«Дело поручили собаке, а она — своему хвосту»: ответ П. Блохину
In this response I briefly overview the theory of Court-Secretariat relations formulated in my previous paper (Sotsiologiya vlasti 2, 2015). I also review the criticism by Blokhin by answering some of his critiques and refining my own arguments where necessary. Most importantly, based on the quantitative analysis of the Russian Constitutional Court decisions I reconsider the periodization of the Court-Secretariat relations. Without renouncing the influence of Court relocation to St. Peterburg in 2008, I record an earlier breakdown in the model of Court-Secretariat cooperation in 2006‐2007, most probably triggered by the 2005 Act on Citizens’ Inquiries. In light of these new results I also put forward a novel argument pertaining to the agenda setting at the Court. In particular, I suggest that whereas before 2006 the agenda setting was dominated by the Court chairman (who controlled the distribution of reports among justices), as the mode of Court-Secretariat relations started to change, so did the agenda setting which should have also become more pluralistic. With more petitions reported to the Court by the Secretariat directly, and not through the chairman, the justices could use these petitions to build their cases without chairman having previously nominated them to report on these cases.