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Russias Constitutional Spirit: Judge-Made Principles in Theory and Practice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) dealt with both: challenges of defining the constitutional spirit and compelling others to respect the unwritten principles of the 1993 Russian Constitution with respect to individual rights. The main argument is that this young Court deserves high marks for successfully overcoming both of these challenges. This was not an easy task for the Court in a country like Russia where legacies of arbitrary rule and Soviet legal positivism still play a visible role in public governance. The chapter also explores how -through a not uncritical elaboration of international legal norms - the RCC established a hierarchy of both written and unwritten constitutional principles. It discusses the trials and tribulations of defining and instilling the principles of formal and real equality and social fairness. The chapter concludes by outlining the challenges to the viability of the Russian constitutional spirit.

Keywords: formal equality; judges; public governance; Russian Constitutional Court (RCC)



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