Authoritarian constitutionalism in Putin's Russia: A pragmatic constitutional court in a dual state

Alexei Trochev, Peter H. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyzes the successful adaptation of the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) to an increasingly authoritarian regime under President Vladimir Putin. It argues that the key to its success lay in its pragmatic approach, whereby the Court decides cases that matter to the regime in a politically expedient way, while giving priority to legal and constitutional considerations in other cases, thereby recognizing the reality of a dual state. Over the years the RCC has taken a pragmatic approach in its reaction to changes in the rules of its operations, in its personnel, and in the policies of the popular political leader, including reducing the country's subordination of European legal norms. In so doing, the Court and its skillful chairman Valerii Zorkin achieved considerable autonomy in pursuing its own legal vision on many issues and even improved the implementation of its decisions by other judges and political bodies alike (previously a big problem). In short, the RCC developed its own version of “authoritarian constitutionalism”, which may serve as a model for constitutional judicial bodies in other authoritarian states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalCommunist and Post-Communist Studies
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

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constitutional court
constitutionalism
pragmatics
Russia
regime
legal norm
personnel
president
autonomy
leader
court

Keywords

  • Authoritarian constitutionalism
  • Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation
  • Constitutional courts
  • Courts in Russia
  • Dual state
  • Judicial pragmatism
  • Valerii Zorkin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Authoritarian constitutionalism in Putin's Russia : A pragmatic constitutional court in a dual state. / Trochev, Alexei; Solomon, Peter H.

In: Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 51, No. 3, 01.09.2018, p. 201-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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