Scientific Cooperation Across the Brics

Author:M. Astakhova
Position:University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russia)
BRICS LAW JOURNAL Volume VII (2020) Issue 1
University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russia) 4-26
The creation of the BRICS as a non-traditional international organization in the status of
a global forum brings new meaning to the norm-setting of international organizations,
including in the eld of scientic cooperation. This paper aims to identify and analyze
the up-to-date and complete normative framework of scientic cooperation across the
BRICS which is a result of the BRICS norm-setting. The achievement of the stated aim is
pursued through the identication of the distinctive features of the BRICS norm-setting
by comparison with the norm-setting of traditional international intergovernmental
organizations and by analysis of the BRICS regulations dealing with issues of scientic
cooperation. Within the process of researching this subject the author analyzed the BRICS
regulations of dierent levels from the Joint Statements of the BRICS Countries’ Leaders
and the Summits Declarations to the BRICS working papers as a framework program. The
main nding of the research is that the normative framework of scientic cooperation
across the BRICS is a set of non-legally binding norms contained in the regulations
adopted at the various meetings of national ocials within the BRICS. This nding can
contribute to a better understanding of the application of the BRICS norms.
Keywords: norm-setting; scientific cooperation; the BRICS; normative framework;
Recommended citation: Marina Astakhova, Scientic Cooperation Across the BRICS,
7(1) BRICS Law Journal 4–26 (2020).
Table of Contents
1. Distinctive Features of the BRICS Norm-Setting
2. Normative Framework of Scientic Cooperation Across the BRICS
In our high-technology age, development requires the use of scientic advances.
Under current economic conditions, breakthrough research projects often become
extremely dicult within a single country because of their complexity, duration, and
high cost. One possible way to obtain scientic advances in low-resource settings is
for countries to participate in international scientic cooperation.
It should be noted that international cooperation in science has become more
signicant since the second half of the 20th century. The international conferences
of the United Nations on science and technology for development which took place
in Geneva in 1963 and in Vienna in 1979 led to the adoption of the World Action
Plan in science and technology. This plan contained recommendations concerning
the enhanc ement of internat ional scienti fic cooperation . B y following these
recommendations, countries began to develop rules on the eective and mutually
advantageous process of receiving and exchanging scientic results. These rules are
usually xed in regulations that together make up a set called a normative framework”
in legal doctrine.
As world experience shows, a normative framework varies according to the
geographical location of the countries which are engaged in international scientic
cooperation. For example, the normative framework of scientic cooperation between
the countries from dierent parts of the world consists of multilateral international
treaties (e.g. the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1992
Convention on Biological Diversity), acts issued by international intergovernmental
organizations (e.g. UNESCO regulations), and international scientic cooperation
programs (e.g. the research and innovation program "Horizon 2020"). The normative
framework of scientic cooperation between the countries from the same part of
the world includes regional agreements (e.g. the 1992 Agreement between The
Government of the Russian Federation and The Government of the Republic of
Finland on cooperation in science and technology), acts of regional organizations
and associations (e.g. the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe), and regional scientic cooperation programs (e.g. the 1987 pan-
African Program on the Application of Science and Technology to Development).
The inception of the BRICS as a group of countries from dierent parts of the
world in the format of a global forum prompts us to take a fresh look at the normative

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