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International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law in Russian Courts *

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The paper investigates the implementation of the norms of international humanitarian and human rights law in the Russian courts. It may be viewed as a specific feature that these two categories are considered close in part of the Russian doctrine and, as we will see below, in some judicial cases. Since the adoption of the Constitution of the Russian Federation in 1993 international law has been granted a specific status and significance in the Russian legal system. According to the Constitution and legislation, Russian courts have had the opportunity to play a special role in the implementation of international humanitarian and human rights law. That being said, judicial practice relating to the implementation and the application of these norms is different from that of other international law norms. It is, however, explained, in particular, by the fact, that there are not many cases which either mention directly or use humanitarian law. Often, courts make abstract or general references to international treaties or make decisions only on the basis of the national law, though the considered cases fall directly under the regulation of international humanitarian or human rights law. In conclusion, at present the practice of Russian courts is rather diverse and needs further unification.

Affiliations: 1: a) Executive Committee of the Russian Association of International Law, European Society of International Law, and Institute of Continuing Professional Education, Tyumen State University, ; 2: b) Baikal State University of Economics and Law,


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