Given the increasing restrictions and rigorous approval procedures for the exercise of freedom of assembly in various parts of the globe, one-person pickets often remain the only available form of voicing one’s opinion. This is the case of Russia, where citizens use solo protests as an opportunity to join together: they can take turns or stand at a distance from one another, forming a ‘group one-person picket’. These realities pose an interesting question: are such group solo protests characterised as freedom of expression or assembly? Through examining the legal nature of solo protests in the practice of international human rights bodies, this article aims to reveal a deeper understanding of the two freedoms involved and the interplay between them.
In various world regions, human rights defenders (HRDs) often become targets for smear campaigns that seek to discredit and marginalize them. Russia’s “foreign agent” law, which brands NGOs as “foreign agents”—a phrase that carries Soviet-era connotations of spies or traitors—is just one example of states’ attempts to cultivate an unfavorable image of rights defenders in society. Yet, despite the global context of such stigmatizing campaigns and their potential to put defenders at further risk, there is little systematic knowledge on public perception of rights defenders and the effects of smear campaigns on social attitudes toward them. This article seeks to address this gap and explores attitudes toward HRDs and human rights organizations in Russia. Drawing on representative public opinion data sets from 2015 and 2016, it demonstrates that the respondents largely lack familiarity with actors in the human rights field.
In recent decades, the expansion of large-scale international crimes, such as genocide and war crimes, has challenged the well-established criminological idea that the power to punish lies within the nation state. Faced with such heinous crimes, domestic legal systems appeared unable to adequately prosecute the perpetrators and provide reparations for victims, leading to calls for a globalised response to mass violence. The development of the international justice system thus changed the concept of penality as capable of moving beyond domestic jurisdictions. New transnational actors and institutions, including nongovernmental organizations (‘NGOs’), emerged as a substantial part of the new global legal order. Yet, this regime presents a marriage between two rather contradictory approaches to criminal justice: the national one (with vertical relations, headed by a national legislator) and the international one (based on consent between equal sovereign states). This new “hybrid” legal system continues to give rise to a multitude of questions: What is the balance of power between its domestic and international components? What is the nature and paradigm of punishment at the international level? Who is the punishing authority in the global justice and what are the sources of its moral authority? And, ultimately, is such justice truly global?
The actual state of science and technology predetermines changes in the methodology of scientific research and social practices. The paper is dedicated to various aspects of information technology application in legal science and practice:current technological development; prospects for the use of technology in legal research; examples of required regulatory changes.
The author discusses the basic principles of the development of Big Data and the scope of Legal Tech.
Big Data in legal science operates in two main areas:provides an opportunity to explain existing phenomena; provides the ability to predict the behavior in the legal sphere.
Therefore, the methodology and philosophy of legal research significantly change. The application of Big Data makes it possible, on the basis of objectively obtained parameters, to build connections and correlations that are independent of the researcher’s commitment to any scientific concept. In other words, the research hypothesis is not built up before the research but is formed only after the interpretation of the obtained interrelations.
The example of the dynamic development of legal institutions reveals the problems associated with the need for an interdisciplinary combination of law and IT-technologies.
Legal science is characterized by the following set of problems:
1) the legal personality of artificial intelligence;
2) data collection and verification;
3) interpretation of the results;
4) the role of traditional tools;
5) “trust” to calculations;
6) the international nature of digitalization;
7) personal data.
Practical problems are associated with:
1) incorporation into the legislation of new principles, terms, definitions, and legal institutions;
2) workflow development;
3) the reliability of electronic documents;
4) the civil status of Big Data.
In the contemporary world the ratio of national and international legal regulators is extremely significant and complex phenomena. On the one hand, globalization in the legal and economic spheres requires the development of unified rules for several states. On the other hand, national law continues to be valid and defines the fundamental principles of state and society. In this regard, the authors conducted a comprehensive, multidirectional analysis of the interaction between national and international law:
- within the framework of the concept of “legal space”;
- in the comparison with the acts of international organizations, including practice of the Eurasian Economic Union;
- in terms of the hierarchy of national regulators;
- on the example of the departmental rulemaking.
The article is dedicated to the analysis of Big Data perspective in jurisprudence. It is proved that Big Data have to be used as the explanatory and predictable tool. The author describes issues concerning Big Data application in legal research. The problems are technical (data access, technical imperfections, data verification) and informative (interpretation of data and correlations). It is concluded that there is the necessity to enhance Big Data investigations taking into account the abovementioned limits.
