Freedom of Expression and Regulation of Extremism in Russia in the Context of the Council of Europe Standards
This study examines the development of Russian anti-extremist legislation with the purpose to identify the extent to which it correlates with the legal standards of the Council of Europe (CoE) on the right to freedom of expression. Apart from Russian national legislation, the article also considers judicial visions of extremism – for the first time in the field. The analysis goes beyond the issue of compliance and non-compliance and shows the fundamental differences of Russian and CoE legal visions of the issue. It is suggested that the differences have considerably increased over the last few years which is mainly explained by the shift of priorities of the Russian political establishment, rather than by pressing social needs. It is concluded that the Russian concept of extremism has the worrying potential for further expansion both in Russia and beyond it, including in what we call “alternative” international law.