Less democracy, more courts: A puzzle of judicial review in Russia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores why, throughout the 1990s, some Russian regions created their own constitutional courts and others did not. Contrary to current theories that assert that politicians create a strong and independent judiciary to protect them from the tyranny of election-winners in the context of political uncertainty, my analysis finds that constitutional courts emerged only in those regions where governors virtually guaranteed their re-election by consolidating their political power vis-à-vis federal and local governments. The article argues that both federal and regional politicians used the process of creating subnational constitutional courts to legitimize their federalism and judicial reforms. The changes in the balance of power between those governors, who aspired to have their own judicial system, and the federal government that insisted on a single federal judicial system, determined the variation in the process of court-building across Russian regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-548
Number of pages36
JournalLaw and Society Review
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

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constitutional court
Russia
democracy
politician
election
balance of power
judiciary
political power
federalism
Federal Government
uncertainty
reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Less democracy, more courts : A puzzle of judicial review in Russia. / Trochev, Alexei.

In: Law and Society Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, 09.2004, p. 513-548.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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