1993), and was a member of the Task Force which developed the Open Sector Concept in the Soviet Union, now known as the Free Entrepreneurship Zone.
In 1992 he was appointed a member of the European Commission Joint Task Force on Law Reform in the Independent States and advised the World Bank on energy and banking legislation in Russia and Kazakhstan. In September 1992 he served as a member of a team which advised, on behalf of the World Bank, the State Property Fund of Kyrgyzia on the legal framework for privatization. In 1992 he also was appointed to the group drafting the Russian Law on Securities in collaboration with the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law attached to the Russian Federation Supreme Soviet. From July 1992-February 1993 he was seconded as Senior Legal Counsel to the Russian Federation State Committee for the Administration of State Property, where he headed a small team of legal specialists to prepare draft Russian laws on trust ownership, securities and investment funds, joint-stock societies, full partnerships, Kommandit partnerships, and limited responsibility partnerships. In June 1993 he was appointed Convenor of the Anglo-Russian Working Group to draft a legal assistance treaty. In May 1994 he became Counsel to a Russian working party drafting legislation on finance leasing, and in November 1994 delivered lectures to the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice on commercial law at the invitation of the Council of Europe. In January 1995 he advised the Belarus Supreme Soviet on parliamentary procedure under a TACIS project and from July 1995, Uzbekistan on privatization investment funds. In 1998-99 he served as Special Counsel to the Commission for National Reconciliation in Tadzhikistan on behalf of the United Nations, advising on constitutional reforms. In March 2000, at the request of the Union of Jurists in Moscow, he assisted as an expert with the application of the Republic Azerbaijan for membership of the Council of Europe, helping to independently assess the record of that country in implementing law reforms, and acted as a formal signatory of the Report. In October-November 2002 he acted as a Consultant to a health project in Russia for the Department for International Development of the Government of the United Kingdom, and in Spring 2003 completed a substantial report for International Family Health on the legal regime of harm reduction programs in Russia. In December 2004 he was appointed one of two foreign members of the Committee on Corporate Management Reform attached to the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development of the Russian Federation. In spring 2010 he completed a study of Russian law for the Government of Vietnam as part of a judicial reform program arranged by the United Nations.
In May 1995 he was elected to a five-year term as a member of the Russian International Court of Commercial Arbitration, and re-elected for further terms in 2000, 2005, and 2010. He has acted in more than twenty Moscow arbitrations, including as Chairman of the tribunal. In December 2012 he was elected to the Kazakhstan International Commercial Arbitrage and on 21 June 2013, to the International Commercial Arbitration Court attached to the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also has acted in the London and Stockholm courts of international arbitration as an arbitrator and has conducted arbitrations ad hoc. In 2008 he was appointed to the Panels of Distinguished Neutrals, both International and Pennsylvania, as an arbitrator by the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.
In 1991 he was elected the first Foreign Member of the Union of Jurists in Moscow (and from 1993, a member of the Executive Committee), and in 1990 an honorary member of the Soviet Association of Maritime Law, and in 1995 an Honorary Member of the Kazakhstan Association of Business Lawyers. In February 2004 he was elected a member of the Union of Russian Jurists; in August 2006 elected to membership in the Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law; and on 7 October 2008 to the Executive Committee of the Russian Association of Maritime Law. On 6 March 2009 he was elected to membership of The American Law Institute.
In 1996 he was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the International Union of Jurists (CIS) for services to Russian law and in June 2003, the G. I. Tunkin Medal by the Russian International Law Association for services to international law. On 2 December 2003 he was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the Russian Association of Maritime Law and on 11 October 2004 was awarded the Ivan Fedorov Medal and Diploma for services to Anglo-Russian cultural relations. In May 2005 he was awarded a second Certificate of Honor by the International Union of Jurists. In July 2007 he was awarded a Certificate of Honor of the Russian Association of International Law. In 2012 he was awarded the Medal “For Fidelity to Law” by the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the first foreigner to receive this State honor.
He has acted as Of Counsel to Cole Corette & Abrutyn (1988-92) and Clifford Chance (1992-94) and as Partner and Head of the CIS London Group and the Almaty and Tashkent offices of White & Case (1994-96). From 1997-2001 he was a co-founder and Senior Partner in the PwC (later Landwell) CIS International Law Firm in Moscow, and in 2002 co-founded Phoenix Law Associates CIS, a Russian law firm located in Moscow.
He is admitted to the Bar of the District of Columbia (1967) and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States (1970), and has been licensed by the respective Ministry of Justice in Uzbekistan (1996) and the Russian Federation (1997).
