CCR №2 (123) 2018
Abuse of rights and abuse of power: to the formation of a unified doctrine

In the present article, the author examines the theoretical problem of abuse of rights (powers) by the state in domestic legal science on the basis of the French judicial doctrine “détournement de pouvoir”. The thesis that abuse of rights (in particular, in the form of circumvention of law with an unlawful purpose) is not a category only of civil law, but is a universal or common legal principle, serves as a starting point for this research. In practical terms, this makes it possible to significantly expand the grounds for declaring normative and individual acts of state bodies and officials null and void. In particular, examples are given of this kind of abuse on the basis of the practice Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on issues of the right of citizens to conduct peaceful public events. Moreover, the author examines some interrelated theoretical issues, including: the importance of the categories of “interest” and “purpose” in law, the relationship between the restriction of basic rights and the prohibition of the abuse of rights, the concept of discretionary powers and tied competence, the difference of vague and evaluative legal concepts, and so forth. In particular, the author cites the legal position of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on the importance of timely subordinate regulation, including the adoption of administrative regulations for the provision of public services and the performance of state functions. The author cites scholarly works of foreign specialists in the field of public law, as well as the works of domestic lawyers.

About the author 
Pavel Blokhin – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law; Adviser to the Judge, Russian Constitutional Court; Senior Lecturer, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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