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CONSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE: CONCEPTS AND APPROACHES
The Russian constitutional justice is going through a stage of deep reforming. Both the nature of the participation of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in the constitutional reform of 2020, as well as the content itself and regulatory consequences have exposed a serious value and institutional crisis of the identity of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in the State-legal system. The main vector of the reform declared in order to “strengthen the role of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation” is essentially resulted from the authoritarian, not humanistic paradigm, and leads to the development of the integration of constitutional justice into a unified system of public power remaining without proper legal deterrence.
LAW IN A TIME OF CRISIS
The COVID-19 pandemic became widespread across the world throughout 2020 and 2021 in an emergency that gravely impacted the health and lives of people around the world. States have taken exceptional measures to combat the pandemic, including controversial decisions to introduce emergency regimes, which have been questioned in regards to their compliance with constitutional regulations. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic requires special measures, however they must remain within the constitutional framework. Consequently, the pandemic and its effect upon the legality of regimes in a state of emergency has captured the attention of legal scholars. The aim of this study is to analyse the constitutional regulation of the state of emergency in the Republic of Poland which was introduced in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic
Contemporary scholarship has consistently sought to generalize knowledge since the universality of scholarly knowledge is an indispensable attribute of scholarly knowledge itself. Nevertheless, these efforts sometimes encounter obstacles posed by the presence of objects, knowledge about which is difficult to universalize, primarily because of their functional dependence on other processes and phenomena. This is exactly the case with argumentation. Arguing that functions to be performed by argumentation vary considerably depending on the nature of the activity that argumentation serves, this article explores how the process of justification of constitutional judgments contributes to the development and functioning of the legal order and thereby reveals the purpose and functions of constitutional argumentation. Having synthesized the existing knowledge on judicial review of legislation with the possibilities that the means of argumentation provide to courts, and having indicated which judicial review tasks can be performed exclusively by resorting to argumentation, the author identifies the normatively correcting, normatively guiding (prognostic), cognitive and legitimizing functions of constitutional argumentation. This article gives specific reasons for highlighting the aforementioned functions and further details their substance.
LAW AND SOCIETY
The article examines the institution of a “foreign agent” that appeared in Russian legislation in 2012. The author, analyzing American legislation, the position of the Venice Commission, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (hereinafter — the OSCE/ODIHR), the decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, as well as the existing Russian judicial practice, comes to the conclusion that ’misappropriation’ status of a foreign agent by the Ministry of Justice of Russia for non-profit organizations (hereinafter — NPOs) occurs in the absence of clear legal definition of the term “political activity”, does not correlate with the identification of the real connection and activities of NPOs on the order or instruction of a foreign donor, and is actually applied in those cases when it comes to appeals to government agencies, criticism of government agencies or assessment of their decisions.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: OPINION OF THE VENICE COMMISSION NO. 1014/2020 DATED ON 6 JULY 2021 ON THE COMPATIBILITY WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS OF A SERIES OF BILLS INTRODUCED TO THE RUSSIAN STATE DUMA BETWEEN 10 AND 23 NOVEMBER 2020, TO AMEND LAWS AFFECTING “FOREIGN AGENTS”
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In the adopted at the 127th plenary session Opinion Venice Commission analyzed the objectives and rationale for the legislative amendments to the laws affecting “foreign agents”; expanding the range of individuals and legal entities that can be designated as “foreign agents”; expansion of administrative requirements and restrictions for “foreign agents”; expansion of sanctions for violation of these requirements and restrictions. The Commission concluded that the adoption of these amendments constitutes a serious violation of fundamental human rights, including freedom of association and expression, the right to privacy, the right to participate in public affairs, and the principle of non-discrimination and expressed especial concern about the cumulative impact of the latest amendments on organizations, individuals, the media and civil society in general.
The modernisation of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in 1993–2000 was a result of the political and legal transformations of the 1990s, and the period of its procedural inaction for a year and a half was by no means time lost. It was used to prepare a new law for the Constitutional Court, which was largely prepared by the Court itself and accompanied by disputes with the State Legal Department of the Russian Federation’s president and various factions of the State Duma of the first assembly (LDPR, KPRF). Discussions were primarily held about the status of the Constitutional Court, such as the Court’s term in office, as well as its number of members, which greatly determined the effectiveness of the future “second” Constitutional Court of the 1993–1995 model and its internal structure.