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Introduction to Russian Law

The course provides an introduction to Russian law and legal system in context. It starts with a brief history of the constitution-making process and describes the difficulties of rebuilding the legal system during the country's transfer from "socialist" legal order to democracy and the rule of law. It further describes the main characteristics of Russia's system of constitutional, administrative, civil, criminal and procedural law. The main emphasis is made on the overview of the sources of Russian law and their hierarchy, analysis of relevant legal concepts and judicial practice, including the case law of the Constitutional Court. The course pays special attention to such issues as federalism, separation of powers, Presidency, role of courts, legal profession, individual rights, legal regulation of entrepreneurial activities, civil and Arbitrazh procedure, new developments in criminal law, death penalty regulation, jury trails, and the main points of disagreement between the Russian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights in their judicial practice on the same or similar cases.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take home exam.