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Working paper

Russian Constitutional Development: Formal and Informal Practices

Transitional constitutionalism remains the subject of intensive political controversies. On the ground of the Project realized by the Institute of Law and Public Policy (Moscow) this article presents the analysis of the basic constitutional principles (pluralism, separation of powers, federalism, independence of justice, the guarantees of political rights and freedoms) describing the changing character of their implementation in different areas of constitutional practices – legislation, constitutional justice, administrative activity and informal practices and the comparative level of constitutional deviations in each of them. The important new acquirement of this research is the concept and methodology of the constitutional monitoring and recommendations for the full-scale reforms in key areas of Russian constitutional and political settlement. The author shows that the true choice of modern society is not the dilemma - constitutionalism versus its negation but the choice between real and sham constitutionalism with a big variety of intermediate options between them. It is precisely the area, which the author defines as a transitional type of constitutionalism, the field of collision of different political stakeholders. This is an area of unstable equilibrium where the implementation of different legal strategies and technologies may produce a definitive effect.