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Bachelor 2019/2020

Russian Constitution as an Ongoing Project: a Problem-Oriented Approach

Type: Elective course (Law)
Area of studies: Law
Delivered by: School of Public Law
When: 3 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: Full time
Instructors: Irina Alebastrova
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course “Russian Constitution as an Ongoing Project: A Problem- Oriented Approach” covers series of topics regarding peculiarities and problems of Russian constitutionalism. It is aimed to research the concepts, structure, history, evolution and issues of practical realization of Russian Constitutions. From those perspectives it analyses the most significant institutions of the constitutional law such as human rights, systems of governance, judicial review, and territorial organization of states.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Improving students understanding of the constitutional law role in establishing effective government system;
  • Investigation of different directions and ways of historical and modern development of Russian Constitution;
  • Investigation of current Russian constitutional law problems and analysis of possible and real approaches to these problems solutions in Russia comparing with foreign countries.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students should gain Knowledge of: ─ The most important directions and ways of the historical and modern evolution of the Russian Constitution and Constitutional Law as a whole and their institutions as well. ─ Issues relating to legal regulation of different Russian Constitutional Law institutions and their practical realization. ─ Studying different problem-solving approaches.
  • Students should gain: Skills and abilities to: ─ Understand the idea of constitutionalism, Constitution, constitutional law and their institutions. ─ Recognize and analyze the essence and importance of the differences between the ideas and instruments that were used by the constitutions and constitutional laws of Russian Federation in different times.
  • Students should gain the following competences:  To deal with judicial information (to search, evaluate, range and use the information, necessary for accomplishment of scientific and professional tasks).  To carry out the academic, educational and practical professional activities in the constitutional environment.  To use technical, comparative and other specific methods.  To understand and analyse constitutional law issues and search for their solutions.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Constitutionalism, Constitution, Constitutional Law and Constitutional Values: General Definitions (Introductory Lesson)
    a) Constitutionalism, Constitution and Constitutional Law: Similarities and Peculiarities; b) Constitutional Values: Definition and Kinds.
  • Flickers of Constitutionalism in Russian History
    a) Some Unrealized Constitutional Projects - The Conditions of Anna Ioannovna, - The Manifestos by Nikita Panin, - Constitutional projects during Alexander I emperorship, - Constitutional projects by the Decembrists, - “Loris-Melikov's constitution”, - Documents by the Russian Constitutional Assembly of 1918, - Project by the Constitutional Commission of 1993; b) Realized Constitutional Actions in Russian History - Russian constitutionalism outside and in the remote provinces of Russia, - Reforms by Alexander II, - Creation and failures of the State Duma in early XX century; c) Constitutions v. Constitutionalism: Anti-Constitutional (Quasi-Constitutional?) Essence of the Soviet Constitutions - The Constitution of 1918: aggressive revolutionary type of the socialist Constitution, - The Constitutions of the Soviet Union: weakening aggression, from anti- to quasi-constitutionalism, - Peculiarities of the socialist model of the Constitution (constitutionalism, quasi-constitutionalism and anti-constitutionalism features); d) Creation of the Constitution of 1993, Its General Characteristics, Peculiarities and Evolution - The history of creation of current Russian Constitution: Perestroika, the Constitutional Commission, the Soviet Union failure, the Constitutional Conference, different drafts of the Constitution, violent confrontation between the President and Parliament, the referendum, - The general characteristics of Russian Constitution of 1993, - The amendments to the Constitution, - Russian Constitution nowadays: evolution of Russian Constitution of 1993 by way of legislation, judicial and political practice.
  • Elements of Real and Fake Constitutionalism in Modern Russia
    a) Human Rights in Russia: Problems, Ways of Solution - Right to life and capital punishment, - Right to protest and public order, - Freedom of speech and abuses, - Right to dignity and domestic violence, - Right to vote and to be elected (principles of periodic elections, universal and equal suffrage, secret ballot and free expression of will), - Human rights, State sovereignty and International protection of human rights, - Right to have Russian citizenship (commercial investments as a foundation of naturalization; perspectives for deprivation of Russian citizenship); b) Does Separation of Powers Exist in Russia or Are There Legal Ways to Transform Yes-Men Bodies into Competitive Branches? - The President as the head of the Executive entitled to dissolve the Parliament: does it help to establish check and balances system? How to improve? - Regulatory powers of the Russian President (why was the decision on sanctions against Russian officials and bodies adopted by the Parliament in the US while one on “contra-sanctions” in Russia – by the President? Which of those is made due to constitutional separation of powers principal ?), - Ways the upper house of the Russian parliament is assembled. Does the perfect model still have to be found? - How to reduce majoritarianism inside the Russian parliament? - Reducing independence of judiciary: legal tendencies; c) Russian Model of Public Power Territorial Organization: What Can Be a Way to Responsible (Competitive-Collaborating) Federalism as an Alternative to Predominant Power Organization? - Russian model of separation of powers between federal center and regions, - Statutory centralization of Russian system of government: detailed federal regulation of regional bodies organization, legal ways of the President impact on the regional election, responsibility of regional powers before the President and federal intervention; d) Political Opposition as the Main Resource for Separation, Replaceability and Responsibility of Powers: Legal Obstacles and Possible Ways of Improvement - Do we need regional political parties in our federal State? - Prohibition to create political parties coalitions in Russia, - Legal requirements on the number of political party members.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking participation in class discussions
  • non-blocking exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.5 * exam + 0.5 * participation in class discussions
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Maddex, R. L. (2008). Russia: Constitution. In Constitutions of the World. Washington, D.C., United States: CQ Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsscc&AN=cowed3.1844906
  • Нудненко Л. А.-КОНСТИТУЦИОННОЕ ПРАВО 6-е изд., пер. и доп. Учебник для СПО-М.:Издательство Юрайт,2019-500-Профессиональное образование-978-5-534-08805-2: -Текст электронный // ЭБС Юрайт - https://biblio-online.ru/book/konstitucionnoe-pravo-433885

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Five Generations of Russian Constitutions: Russia as Part of the Western Legal Heritage. (2019). https://doi.org/10.12987/yale/9780300113136.001.0001