Russian Law Journal

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Vol 3, No 2 (2015)
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10-36 3203

The article is an attempt to analyze the Russian school of law features and history of development over the last century, characterized by the priority of the positivist theory of law over the natural law approach. In particular, the author examines the differences in interpretation of such concepts as ‘rule of law,’ ‘rule by law’ and ‘Law-Bound State’ by Russian and foreign lawyers and concludes that these concepts are mixed and misunderstood. Based on the differences of interpretation, the author concludes that there is a significant difference in mentality not only between Russian and foreign lawyers, but also between lawyers in Russia: law enforcers on the one hand and human rights activists, advocates and some independent scientists on the other and, consequently, there are specific criteria for the specialist selection in competent state bodies. As an example of the differences of interpretation, the author analyzes in detail the decision of the Russian Federation Constitutional Court of March 19, 2014, on the constitutionality of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the admission of the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation and the establishment of new subjects within the latter.

37-61 10411

This article examines recently enacted legislation in the Russian Federation designed to regulate so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’ Through an analysis of the extant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (Eur. Ct. H.R.) in respect of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, the article considers the extent to which the existence and enforcement of ‘homosexual propaganda’ laws can be said to violate rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The article demonstrates weaknesses in current Eur. Ct. H.R.’s jurisprudence – specifically in relation to Arts. 10, 11 and 14 of the ECHR – and argues that it requires significant evolution to better protect sexual minorities in Russia and elsewhere.

62-96 1944

Cartels, which are considered as the most harmful anticompetitive practice, continue to exist in many sectors of the global economy in spite of the severe sanctions regularly imposed on the cartelists by the competition authorities worldwide. This suggests that the approach to antitrust enforcement requires rethinking, and the necessity to move beyond the traditional enforcement approach, to creating a pro-compliance culture in companies. The paper suggests that robust compliance programmes, voluntarily implemented by companies to prevent infringements of competition law could be considered as one of the major elements of cartel deterrence. The paper reviews the pioneering experience of UK competition authorities in rewarding infringing companies for their efforts to comply with competition law – by reducing fines for committed violations, such as participation in cartels. The paper analyses the UK approach through the prism of its possible application in Russia, where antimonopoly laws continue to actively respond to the development of the best international competition practice, including cartel deterrence. The relative position of officials in the Russian antimonopoly body, the FAS, with respect to advocating antimonopoly compliance in Russia is presented in this work through an interview conducted by the author of this paper. The work formulates a three-step plan, embracing particular measures to develop competition compliance culture in Russia.

97-108 1861

Twenty years have passed since the new Family Code of the Russian Federation (RF), which has become the key source for family law in Russia, was signed into law. During this period, the Family Code has frequently been criticized by experts on the administrative and judicial practice of civil jurisprudence. Legislators have begun to pay attention to these experts’ assessments of the law to determine what reforms may be necessary. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current problems with Russian Family Law by drawing upon the experience of both European Family Law courts and the Russian legal system.


109-118 3666

In 2014 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Judicial Reform in Russia. The 1860s are known as a time of major reforms in various spheres of life, one of them being the Judicial Reform adopted in 1864. Before 1864 civil procedure was considered to be the classical form of inquisitorial justice1 with active judges and passive parties. Inquisitorial procedure was a written process conducted in secret with no legal representatives in court, and with formal evaluation of evidence (otsenka dokazatel’stv). Instead of an inquisitorial procedure the Judicial Reform introduced an adversarial system with active parties and more or less passive judges, an open, oral (public) process, legal representatives, and free evaluation of evidence. So, for Russian procedure it was a revolution as it happened in other countries of Europe, which turned away from an inquisitorial to an adversarial system of justice.

119-136 2793

This paper will examine the interaction between offshore jurisdictions and Russia, with particular emphasis on the role played by the British Virgin Islands in structuring offshore transactions. This paper will look at popular narratives about offshore jurisdictions, including traditional arguments about round-tripping and corruption, before examining the legal rationale for the use of offshore structures in Russia. It will be argued that the use of offshore jurisdictions arose as a response to deficiencies in the Russian legal system, particularly in terms of Russian law as it relates to property rights, and the related problem of enforcing such rights. In contrast to these perceived deficiencies in the Russian legal framework, offshore jurisdictions provided a stable and modern legal environment, the use of which allowed Russian investors to gain access to Western common law principles of corporate governance, property rights and shareholder rights.

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