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Article

Роль секретариата в работе российского Конституционного суда: фильтрация или амортизация?

Социология власти. 2015. Т. 27. № 2. С. 66-93.
The paper deals with the role secretariats play in providing information to their courts. Judges delegate selecting good petitions to their clerks. We illustrate this simple model with the cases of the US Supreme court and German Federal Constitutional court and show that while delegating judges prefer to minimize information losses due to agent’s discretion. It is quite the reverse in case of the Russian Constitutional court (RCC) where delegation is excessive and almost blind. The secretariat proves all but invisible to the judges, its functioning rather restricting their access to petitions than facilitating it. We suggest therefore that the function secretariat performs is that of damping and shock absorption, not filtering. Contrary to the American and German cases, receiving and answering more petitions does not make the RCC more powerful, but rather puts its power in question due to compliance issues and the political risks it bears when finding a law unconstitutional. This is why the RCC prefers its secretariat to be a shock absorber rather than a filter.