Russian Law Journal

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Vol 4, No 2 (2016)
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6-25 1544

The article examines the historical reasons for the unique relationship between the state and the law in Russia, which has a system-forming impact on all aspects of life in modern Russia. The authors analyze the duality of the Russian political and legal world – ‘Athens’ vs ‘Jerusalem’ – ‘East vs West’ – ‘legal state vs state of obligation’ – and reveal the philosophical and ethical maxims through which it became possible to talk about Russia’s peculiar historical path and the modern image of Russia. In the latter case, the authors focus particular attention on the phenomenon of ‘sobornost’ [‘the spiritual community of many people living in the same space’] establishing that, in the philosophy of the Slavophiles, this category played the role of both a religious and a national proto-symbol, which can be understood as a source of spiritual unity of the people, connecting them from the outset during the sacrament of communal prayer and then being transferred to everyday life, organizing and directing all social practices of the Orthodox society in a special way. It is pointed out that the philosophical reflection on Russia’s peculiar historical path has found a certain continuation in the idea of the ‘Slavic legal family’ proposed by Professor V.N. Sinyukov. The authors do not overlook the problems of legal nihilism as an attribute of the Russian political and legal practice. The instinctive distrust of complexity and inclination towards the utmost simplicity in solving social problems is named as one of the reasons for the legal nihilism of the Russian people. In the final section, the authors address the issue of borrowing the political and legal experience from foreign sources. The ‘pole points’ of the analysis are the Eastern experience of the Chinese state and the Western experience of French law. Expansion of the Anglo-American law is defined by the authors as the ‘other kind of milk’ for the ‘Russian coffee’ – which generally corresponds to the global trend in this sphere.

26-61 1324

This article analyzes the current state of the debate on the minimum level of creativity needed for works to be copyrightable, including dominant principles in Russian jurisprudence and judicial practice, principal trends and contradictions that arise in the course of the application of various criteria for copyrightability. An analysis of the judicial practice of recent years warrants the conclusion that standards of creativity as a criterion for copyrightability have dropped drastically. Today’s standards are similar to those of the former American ‘sweat of the brow’ doctrine. But, unlike foreign legal systems that set comparatively low standards of protectability, the Russian judiciary has not yet evolved mechanisms of compensation for risks of monopolization of public domain content. First of all, there is no practice of granting exclusive rights to a work that is similar to an earlier work but has been created independently. Secondly, the practice of refusing protection to non-unique, standard, generally known, and generally available content is dying out. Thirdly, there is currently a trend for giving a large scope of protection to works of low authorship. As a result, exclusive rights are granted to standard or generally accessible content – content that must belong to the public domain – which puts unjustified restrictions on the creative activities of other authors. Moreover, it makes their legal status unpredictable as it establishes a basis for unintended copyright violations being penalized. This amounts to a classical case of overprotection.

62-82 1395

Since the recent financial crisis of 2008, credit rating agencies (CRAs) have been under scrutiny for their role in the proliferation of structured finance products. Whether their methodological tools and evaluations have been up to standard is in question. As is well-known, CRAs are multinational enterprises that operate on a global basis. Their evaluations may well hinder the stability of international markets. As a legal response to the many concerns raised about CRAs, different approaches have been applied to the use of credit ratings in the US and EU with many similarities. In this international scenario, the government of the Russian Federation also recently introduced a new regulation on CRAs, drafted on the lines of the European regulation. This short paper is targeted to inform the reader of certain aspects of the newly approved regulation in Russia and to examine – in a comparative way – whether the introduced rules match the expectations behind the initiatives of the Russian government.

83-95 1490

Historically, the term ‘Arctic’ was used synonymously with the term ‘ice’, but climate change and Arctic hydrocarbon grabbed the attention of the world community as an opportunity to make the Arctic an ‘Energy Hub’. Exploration of oil and gas over the past six decades in the Arctic has made the region as places in the world. All major players in the market have endeavored to approach this new energy basket to utilize its maximum benefit. Commercial exploitation of natural resources has made this place a center for the regulation of oil and gas activities. However, petroleum exploration and its operation have had significant local detrimental impacts on the atmosphere, inhabitants and marine environment. Geologists have always believed in the huge reserves of oil and gas in the Arctic Region. However, the exploration of oil and gas started as recently as the mid-1950s. An increase in the demand of oil and gas in the international market, as well as its growing scarcity, compelled the world to locate oil and gas reserves in various regions. It is significant to note that the Arctic states are strategically going to control the excessive exploitation of Arctic hydrocarbon with much profitability. However, it is still a far sighted question ‘whether Arctic will provide direct competition to the Middle East’ and become another hub in the energy market.


96-111 1133

The authors undertake an analysis of features of mediation in individual labour disputes settlement in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The current paper also analyzes the experience of some foreign countries (USA, UK, Germany), based on a study which suggests the ways of improving the mediation institution in Kazakhstan. In addition, the identified advantages of mediation as an extra-judicial regulation of labour disputes, the authors point out the identified shortcomings of the matter in new the Labour Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Relevance of the topic is reasoned to the fact that in the 21st century extra-judicial settlement of disputes is preferred worldwide these days. In this context, it is no exception to the regulation of individual labour disputes without appealing to the courts. It demonstrates the role and significance of the introduction and development of conciliation procedures, including mediation, without diminishing the importance of other remedies to protect labour rights and freedoms provided in the labour legislation. An analysis of Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s procedural laws indicates a steady trend of expansion of alternative legal ways of disputes settlement in general, and particularly in labour disputes, including disputes between economic agents (employer and employee), which seems to be responded to the modern development of economic relations. Extrajudicial ways of conflict resolution may be undertaken not only by jurisdictional, but also by non-judicial mechanisms that are in the beginning stage of formation as alternative ways of resolving labour disputes at this period of Kazakhstan’s development.

Book Review Notes 

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