Law and Economics in Russian Law
This paper studies the development of economic analysis of law in Soviet and Russian law, and a number of factors influencing this development. In Soviet law, the influence of economics on law was theoretically conceived in terms of Marxist dialectics of basis and superstructure. When Russia left the USSR in 1991, judges had to evaluate whether application of Soviet legal rules would make sense or whether there were compelling economic reasons to decide cases otherwise. The privatization and other economic reforms of Yeltsin’s Government were carried out with the help of rather inconclusive and inefficient legislation. In the 2000s, the economic analysis of law gained momentum in Russian law: an entire branch of the judiciary (commercial or arbitration courts) supported its application. After the Higher Commercial (Arbitrazh) Court was disbanded in 2014, Russian law is becoming formalistic again; references to economic analysis of law are rare both in case law and in legal scholarship. The author explains this development in the prism of the governmental centralization policies which imply that judges shall be guided only by the sovereign (state) will, without attempting to reinterpret or cast doubts on this will from the standpoint of economic rationality or from other standpoints.