How have fluctuating approaches to federalism in post-Soviet Russia affected its legal system? This article examines the core legal subjects, processes,and institutions composing the Russian legal system. The source of legal changes, as Russian federalism has shifted from decentralized beginnings under Yel’tsin to the current centralized system under Medvedev and Putin, is evaluated. Seeds for centralization in the original 1993 Constitution and the roles of “top down,” “bottom up,” and “outside in” pressures to centralize the federal system are examined. The degree of unification and centralization of Russian law and the de facto nature of the legal system are analyzed.
Jeffrey Kahn, Alexei Trochev & Nikolay Balayan, The Unification of Law in the Russian Federation, 25 Post-Soviet Affairs 310 (2009)