Vladimir Putin and the Rule of Law in Russia

Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 36, No. 511, pp. 511-57, 2008

SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 277

47 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008 Last revised: 16 Jun 2016

Jeffrey Kahn

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: July 7, 2008

Abstract

During his two terms as President of Russia, did Vladimir Putin further the net development of a legal culture in Russia? This article is based on public lectures given in late 2007 and early 2008 at Oxford University, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

This article examines three "windows" into the development of Russia's legal culture under Vladimir Putin: (1) the Second Chechen War; (2) Russian membership in the Council of Europe; and, (3) renewed efforts under Putin at codification of law, as evidenced by the creation of a new criminal procedure code. The first window presents a bleak view, the second a more hopeful one, and the third a truly mixed picture.

This article presents a faint-hearted endorsement of Putin's legal legacy. This conclusion runs against the prevailing popular wisdom. The endorsement is nevertheless a tepid one because Russia's new legal culture has very shallow roots that, at the time of this writing, could easily be yanked free of Russian soil by the very man that has been tending them with faltering attentiveness.

Keywords: Russia, Vladimir Putin, legal reform, rule of law, Chechnya, Council of Europe, criminal procedure

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Jeffrey, Vladimir Putin and the Rule of Law in Russia (July 7, 2008). Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 36, No. 511, pp. 511-57, 2008; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 277. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1156340

Jeffrey Kahn (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
(214) 768-2792 (Phone)
(214) 768-4330 (Fax)

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