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20.12.2018 An International Conference "Russian Constitutionalism and Challenges of Times: Lessons of the First 25 Years" was held on December 12-14, 2018 in Moscow

An International Conference

RUSSIAN CONSTITUTIONALISM AND CHALLENGES OF TIMES: LESSONS OF THE FIRST 25 YEARS 

On December 12-14, 2018 the Institute for Law and Public Policy in a partnership with the School of Law of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and Moscow branch of the Russian Union of Lawyers conducted an International Academic Conference that marks 25 years of the Russian Federation Constitution of 1993. This Constitution, originally conceived as a transitional legal instrument to end intense political crisis, has proved very robust in largely determining the architecture, trends and dynamics of the post-Soviet state and society. Nevertheless, there are mixed sentiments about this constitutional transformation in both civil society and academic circles. These range from positive to negative views, represent serious challenges for experts, and require independent and professional assessments in the context of global trends in legal development.

About 150 participants took part in 11 sessions during two and a half days of the conference which was held in the facilities of the School of Law of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Among them were representative of the Russian academic and legal community from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Yaroslavl’, Grozny and another Russian cities as well as from non-Russian universities - from Australia, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom.

The conference was organized with financial support from the Russian office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Council of Europe and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow.

The conference participants discussions were revolving around questions such as the following (see day-to-day programme below).

December 12, 2018

Session 1. Russian Constitutionalism: Reality and Prospects

Chair: Olga Sidorovich, Director, Institute for Law and Public Policy

Speakers: Suren Avakiyan, Chair of the Constitutional and Municipal Law Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University “A Conceptual Framework for the Constitution and its Reform: Theoretical and Practical Issues”Andrey Medushevsky, Tenure Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics, “Constitution and Social Request for Change in Modern Russian Society”Ilya Shablinsky, Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics “The Originality of Russian Type of Government, Its Connection with Political Regime and Future Constitutions”.

Session 2. Russian Constitutionalism in a Post-Soviet Context

Chair: Claudia Crawford, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Russia

Speakers: Petra Stykow, Professor, Munich University, “The 1993 Russian Constitution and Legal Diffusion in the Post-Soviet Region”; Irina Kenenova, Associate Professor, School of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University, “A New Form of Constitutionalism and Political Leadership in Central and Eastern Europe”; Jane Henderson, Senior Lecturer, Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College, “Is Russia Developing a New Constitutionalism”; Elena Luk’yanova, Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics, “Constitutional Values and Their Mastering by Constitutional Legal Science”.


December 13, 2018

Session 3. Political Competition: Pluralism in Constitutional Perspective

Chair: Mikhail Krasnov, Professor, Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law Department, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics

Speakers: Fyodor Dolgikh, Head of Department, Moscow Financial and Industrial University "Synergy", “Constitutional Regulation of Political Parties amid Constitutional Building in Russia”; Sergey Zaikin, Senior Lecturer, Kutafin Moscow State Law Academy (University), “Russian Party System: Marking Time?”; Svetlana Tyulkina, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia, “Multi-Party System in the Russian Constitution: Experience and Comparative Analysis”; Mikhail Kakitelashvili, Associate Professor, Russian Federation University of Prosecutors “Legal Models of Political Parties in the CIS Countries”.

Panel Session 3. 1. (Room 245A)Discrimination: Problems and Solutions  

Chair: Anita Soboleva, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics

Speakers: Maxim Timofeev, Associate Professor, European Humanitarian University in Vilnius, “In for a Penny, Not for a Pound: Russian Constitutional Court's Approach in Discrimination Cases”; Olga Podoplelova, Senior Lawyer, Institute for Law and Public Policy,“Protection against Gender Discrimination in Russia: Defining the Role and Potential of Constitutional Justice”; Mari Davtyan, advocate, Graduate Student, Higher School of Economics,“Violence against Women as a Form of Gender Discrimination”.

Session 4. Constitutional Justice and Politics

Chair: Tamara Morschakova, Academic Director, Department of Judicial Power, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics

Speakers: Gadis Gadzhiev, Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, “Constitutional Cassation Review: Transformation of the Constitutional Justice Model in Russia in 1991-2018”; Alexander Blankenagel, Professor of Public Law Humboldt University, Berlin, “Russian Constitutional Court and Politics”; Sergey Belov, Dean of the School of Law, St. Petersburg State University, “Constitutional Values in Russia: Formulation and Interpretation”; Elena Gritsenko, Professor, School of Law, St. Petersburg State University “Access to Constitutional Justice in Russia and Germany”; Olga Benedskaya, Counselor, "Muranov, Tcherniakov and Partners", “Does Atlant not squared his shoulders: the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the social burden of business”.

