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Legal Regulation of Civil Servants in Russia and Germany Receiving Gifts

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The article deals with the conflict between the provisions of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, where the minimum amount of the bribe is not defined, and the provision of the Federal Law ‘On State Civil Service of the Russian Federation,’ which, on the one hand, contains an absolute ban on civil servants receiving gifts and other types of remuneration, while, on the other hand, Art. 575 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation admits a possibility for civil servants to receive gifts of an amount not exceeding 3,000 rubles in the performance of their official duties. This legal conflict necessitates conceptual clarification of such notions as ‘gift’ and ‘bribe.’

The authors underline that a determining factor for establishing the legitimacy of the customary gifts given to government officials is whether the gifts were accepted by the officials, while executing their duties, without a prior agreement for an action or inaction. It is noted that the limitation of a gift’s maximum value to 3,000 rubles, as stated in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, creates an opportunity to abuse or evade the law.

The article presents a comparative study of European laws, more specifically dealing with the institute of donation, and Russian legislation regarding the possibility of civil servants receiving gifts. German law does not single out ‘customary gifts;’ it simply does not admit the possibility of giving gifts or the right to receive gifts by German civil servants.

The authors have developed proposals to improve the legal regulation concerning the giving of gifts to government officials in Russia.

About the Authors

Svetlana Zimneva
Tyumen State University
Russian Federation

Ph.D. in Law, Associate Professor at Department of Civil Law and Procedure,

38 Lenin str., Tyumen, 625000

Anna Chumakova
Tyumen State University
Russian Federation

Ph.D. in Education, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Intercultural Professional Communication at Department for Law and Economics,

38 Lenin str., Tyumen, 625000


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For citation:

Zimneva S., Chumakova A. Legal Regulation of Civil Servants in Russia and Germany Receiving Gifts. Russian Law Journal. 2015;3(3):142-151.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)