PRODUCT STAN DARDISATION IN THE USSR: LEGAL ISSUES


https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2017-5-4-151-192

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Abstract

The article offers a comprehensive overview of academic views on the strategy and issues of the  legal regulation of the Soviet state standardisation system as it formed and evolved. The USSR had a ramified system of legislative acts and codes of practice that thoroughly governed all aspects of quality and safety assurance across all stages of the product lifecycle. They were collectively known as the state system of standardisation. Yet at the turn of the 21st century, this system was largely dismantled under the influence of economic liberalisation ideas, and its underlying documents lost their binding nature. Russia is currently phasing out of the so-called “market romanticism” period shaped by the idea of minimal state interference in the economy, when any imperative provisions of public law specific to the economy were perceived as administrative hurdles. We are witnessing the emergence of a new mechanism of state control over the Russian economy – one based on the principles of the optimisation of state regulation of economic activity. One of the manifestations of this process involves rebuilding the Russian standardisation system on a new footing. Making this process more effective calls for revisiting the Soviet experience and exploring both its strengths and pitfalls. The article looks into the origins of standardisation in Russia, the key milestones in the history of Soviet standardisation, and the relevant legal regulation. Particular attention is devoted to how state standardisation institutions were established and how changes in the system of state agencies having jurisdiction over the matters of standardisation have influenced the efficiency of this system. The distinguishing features of the Soviet standardisation system, compared to those of other countries, are identified for each stage of system formation  and evolution. A fair amount of attention is given to an analysis of the Soviet paradigm of state regulation of the economy, as well as its historical and ideological underpinnings and key aspects. The way standardisation has been influenced by this paradigm, along with other paradigms implemented in Russia in recent decades, is analysed. Correlations are drawn between  specific aspects of the Soviet paradigm of state administration of the economy, legal issues of  standardisation in the USSR and issues of Russian standardisation. The study was undertaken to  explore the idiosyncrasies of the Soviet standardisation system attributable to the specifics of the  entire economic, administrative, and legal system and ideology of the USSR. This will help identify  the positive aspects of this system that were undeservedly discarded upon the transition to the  new economic conditions, along with the unresolved legal issues that stand in the way of an effective standardisation system in the Russian Federation. The study explores standardisation  issues through a systemic and structural analysis of Soviet standardisation laws in conjunction with Russian and international legislation and practices. It incorporates a critical review of the major findings of academic and analytical studies focusing on standardisation issues. The study calls for  an integrated approach that is indispensable to exploring the conditions under which the Soviet standardisation system formed and evolved in conjunction with changes in the academic community’s perception of the legal nature of standards. A comparative law study of international  experiences concerned with the regulation of standardisation issues primarily focuses on the  legislation of the biggest economies. This made it possible to draw a general correlation between the evolutionary trends and specifics of the Soviet standardisation system and the corresponding  systems in these countries. The legalistic, systemic and structural, comparative law, and historical  law methods of study helped determine the optimal course for legislative improvements in this field.


About the Author

VLADA LUKYANOVA
Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Head of the Department of Legal Analysis and Forecasting, Institute of Legislation and Comparative  Law under the Government of the Russian Federation (ILCL)

(34 B. Cheryomushkinskaya St.,  Moscow, 117218, Russia)



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Supplementary files

For citation: LUKYANOVA V. PRODUCT STAN DARDISATION IN THE USSR: LEGAL ISSUES. Russian Law Journal. 2017;5(4):151-192. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2017-5-4-151-192

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