Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Economics. Management. Law

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The Legal State as a Problem of Professional Consciousness of Lawyers

Vestov Fedor A., Saratov State University
Fast Olga F., Saratov State Law Academy

Introduction. There is no sufficient difference in comprehension of the law-governed state in legal literature and research. Focusing on the existing theories of the law-governed state, modern authors of scientific publications and manuals compose lists of features of the “true law-governed state”, “welfare state” as well as their antipode – “police ridden state”. Theoretical analysis. The phenomenon of the law-governed state is existing in the normative ideological, institutional and functional dimensions. Due to the national conditions of development of Russia around the turn of the past and current centuries, a specific institutional design has been formed. Sometimes it does not coincide with the normative character of Russian rule of law depicted in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Empirical analysis. A sociological study was conducted among law students of the undergraduate program (full-time and part-time). The objective of the study was to establish exactly how students, future qualified employees of law enforcement agencies and public administration bodies, understand what the rule of law is. In total, 90 respondents aged 19–21 were involved. They were asked 5 questions regarding the characteristics of the “legal”, “police” and “social” states and template answers. Of these, respondents could freely and in unlimited number choose ones that are more in line with their understanding of the subject of the survey. Results. The survey revealed that law students quite successfully solve the problem of distinguishing between different types of states. However, they do not see the general direction in which a significant change in the characteristics of the state could give rise to some of its fundamentally new qualities.

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