Vladimir Putin and the Law

Vladimir Putin - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Vladimir Putin – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

By William Partlett – Vladimir Putin has been busy — he recently published his seventh pre-election article in two months. These lengthy articles cover a dizzying range of issues, from ethnic integration to foreign policy.

Reliance on the law has typically been short-lived amongst Russian leaders. From Lenin to Yeltsin, Russian leaders have strategically used legal rhetoric but have ultimately jettisoned legal limitations in the relentless pursuit of their political and economic goals. Mr. Putin’s emphasis on what he has previously called the “dictatorship of law” hints at a different approach, explicitly drawing on a deep tradition of conservative Russian legal thought that begins with the nineteenth century philosopher Boris Chicherin and that persists today in the current chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court, Valery Zorkin.

Mr. Putin proclaims that the Russian state will not allow itself to be swept up in growing forces of instability, but instead will seek to control these forces by actively “setting the rules of the game.” He continues: Russia will “muscle up” by “being open to change” through state sanctioned procedures and rules.

As he eyes another six years in power, only Mr. Putin knows whether he will expand on these limited steps toward a law-based state. more> http://tinyurl.com/7rdghxz


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