Varieties of Legal Dualism: Making Sense of the Role of Law in Contemporary Russia

34 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2010

See all articles by Kathryn Hendley

Kathryn Hendley

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School; University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 2, 2010

Abstract

Russia has been severely punished by the world community for the propensity of its political leaders to dictate the outcome in cases that affect their interests. Not only does Russia languish near the bottom of the various indexes that purport to measure various elements of the "rule of law," but much of the social science literature takes the unuseability of the Russian legal system as a given. While not disputing the existence of so-called "telephone law" in Russia in politicized cases, the paper seeks to put this phenomenon in a broader context. The paper is grounded in a series of focus groups and interviews conducted in Russia in 2007-08 that show that Russians are more open to the prospect of using law to solve their problems than the literature recognizes. At the same time, the respondents saw limits to the usability of the legal system. What emerges is a dualistic legal system in which some problems are handled according to the law, while others are subject to the vagaries of political and/or economic influence. The paper seeks to outline the conditions that give rise to a perception that the legal system is hopelessly compromised which, in turn, will provide a map to the varieties of legal dualism in Russia. The paper will conclude by reflecting on the extent to which such phenomena are unique to Russia or to authoritarian countries more generally.

Keywords: Russia, Rule of Law, Corruption, Law and Development

JEL Classification: K42, P37

Suggested Citation

Hendley, Kathryn, Varieties of Legal Dualism: Making Sense of the Role of Law in Contemporary Russia (June 2, 2010). Wisconsin International Law Journal, Forthcoming, Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1119, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1619478

Kathryn Hendley (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
301-405-3476 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
916
rank
268,047
PlumX Metrics