CCR №2(129) 2019
Statutory courts in subjects of the Russian Federation: a comparative political and legal analysis

The full text of the article is available only in Russian.

Abstract

The development of regional constitutional justice has become an important issue not only for law but also for politics. However, the main emphasis in modern studies has shifted towards the study of primarily legal aspects of the activities of constitutional (statutory) courts. The authors consider that regional constitutional justice has a mixed political and legal nature and requires an interdisciplinary approach based on studying not only the legal but also the political conditions of constitutional courts. In this article, the authors conduct a comparative political and legal analysis of the experience of the emergence and evolution of four statutory courts in the subjects of the Russian Federation: Sverdlovsk, Kaliningrad, Chelyabinsk, and Saint Petersburg. The authors show that as the political regime in Russia and its regions evolves towards monocentricity, one can observe either a decrease in the level of their capabilities and powers or their liquidation, as it happened with the Statutory Court in the Chelyabinsk Region. The most significant changes in the powers of the Statutory Court are noted in SaintPetersburg, with the reason for these changes being a series of decisions that were unfavorable for the current governor. Three of the current statutory courts were created between the years of 1998–2003, while the fourth, which was in the Chelyabinsk region, appeared much later in 2012, but was eliminated in the beginning of 2014, immediately after a new governor came to power. Making decisions that contradict the actions of representatives of the legislative and executive authorities resulted in negative consequences for statutory courts: limiting powers, reducing the funding and composition of the court, and reducing the number of alleged cases. Today, interest in the activities of the statutory and constitutional Courts in the Russian regions is also connected with the possibility of their “awakening”, as it happened with the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Ingushetia in the autumn of 2018.

About the authors:
Alexander Sungurov – Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Anna Zakharova – Postgraduate student, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia 

Citation
Sungurov A., Zakharova A. (2019) Ustavnye sudy v sub’ektakh Rossiyskoy Federatsii: sravnitel’nyy politiko-pravovoy analiz [Statutory courts in subjects of the Russian Federation: a comparative political and legal analysis]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 124–138. (In Russian).

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