POSTS BY Ilya Levin

At a crossroads: Russia and the ECHR in the aftermath of Markin

As part of Verfassungsblog’s topical focus on the prevailing tensions between international and national constitutional law, we go east and take a look at Russia and its unsteady relationship with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – particularly the lately arisen tensions between the Russian Constitutional Court (CCR) and Strasbourg in the wake of the ECtHR’s decision in the Markin case. First, and in a more general manner, we briefly review the theories conceptualizing the relationship between domestic and international law, which traditionally go by the names of monism and dualism. In doing so, we do not miss the point that, as national constitutional practice in a variety of member states of the ECHR shows, conceptual clarity in terms of commitment to one or the other grand theory is often blurred, if not contradicted (I.). Clearly, Russia is no exception (II.). The Markin case marks a turning point in the relationship between the CCR and the ECtHR as Strasbourg, for the first time, overruled a decision of the CCR, which spurred a heated constitutional debate. The repercussions are yet to be seen (III.).

Continue Reading →

GASP: Reden oder Angst haben?

Wie einst Lyndon B. Johnsohn behauptet die EU, in ihrer Außenpolitik auf die Eroberung der Herzen zu setzen. Sie positioniert sich als Wertegemeinschaft und transferiert und implementiert ihre (exklusiven und richtigen) Werte auch in die Welt, denn diese sind übertragungsfähig und befolgungswürdig, sie machen das Leben der Völker weltweit besser und die Missionare dieser Werte zu besseren Menschen. Dabei bleibt leider die Frage offen, ob diese Werte wirkungsvoll in der empirischen Realität einer höchst heterogenen Gesellschaft implementiert werden können. Like Lyndon B. Johnsohn, the EU claims to struggle with its foreign policy for the “hearts and minds” of people. It itself as a community of shared values that is exporting its (exclusive and universally valid) values to the entire world. This export is the “thing to do” because these European values (are likely to?) improve the living conditions of people worldwide and at the same time morally perfect the missionaries of the right. Still the question remains whether it is empirically possible to realise such noble ideas within the deeply heterogenous Ukranian enviroment.

Continue Reading →