  

Session 5. Human Rights: A Theory of Application and Confines

Chair: Daniel Smilov, Professor, School of Law, Sofia State University

Speakers: Anatoly Kovler, Professor, Head of the Center of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, “Cataloguing Human Rights in the 1993 Constitution - Experience of Historical Memory”; Anita Soboleva, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics, “Sources of Law v. Sources of Arguments: Positivist and Rhetorical Approach to Law and Legal Reasoning”; Alexandra Troitskaya, Associate Professor, School of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University and Tatyana Khramova, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics, “Problems with Restricted Freedom of Association as a Mechanism of Constitutional Self-Defense”; Jelle Klaas, Litigation Director, Public Interest Law Project – The Netherlands ICJ, The Hague, “Constitution v. the Use of Human Rights”.

  

Panel Session 5.1. Federalism and Local Government: Reform Progress and Prospects  

Chair: Andrei Medushevsky, Tenure Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics

Speakers: Alexander Sungurov, Professor, Head of the Applied Political Science Department, and Anna Zakharova, Graduate Student, Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, “Constitutional (Charter) Courts as 'Dormant Institutions' in Russia's Constituent Entities”; Alexander Larichev, Head of the Department, Karelian Branch of the RANEPA, “Local Communities through the Prism of Constitutional Economics (as part of Regulatory Changes in Local Governments)”; Georgy Melyukhin, Chairman of the Territorial Self-Government League “Liga TOS”,Territorial Self-Government in Russia: Quality Management Standard - Implementation Issues and Best Practices”.


December 14, 2018

Session 6. Constitution and Populism

Chair: Andrey Medushevsky, Tenure Professor, Higher School of Economics

Speakers: Daniel Smilov, Professor, School of Law, Sofia State University, “Constitutionalism and Anti-Paternalism”; Irina Alebastrova, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Higher School of Economics “Paradoxes of Political Inclusion”; Violeta Besirevic, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Union University Law School Belgrade, “Adjusting Constitutional Review to the ‘Primacy of Political’ (Serbia example)”; Benjamin Reeve, Member of the Cologne-Bonn Centre for Central and Eastern Europe at the University of Cologne, “Reason of State or the Constitution. ‘Inakomyslie’ and Communality in the Constitution and Public Discourse on Legal Policy in Russia - A View from Without”.

    

Session 7. International and National Experience of Oversight, Interpretation and Application of Constitutional Provisions

Chair: Alexander Blankenagel, Professor of Public Law, Humboldt University, Berlin

Speakers: Zhanna Ovsepyan, Professor, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, “The Multi-Party System and Constitutional and Administrative Proceedings as Essential Elements of the ‘Separation of Powers’ (Checks and Balances) System”; Natalie Varlamova, Chief Researcher, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, “Internationalization of Constitutional Oversight: Moving from Hierarchy of Norms to Hierarchy of Subjects? The RF Constitutional Court's Position amid Recent Trends”; Alexey Ispolinov, Head of Department, School of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University, “Interpretation and Application of Constitutional Provisions on Interference of International and National Laws in Russian Legal System”; Ilya Levin, Associate, Baker & Mackenzie, Berlin, “Asset Freeze: Constitutional and Legal Aspects in Light of International Practices”.

   

Panel Session 7.1. Principles, Procedures and Dynamic of Interpretation of Constitutional Provisions  

Chair: Alexandra Troitskaya, Associate Professor, School of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Speakers: Snezhana Simonova, Senior Lecturer, Demidov Yaroslavl State University, “Implementation Mechanism for Constitutional Freedom of Assembly: Current Stage and Prospects for Modernization”; Batyr Dzhankezov, Research Scholar, Lomonosov Moscow State University, “Constitutionalism as a Process: The Purpose and Role of Procedural Constitutional Law”.

Сlosing remarks of selected findings of the conference were presented by Tamara Morscshakova, judge of the Russian Constitutional Court (in retirement) and member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Law and Public Policy.

 

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