Dual citizenship: United States/British
B.A., The American University (SIS), 1961 (valedictorian) M.A., The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1963 (with distinction) J.D., Harvard Law School, 1966 (Addison Brown Prize) LL.M., School of Law of the Academy University of Law, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1997 (with distinction) Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1970 (Phi Beta Kappa) LL.D., University of London, 1979 LL.D. honoris causa, Kyiv University of Law attached to the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 2012 Dr. juris honoris causa, Academy International Independent Ecological-Politological University, Moscow, 1 September 2016 Juris doctor honoris causa, University of Uppsala, 26 January 2018
He is the author, co-author, editor, or translator of more than 4,800 books, looseleaf services, articles, translations, and reviews on Soviet, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarus, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Baltic, and other CIS legal systems. Salient recent titles include: Soviet Law (London, Butterworths, 1983; 2d ed., 1988); Russian Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999; 2d ed., 2003; 3d ed., 2009); Civil Code of the Russian Federation (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003; London, Wildy, Simmonds, & Hill, 2010 and 2016); Russian Company and Commercial Legislation (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003); Russian Civil Legislation (Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (4th ed.; London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2004); Russian Criminal Law and Procedure (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2011); Tax Code of the Russian Federation (Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Russian Legal Texts (with J. E. Henderson: Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1998); Russian Legal Bibliography (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1997-); Russian Company Law (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2000); Russian Family Law (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1998); Civil Code of the Republic Belarus (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2000); Civil Code of the Republic Uzbekistan (3d ed.; London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Civil Code of the Republic Kazakhstan (3d ed; London, Simmonds & Hill, 1997); Turkmenistan Civil Code (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Tadzhikistan Legal Texts (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Uzbekistan Legal Texts (London, Simmonds & Hill; Boston/The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 1999); Intellectual Property Law in the Russian Federation (London, Simmonds & Hill, 2002); The Corporation and Securities Under Russian and American Law (with Maryann E. Gashi-Butler) (Moscow, Zertsalo, 1997); The Soviet Legal System (together with J. N. Hazard and P. B. Maggs); Dobbs Ferry, Oceana Publications, 1977; new ed., 1984); Russian-English Legal Dictionary (Ardsley, Transnational, 2001). Foreign Investment Law in the Commonwealth of Independent States (2002); The Law of Treaties in Russia and Other Member Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (Cambridge University Press, 2002); Intellectual Property Law in the Russian Federation (4th ed.; London, Simmonds & Hill, 2005); Economic Code of Ukraine (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2004; Kyiv, 2011), Russian Criminal Law and Procedure (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2010), Civil Code of Ukraine (Kyiv, 2011); Family Code of Ukraine (Kyiv, 2011); Criminal Code of Ukraine (Kyiv, 2011); Russian Civil and Arbitrazh Procedure (2012); The Tunkin Diaries and Lectures (2012); Russian Inheritance Law (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2014); Russian Law and Legal Institutions (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2014); Russian Family Law (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2015); Russian Inheritance Law (London, Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2015); and others. In addition he has published numerous articles in the leading law reviews of the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the United States.
In 2003 he completed a major study for the Department for International Development, published separately in the English and Russian languages as: HIV/AIDS and Drug Misuse in Russia: Harm Reduction Programmes and the Russian Legal System (London, DFID/IFH, 2003). In 2009 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published in the English and Russian languages his The Right to Health and the United Nations Conventions on Narcotics, a study of Russian compliance with the United Nations conventions on narcotics.
He also has published translations of more than 3200 normative legal acts adopted in the former USSR, all CIS countries, and Mongolia, a full bibliography of which is contained in International and Comparative Law: A Personal Bibliography (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2015).
In 1995 he founded the quarterly journal Sudebnik, published jointly by The Vinogradoff Institute, University College London, and the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (1995-2007). He has served or serves on the editorial boards of the principal English-language journals, law reviews, and yearbooks devoted to Russia and other CIS legal systems, amongst them the Review of Central and East European Law (Leiden), the Uppsala Yearbook of East European Law (Sweden), the Parker School Journal of East European Law (Columbia University), Statutes & Decisions (New York); and the East European and Russian Yearbook of International and Comparative Law (2007-2016). Commencing in 2004, he became the founding editor of Russian Law: Theory and Practice, issued by the Russian Academy of Legal Sciences (2004-2009) and the Book Review Editor and Co-Editor of The Journal of Comparative Law (2005-). From 2014 to 2017 he was the editor of Law of Ukraine, published in Kyiv. From January 2016 he is the founding editor of Jus Gentium: A Journal of International Legal History.
In October 2003 he was elected a Trustee of The Hakluyt Society and has served as a Member of the Committee for Central and Inner Asia attached to The British Academy since its inception and as a member of The Bentham Committee since 2003. He has been appointed editor of Bentham's works on international law.
Awarded Medal “For Fidelity to Law” by Supreme Court of Ukraine, 2012Awarded Gold Medal, National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, 6 December 2016
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