Judiciary and Constitutional Balance

Introduction. The article analyzes the prerequisites for changing the Constitution of the Russian Federation existing in the system of Russian law. For Russia, having a quarter-century legislative experience under conditions of democratic socio-political relations and a market economy, the issue of assessing the potential of the current edition of the Constitution is extremely relevant. Theoretical analysis. An important vectorial principle in the Constitution of the Russian Federation is its focus on the human rights, ensuring rights and freedoms of people. This constitutional principle is implemented by endowing each of the branches of power with an equal amount of authority and responsibility to participate in public administration. Empirical analysis. We proved that the most common cause of imbalance in the system of checks and balances is the changes in society itself. The individual signs of the existing imbalance between the branches of power are considered. Conclutions. We highlighted the lack of objective grounds for reviewing the main provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation or the adoption of its new version. At the same time, the possibility of making separate, point-wise amendments to the provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation regarding the powers of the branches of state power is considered.

The Principle of Universality and the Reasonableness of Limiting Passive Suffrage

Introduction. The principle of universality is put forward in the first place among the principles of suffrage, and means the provision by the state of the majority of its citizens with the right to participate in the formation of public authorities. However, universality is not absolute and involves certain exceptions in the form of conditions for the realization of the right to be elected and requirements for candidates for deputies and for an elected post. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the principle of universality of passive suffrage is ensured in Russia, and also to analyze the reasonableness and validity of introduced electoral qualifications. Theoretical analysis. Establishing requirements for candidates and the conditions for their exercise of the right to be elected are, in fact, limitations of passive suffrage. The purpose of any restrictions on human and civil rights can only be to prevent the onset of harmful consequences for society and individuals. Empirical analysis. The practice of Russian elections has shown that the legislative conditions for granting the right to be elected can change with enviable regularity, while they do not always meet constitutional provisions and international election standards. This is indicated by the judicial practice cited in the work, analytical materials posted on the website of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and in the media. A special role of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in protecting the electoral rights is noted. It has repeatedly recognized the provisions of the Law on Elections as unconstitutional in case of unjustified discrimination of the electoral rights of Russian citizens. Results. The study showed that electoral qualifications in the Russian Federation are generally generally accepted exemptions from universal suffrage, and comply with the standards of democratic elections. The author concludes that the restrictions on passive suffrage introduced in the last decade are aimed at protecting constitutionally protected values, are reasonable and justified. The proposal to include the latter in the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation is aimed at ensuring stable democratic development of Russia. At the same time, it is supposed to be more expedient to include election qualifications in article 32 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The Role of the Russian State in Shaping the Information Society Development Strategy

Introduction. Internet technologies at the turn of the XX–XXI centuries radically affected all spheres of public life, led to a revolutionary leap in the development of Russian civilization. Post-industrial society has moved to a qualitatively new state – the information society, which is characterized by an increase in the share of intellectual labor, an increase in the volume of scientific knowledge and information used in production; the transition of economic and social functions of capital to information, which becomes a multifunctional value, becoming a product of production, a strategic resource, an object of communication, etc. Theoretical analysis. Simultaneously with the development of the information society, its spiritual core is being formed – a specific information and communication culture that incorporates the experience, norms and practices, ideologies, and values of network users. The state, as a participant in the Internet space, as a central subject of information exchange, cannot fail to engage in ongoing processes and the formulation of strategic guidelines for the development of the information society. Emperical analysis. The legal basis for the formation and development of the information society was prepared in the Strategy for its development adopted in 2008, as well as in the strategy for the development of the information society in Russia from 2017 to 2030. However, the 2017–2030 Strategy has a significant potential for long-term development, involving the transition from the information society to the knowledge society, in which the primary importance will not be technical equipment (a high level of IT technologies should already be achieved by this time), but the creation of technologies for the transfer, exchange, and use of reliable information between network users – citizens, organizations and government agencies. Results. As a result of the research, the author comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to manage the information society on the basis of strategic planning documents.

Information and Communication Culture as a Condition for the Realization of Some Rights of Citizens (the Case Study of Procedural Legislation)

Introduction. The article is devoted to the analysis of the significance of the level of development of information and communication culture of citizens for the exercise of their rights in the trial. The internetization and digitalization that have taken over the world make us take a fresh look at the need to comprehend the level of formation of the information and communication culture in the law-making process. Theoretical analysis. The dependence of the realization of certain rights of citizens on the level of formation of the information and communication culture of citizens and society as a whole is analyzed. The ambiguity of the assumption of a high level of legal and information and communication culture in the law-making process is considered, which may further become an obstacle to the realization of citizens’ rights. Results. The author notes that the reduction of orality in the ongoing processes of informatization and internetization should not a priori lead to the recognition of a high level of formation of the information and communication culture of citizens, it is necessary to work systematically on this process. It seems illogical to assume the dependence of the successful implementation of certain norms on the existence of a certain level of legal, information and communication culture of a citizen.

The Legal State as a Problem of Professional Consciousness of Lawyers

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.

