Russian Law Journal

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Peer-reviewed academic journal

Russian Law Journal (RLJ) is an independent, professional journal that covers recent legal developments not only in the Russian Federation, but also on international and comparative level. RLJ magazine is one of the first English-language legal academic editions regularly published in Russia.  

The RLJ encourages comparative research by those who are interested in Russian law, but also seeks to encourage interest in all matters relating to international public and private law, civil and criminal law, constitutional law, civil rights, the theory and history of law, and the relationships between law and culture and other disciplines. A special emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary legal research.

The RLJ is not sponsored or affiliated with any university, it is an independent All-Russian interuniversity platform, initiated privately without any support from the government authorities.

It is published in English and appears four times per year. All articles are subject to professional editing by native English speaking legal scholars.

Russian Law Journal is indexed by Scopus and ESCI Web of Science


Current issue

Vol 9, No 4 (2021)
View or download the full issue PDF


4-32 259

The paper is an overview of the international legal stances of Russia, which were formed in the period from 2000 to 2020. The application of international law within the legal order of Russia is complicated by inconsistency of the Russian monistic concept, unclear status of customary law and general principles of law; lack of a developed judicial tradition. The Russia’s treaty policy comprises wide participation in general U.N. treaties, as well as bilateral treaties in the field of economic cooperation and legal assistance; unwillingness to participate in treaties, if this may entail negative political consequences. Russia backs down from some minor territorial claims in order to ensure stability; in some cases, she does not formulate a clear legal stance, limiting herself to political statements; she refuses to use judicial mechanisms, preferring bilateral negotiations and/or maintaining the status quo, and does not make efforts to create coalitions that support its claims. Russia uses international organizations rather as political fora, and not as a mechanism to create new legal order; she often takes a passive position when considering issues that do not affect its interests; she makes efforts to use the U.N. mechanisms, but sometimes lacks allies and trust from other members of international community. Russia recognizes the jurisdiction of international courts, but takes a passive position by rarely filing suits, objecting to jurisdiction and refusing to participate in the proceedings. The postSoviet international courts are politicized and do not make a serious contribution to the development of integration law. Russian doctrine is experiencing a serious crisis, which is caused by various reasons and can hardly be overcome by the efforts of the corporation itself

33-71 236

The major stakeholders, including states (at least, in the global North) and transnational corporations (TNCs), have radically changed their attitude to the idea of mandatory human rights due diligence in the last decade. By asking what is behind these good intentions, and whether the mandatory corporate human rights due diligence models enforced so far are effective or represent an exercise in shooting blanks, and by combining a legal positivistic perspective with studies on governance and the production of knowledge, this article contributes to the legal and socio-legal assessment of these changes Assessing the effectiveness of mandatory corporate human rights due diligence, this article discusses the inherent or implied features of this regulatory tool which restrict its ability to serve as an instrument to protect human rights. A special focus is made on two main restrictions that are specific for human rights due diligence: the regulatory boundary revealed in the auxiliary character of due diligence and its limed ability to serve as a standard of conduct, and the epistemic boundary, deriving from the conflicting role of companies as the architects and executives of knowledge production. To a certain extent, the legislative process can counterbalance some of these restrictions by setting up the substantive, precise obligations of companies, and by creating mechanisms of control and remediation. However, the analysis of nine different instruments reveals that neither states, nor the EU have used the potential of the regulatory force.

72-98 167

This scientific article discusses the reaosns for inefficiency (“impotence”) of modern environmental law as a normative reaction to the “destruction of Nature.” The scope of the destruction of Nature has been broadening. The environmental protection law has thus not influenced the resurrection of “destroyed Nature.” The essential reasons for the current excessiveness (intemperance) of man’s interaction with Nature (the reasons for the “destruction of Nature”) and/or reasons for the inefficiency of the modern environmental law should be sought for in the dominant anthropocentric cultural paradigm of the western cultures oriented towards an un-limited material progress. If anthropocentrism (exploitativeness) as the basis of human utilitarian interaction with nature has led to the “destruction of nature,” there is no doubt that the ecological reason remaining within the anthropocentric construction of Nature can not lead to its “resurrection.” Only the setting-up of the ecocentric construction of Nature may lead to the “resurrection” of Nature. This orientation must be followed by the nomos of the western cultures. A new law of nature on the basis of the new, ecocentric ontology and ethics is therefore necessary. This article thus alalyzes the foundations of new ecocentric legal philospohy. This approach is original at the global level and is important at both the theoretical and applied levels. The new ecocentric legal philosophy should become the foundation of modern environmental law. Keywords: inefficiency of modern environmental law.

99-127 189

This article is devoted to the roots of material and procedural legal problems arising in the course of the automatic exchange of information between the European Union (EU) and Russia. This matter is topical since automatic exchange of information is a method of cooperation between tax authorities from different countries that is new and rapidly developing. From our point of view, it is high time to discuss some of the legal problems that are inherent in automatic exchange of information. As far as we can see, the fundamental problems are: (1) th problem of choosing an appropriate legal basis for automatic exchange of information and (2) the problem of the international standards for automatic exchange of information developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) being implemented to differing extents in the national legislation of different countries. In this article we suggest ways of solving the aforementioned problems in order to make automatic exchange of information between the EU and Russia more comfortable at the intergovernmental level. The solution of these problems will help to concentrate on another issue – the problem of protecting taxpayers’ rights, primarily the right to confidentiality, which is beyond the scope of this article but still very important in the light of the enhancement of global tax transparency.

128-157 205

The current article aims to study on the concept of sovereignty in international law. To this end, sovereignty is historically examined and compared in different legal doctrines. In fact, there is a verity of legal theories on the formulation and conceptualization of sovereignty. The dominant perspective of the contemporary legal doctrines sees sovereignty as wornout and outdated concept which belongs to classical legal doctrines. This article argues such accounts and shows how the concept of sovereignty survived through historically legal developments and has still been influential in the sphere of international law. Although the main legal events comprising Westphalian truce, world wars, the foundation of United Nation organization and so on have changed the nature and content of sovereignty in the history of international law, it has remained as a fundamental principle of international law. The lack of correct understanding of this concept can reinforce the obstacles for legal modeling and doctrines. So, through such a historical comparison, the research elaborates the reconceptualization process in the concept of sovereignty and elucidates how sovereignty means in the contemporary international law and how this concept defined by the modern legal doctrine influences international law and globally affects the legal order among states. Discussing the different legal doctrines on the concept of sovereignty in different historical periods, the article reveals the present considerations on sovereignty in contemporary international law.


158-175 201

This work is an analysis of legal trends in the administration of justice and the judicial system of the Russian Federation. Among the main trends, the authors observe an increase in the number of civil cases considered on the merits by both commercial courts and general jurisdiction courts. The authors also analyze some opportunities for increasing the level of integration of digital technologies in the legal environment of the Russian Federation. One of the triggers capable of catalyzing this process is the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the transformations in the administration of justice that require online court trials using the Internet are analyzed, and some foreign experience in implementing such a format of court trials is considered. The authors also assess in this article the impact of judicial reforms in 2019 on the dynamics of the administration of justice.