Making a Drama out of a Crisis: The Russian Constitutional Court and the Case of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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The three faces of drama are comedy, tragedy and irony. All these were apparent in the pivotal case which occupied the Russian Constitutional Court for seven months during 1992, considering the constitutionality of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. According to the 1977 Soviet Constitution, the CPSU was “… the leading and guiding force of Soviet society and the nucleus of its political system and of state and social organisations …”. Could its actions then be scrutinised as to their constitutionality? The Constitutional Court was created in Russia in 1991, as a necessary antidote to the newly established executive presidency. Could the court really be used by the Communist Party, almost a byword for totalitarianism, to protect itself against the democratically elected President? The case and its final outcome were important landmarks on Russia's progression towards a rule-of-law state and depict a pioneering court groping towards an appropriate justice.

Keywords: CCRF; CPSU; democratisation; legality; transition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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