Defamation Law in Russia in the context of the Council of Europe Standards on Media Freedom
This paper examines Russian defamation law and judicial policies to identify the extent to which they have been influenced by international legal standards on media freedom put forward in Europe by the Council of Europe (CoE). The main research method employed in this work is a qualitative comparative analysis of the CoE standards and the Russian national law as well as judicial practice. This paper suggests that the CoE standards have mostly an insufficient influence to the Russian legislation of defamation, and the discrepancy between the Russian and the CoE’s perspectives on defamation has increased during Russia’s membership in the CoE, especially because of the recent amendements on online defamation. The paper also argues that the CoE standards on defamation has had diverse impacts on the Russian judicial practice. The paper suggests that international organisations have the potential to become the main social platforms for resisting “weaponized” defamation but new effective measures should be devised for this.
Article contains analysis of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of expression, in which the Court had to balance public interest against the protection of commercial structures from unfair competition or injury to their business reputation.
In 1998 Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and subjected itself to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). After a long phase of productive cooperation with the ECtHR, Russian elites started realizing that further transplantation of human rights norms and unconditional execution of ECtHR judgments may lead to dangerous and undesirable results, such as questioning of legitimacy of the current social and political order in Russia, excessive “Westernization” of social and legal norms, serious conflicts with prevailing conservative, traditional values in the Russian society. In this context the creation of a protective mechanism against the Strasbourg Court allowing Russian authorities to block or limit the legal effect of its judgments does not look surprising. Such mechanism was introduced in 2013-2015 and has already been tested several times. The Russian model of such “blocking mechanism” prescribes a central role of the Constitutional Court, which acts like a “guardian” of the Constitution and an “active legislator” ruling on the possibility and exact manners of enforcement of a given ECtHR judgment on behalf of the Russian Federation upon requests from courts and other State bodies. Under this model any judgment of the ECtHR can be declared by the Russian Constitutional Court non-enforceable in Russia if the following two conditions are met: 1) The ECtHR judgment is in contradiction with the Russian Constitution and 2) there are no alternative ways to avoid the conflict with constitutional provisions other than its non-enforcement. The Russian Constitutional Court insists that it has a “right to object”, which may be derived from the Russian Constitution and general principles of international law based on consent of States.
The article is devoted to a particular form of freedom of assembly — the right to counter-demonstrate. The author underlines the value of this right as an element of democratic society, but also acknowledges the risk of violent actions among participants of opposing demonstrations. Due to this risk, the government may adopt adequate measures restricting the right to counter-demonstrate, certain types of which are analyzed in this paper.
This chapter examines how the concept of free speech has evolved in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia. It also assesses the impact of international standards on the development of Russia’s concept of freedom of speech. Along with the main legal documents, including constitutions and media laws as well as the judicial practice of the highest courts, Marxism-Leninism will be examined to help clarify Russia’s view of free speech. The chapter argues that, in Russia, the change in political regime has encouraged a reconsideration of the concept of freedom of speech by political leaders. It shows the similarities between Lenin’s ideas and the modern Russian concept of free speech. Also indicated is the impact of international standards on free speech as superficial and dependent on political will.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.