Philosophy of Law in the Context of Post-non-classical Science: Methodological Pluralism and the Case of Communicative Theory of Law

Introduction. The article deals with the role of methodological pluralism in the development of the communicative theory of law. The specificity of modern post-non-classical rationality determines the growth of interdisciplinary research, making new demands on the philosophy of law. In this connection, there is a question of the implementation of the principle of methodological pluralism in the communicative legal understanding. Theoretical analysis. The author examines the deductive monometological character of classical types of legal understanding, shows the barriers that block methodological pluralism. The communicative theory of law is interpreted as a post-non-classical scientific theory based on an open polylogue with various social theories and focused on the search for an integrative legal understanding. Empirical analysis. The author shows the work of the principle of methodological pluralism in the theory of communication as a key source of the communicative theory of law. The researcher analyzes the strategy of detailing the basic categorical series of communication theory by its disciplinary areas, including the communicative theory of law. Results. The author has established the methods of theoretical communication of interdisciplinary fields in the communicative theory of law, the prospects for applying the principle of methodological pluralism in the communicative theory of law, its heuristic potential for answering questions about who creates law, what tools ones uses and what consequences for the social system it leads to.

National Mechanism for Judicial Protection of Fundamental Human and Civil Rights and Freedoms in the Context of Federal Relations

Introduction. The Constitution of the Russian Federation contains enough material in terms of proclaiming and implementing a large volume of human and civil rights and freedoms. However, the proclamation is not enough, and, therefore, the state creates a national mechanism of state protection to ensure, if necessary, the restoration of human and civil rights and freedoms. The article offers an analysis of the judicial mechanism of state protection of human and civil rights and freedoms, as the most universal and absolute, in particular, the activities of the Constitutional Court as the highest judicial body carrying out constitutional proceedings for the protection of basic human and civil rights and freedoms, and similar bodies of subjects. Theoretical analysis. The regulation of human and civil rights and freedoms is based on a set of constitutional norms that define them, as directly applicable, regulate the procedure for the implementation of these rights and freedoms, and establish guarantees for their implementation. Constitutional norms, thus, form the basis of the national mechanism for the protection of rights and freedoms. The state mechanism, in addition to constitutional norms, also includes state institutions for the protection of rights and freedoms, created at both the federal and regional levels. Empirical analysis. The right to judicial protection is presented through the analysis of the legal positions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, in which a logical sequence is built in relation to the right to judicial protection itself, the right to protection from certain acts, actions of public authorities, as well as equality in the exercise of this right in relation to certain persons. Results. The author gives a critical analysis of the limitations of the right to judicial protection, including the right to file complaints with the constitutional justice bodies, and formulates proposals to secure broad opportunities for citizens to appeal to the constitutional (statutory) court.

Development of Environmental Legislation in the United States: Problems and Prospects

Introduction. The article deals with the environmental legislation of the United States of America and the practice of its application. Theoretical analysis. The main acts of environmental legislation of the United States, the experience of the division of powers between the Federation and its subjects (states) in the field of environmental protection, legal practice in the field of ecology, and the structure of the US environmental management bodies are studied. Results. In the United States, for several decades, there has been a developed system of environmental legislation that creates a fairly effective mechanism for managing the environment. The main environmental functions in the United States are performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The experience of the United States in delineating the subjects of jurisdiction between the Federation and its subjects, the well-established mechanism of horizontal interaction between the states, and their experience in filling in gaps in Federal environmental legislation is noteworthy. The experience of public environmental associations in the field of environmental protection is also interesting. However, Federal environmental programs often suffer from underfunding, and overcoming environmental discrimination, as shown in the Flint (Michigan) case, remains an unresolved problem, despite all the efforts of the public and the position of the country’s political leadership.

Features of Detection of Handprints on Firearms and Cartridges

Introduction. Firearms and ammunition are traditionally complex objects for fingerprint identification research. Theoretical analysis. The possibilities of modern laboratory methods for detecting handprints on firearms and ammunition are discussed. It is noted that the most effective method is the vacuum deposition of thin metal films, as well as cyanoacrylic acid esters in vacuum. Technology for producing powders. A method for producing silica gel, polystyrene and aluminosilicate powders using a “micromill” is described, and particle sizes of the powder are shown. Experiment. Experiments have been carried out to detect powders of silica gel, polystyrene and aluminosilicate of hand traces on firearms and cartridges for them. Discussion of results. It was determined that the optimal laboratory method for detecting handprints on firearms and ammunition for them is the detection of cyanacrylic acid esters in a vacuum, and silica gel, polystyrene and aluminosilicate powders are effective at the scene, with silica gel being the most suitable fingerprint powder for these purposes.

Possibilities of Integrated Research into Traces and Damages Arising from Application of Electric Shock Devices

Introduction. In the investigation of criminal cases involving the use of electroshock devices (ESD), it becomes necessary to use special knowledge to determine the nature and mechanism of damage to a person’s body and clothing due to electric shock. The specificity of damage formation leads to the use of special knowledge in the form of expert studies. Such studies are possible in the form of a comprehensive forensic medical examination or in the form of a complex of forensic and forensic studies (examinations). Research and results of the study. Research methods for injuries on the human body and on items of clothing that have arisen under the influence of electric discharges of ESD are shown. The paper describes the method of obtaining experimental injuries on the studied garment, as well as the results of a comparative study of the morphological features of the investigated and experimental injuries. The possibility of damage formation on the body of the victim and on the subject of his or her clothes as a single damage with repeated exposure to damaging factors of the ESD is shown. The possibility of establishing a group affiliation of the ESD in accordance with the damage to clothing is shown. Discussion of results. The author highlights the similarity of the methodology (algorithm) for examining traces and injuries on the human body and items of clothing resulting from the use of ESD with the methodological approaches of traditional comprehensive forensic investigations of injuries on the human body and items of clothing.