Frederick Schauer's The Force of Law is an extremely rare example of that type of the philosophy of law which is very good and accessible at the same time. The central tenant of the book is the centrality of coercion for law. The theme that is extremely abstract, complex, sometimes even esoteric within the philosophy of law. Both leading schools of the modern legal philosophy of law, Hartian legal positivism and the interpretative theory of law of Ronald Dworkin, have reached such a high degree of sophistication that they become virtually inaccessible not only to the people outside the academia, but also to those, non-majoring in the field of legal philosophy. Schauer 's book is an extremely valuable example of the opposite.
Another highly important merit of the book is the interdisciplinary research perspective. The coercion phenomenon has been subjected not only to the rigorous philosophical conceptual analysis. Schauer enriches the research with the valuable insights from economics, cognitive psychology and sociology.
The article is dedicated to the review of Schauer's book "The Force of Law".
The Society-of-Angels Argument was put forward by the prominent legal philosopher Joseph Raz in order to substantiate the pre-eminence of the coordinative function of law and to downplay the role of coercion in law. The argument has a considerable impact on the development of the modern legal positivism. It was endorsed by one group of legal positivist and criticized by another. In this paper I analyze and critically assess what I consider to be probably the most sophisticated criticism of the Society-of Angels Argument presented by the prominent legal scholar Kenneth Einer Himma. My conclusion is that the Society-of-Angels Argument remains an important contribution to the philosophy of law and its criticism remains dependent upon the particular image of a legal system which I consider unrealistic and outdated.
This paper deals with the question of if and to what extent power-conferring legal rules can be treated as coercive and whether the concept of coercive offers can help to substantiate the coer- civeness of power-conferring in law. In his recent book, The Force of Law, Frederick Schauer claims that power-conferring legal rules are coercive.1 There are several ways to interpret this claim. In this piece I would like to explore one route of interpretation of this interesting and contro- versial claim, i.e., whether one can use a highly controversial concept of "coercive offers" to sub- stantiate this claim. First, the very concept of coercive offers requires clarification. In fact, there are several distinct ways to interpret it and I explore them below. The second point is whether the coer- cive offers concept is applicable in the context of the power-conferring legal rules. Two influential theoretical models of coercive offers are analyzed and critically evaluated and their ramifications for the coerciveness of the power-conferring legal rules are demonstrated. In my view, the only pos- sible route to substantiate the coerciveness claim from the vantage point of coercive offers concept is through the distributive non-neutrality of law narrative.
The paper is dedicated to the investigation of regional legislation in the sphere of the regulatory impact assessment (RIA). RIA is a crucial instrument for the evaluation of the effectiveness of law. It provides a solid basis for the objective assessment of proposed regulations in the sphere of business activity. The federal form of the Russian government requires the analysis of regional experience for the further development of RIA procedure.
There are significant differences in regional regulation of RIA, such as the form of the acts, the rule-making body, requirements for RIA, cooperation with local authorities, terms, accounting documentation, etc. Hence, investigation of legislation in Russian regions is important for the harmonization of regional legal acts, its development and amendments’ preparation.
The paper is aimed at the analysis of regional legal acts establishing regulatory frameworks on the following criteria: formal description of legal acts; RIA models; rates of legal acts’ regulatory impact; RIA stages; persons notified about public deliberation; content of the consolidated reports; terms of RIA stages; annual accounting of RIA development.
Conclusions, concerning development of regional legislation regulating RIA are provided. The results obtained provide a guideline for studying other aspects of RIA procedure, including law-enforcement practice and retrospective analysis for RIA development.
The basic question of the paper: are power-conferring legal rules coercive and in what sense can we say that power-conferring legal rules coerce? In his recent book, Frederick Schauer answers the first question in the affirmative and proposes an interesting account of how it works. I believe that this claim is unsustainable due to the inconsistencies in the psychological account of coercion ap- plied by Schauer, and his theory’s unrestricted reliance on counterfactuals. In what follows, I try to reconstruct the thesis on the coerciveness of the power-conferring legal rules. The basic insight is that the power-conferring legal rules coerciveness claim is inextricably connected to the unmoral- ized account of coercion, as any moralized theory shifts the problem from coercion to the issue of distributive justice. However, the unmoralized concept of coercion can hardly be coherent in law because it makes coercion a matter of context, dependent on the willpower of each individual, which threatens to eliminate the force of law as such. Even applied on its own terms, the unmoral- ized concept of coercion is unworkable within the context of power-conferring through law because power-conferring legal regimes do not eliminate non-legal alternatives, making it dependent on the will of the legal subjects themselves. Schauer's everlasting contribution lies in his ingenious attempt to substantiate the coercion (of power-conferring rules) claim relying on counterfactuals. A (co- erced) choice has been limited relative to some situation which never occurred but would or should have occurred. In order to limit a set of counterfactuals, making them realistic (preferences and needs are limited only by imagination), one should impose severe limits on them, which makes it impossible to characterize the particular situations described by Schauer as coercive in that sense.