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NUMERO 20 - 29/10/2014

 The protection of fundamental economic rights in Post-Soviet Russia. The case of Russian Commercial Courts

The paper aims at analyzing the effective evolution of the protection of economic rights in Post-soviet Russian Courts. It adopts a comparative law perspective and a case study method focusing on Russian Commercial Courts. This system of courts have the jurisdiction over most of commercial disputes and cases involving national and foreign business entities, thus playing a crucial institutional role in the implementation of free market principles as formally acknowledged by Russia in its 1993 Constitution. Russian Commercial Courts have to be viewed as an important case study allowing in dealing in practice with the main characteristic of the existing Russian legal system: the permanent and dynamic struggle between remnants of the Soviet past and the approval of important legal and economic reforms, which make the Russian transition to a market economy and to a rule of law-based legal system autochthon and far from being concluded. These courts, indeed, are influenced by their origin, dating back to the Tsarist as well as the Soviet period. Secondly, the overwhelming Anglophone and Russian doctrine on the topic shows that Commercial Courts characterized themselves for being since the beginning far more independent in their concrete functioning than Civil Courts, becoming a point of reference for foreign business companies based in Russia. This awareness explains why the recent Russian constitutional reform - which was approved by the Duma in December 2013 and provides the abolishment of the Supreme commercial court in favour of a unified Supreme Court of general jurisdiction – has raised concerns among professionals and the academic community... (segue)

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