Russian Law Journal

Advanced search
Vol 2, No 1 (2014)
View or download the full issue PDF

Chief Editor’s Note 

Welcome notes 

10 1305
As the President of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Community I am very proud to appear on the pages of Russian Law Journal, a new promising project initiated by leading Russian scholars. The RLJ is of a particular interest for the Court of the Eurasian Economic Community, a body hearing cases involving companies from all over the world in relation to the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, since its’ main purpose is to expand cross-fertilization between the legal cultures. This purpose is very important in course of the Eurasian integration which will culminate in 2015 with creation of the Eurasian Union, transforming markets of the member states into the large single one. I am wishing the RLJ’s Editorial Council and Board productive work in establishing this forum for discussion.


12-28 3512
This article examines the leading principles governing interpretation of written contracts under English law. This is a comprehensive and incisive analysis of the current law and of the relevant doctrines, including the equitable principles of rectification, as well as the powers of appeal courts or of the High Court when hearing an appeal from an arbitral award. The topic of interpretation of written contracts is fast-moving. It is of fundamental importance because this is the most significant commercial focus for dispute and because of the number of cross-border transactions to which English law is expressly applied by businesses.
29-40 2668
This paper is devoted to a new approach to understanding the role of the Basic Law in the life of society as a tool for managing major social and economic changes. Analyzing the distinctive features of the emergence, internal structure and functioning of the current Constitution of the Russian Federation, the author substantiates the assertion that ‘the constitution is a way by which one social system gives rise to another social system.’
41-56 1847
Whilst the article will address the problems and reforms of civil procedure and the law relating thereto, its principle consideration focuses on issues surrounding reform problems among present and future ‘civil justice systems’ in Eastern and Western Europe as a whole. This consideration will not simply concentrate on mere single ‘tendencies,’ trends or shifts of civil procedural developments, but on the reform processes of justice systems. These processes have transpired to be strong, actual, and occasionally observable globally. They are in part similar and in part different, and are really fundamental movements towards reform of civil justice systems in Eastern and Western European nations. Although this report concentrates on the present situation in Europe, similar and even the same situations can also be found in other parts of the world.
57-80 1701
In codifying intellectual property rights, Russian legislators have left the issue of what standards of originality and creativity form the criteria for copyrightability amatter of debate. Nevertheless, this issue is crucial to answering questions about where the lower threashold for the copyrightability of a work lies. Indeed, it is essential to determining which intellectual works with an insignificant creative component but of high economic importance (e.g., databases, computer software, advertisement slogans or design work) are to be copyrightable. Analyses of debates in legal literature and court rulings issued over the past few years warrant the conclusion that there is a trend in favor of setting more relaxed standards of originality and creativity and granting copyright protection to works of low authorship. This article addresses the problem of identifying criteria for copyrightability and noncopyrightability in the Russian legal system. It models various types of demarcation criteria, and analyzes their strengths and weaknesses. It also describes the trend in Russian judicial practice of granting copyright protection to works of low authorship, whilst outlining some of the problems and contradictions that this entails. The article compares principles that have evolved under Russian law with similar principles used abroad, mainly in Germany.


81-105 3622

The recently adopted Russian federal legislation provides for imposition of the so-called ‘administrative’ sanctions for dissemination of any information regarding issues related to ‘social equality’ of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities ‘among minors’ for certain purposes (listed in the relevant provision). Under the new laws, such conduct qualifies as an administrative offence. In parallel with the aforementioned amendments, Art. 127 of the Family Code of Russian Federation was modified to prohibit adoptions by married same-sex couples and unmarried citizens of any state where homosexual marriage is permitted.

The present article is written in the attempt to explore whether the recent Russian legislation is compatible with international standards of human rights protection deriving from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant jurisprudence of international bodies. Is there any possibility to justify the restrictive laws under international law, bearing in mind the support of this legislative trend by the majority of the Russian population?

106-120 1869
The paper explores the three key issues that are often put forward as the main problems contributing to reportedly insufficient quality of legal education in Russia: superfluous number of law schools, lack of practical preparation of students, and lack of teaching of professional ethics. It is based on a research project that the Moscow office of PILnet conducted in 2010–2012, having interviewed over 130 legal professionals in four Russian cities – commercial and non-profit lawyers, government lawyers, law professors, law school administrators and students – to analyze their views and attitudes as to what defined the modern Russian lawyer and how the legal education system responded to the needs of the profession and the society.

Book Review Notes 

121-124 1538
Reviewed book: Bill Bowring, Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the Destiny of a Great Power (Routledge 2013).
125-135 1458
Reviewed book: Civil Procedure in Cross-cultural Dialogue: Eurasia Context: IAPL World Conference on Civil Procedure, September 18–21, 2012, Moscow, Russia (Dmitry Maleshin, ed.) (Statut 2012), available at (accessed March 9, 2014) [hereinafter Civil Procedure in Cross-cultural Dialogue: Eurasia Context].

Conferences Review Notes 

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