Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

29.9.2018 at 12:00 - 24.10.2018 at 23:59
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Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Mon 29.10.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 30.10.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 31.10.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Thu 1.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 2.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Mon 5.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 6.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 7.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Thu 8.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 9.11.2018
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 5.12.2018
12:15 - 17:45


This course is included in the optional studies of the Bachelor of Laws degree and the Master of Laws degree.

Registration onto this course is open to all students from the Bachelor of Laws programme and the Finnish Master of Laws programme, all students pursuing doctoral studies and those on the MICL or IBL programme, as well as to exchange students, and to students with the right to complete minor sub­ject stud­ies or the right to complete non-degree studies at the Faculty of Law.

Apply for a right to complete minor sub­ject stud­ies or for the right to complete non-degree studies at the Faculty of Law here: https://guide.student.helsinki.fi/en/article/optional-studies-law and https://www.helsinki.fi/en/faculty-of-law/admissions/apply-to-the-faculty-of-law.

Knowledge of comparative law, main branches of law and legal theory.

Comparative law

The course examines development of Russian legal system in the context of comparative law. The aim of this course in its most general sense is to encourage understanding of a foreign system of law, Russian legal system, which developed under very complex historical and ideological influences but has a lot in common with other civil law systems. The focus is on the development of the legal system, and some specific branches of law, with consideration of various issues that have arisen in Russia's aspiration to change from an authoritarian regime to a rule-or-law state.

II teaching period

The course is divided up into topics for each class. Class reading is mainly from textbook chapters.

The course is designed to provide an in-depth discussion and critical thinking on a number of legal issues Russia is currently facing. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to prepare for classes, to acknowledge themselves with recommended literature before the course start and before each class.

Class 1. Russian legal system in the context of comparative law

Class 2. Russian Constitution: challenges of constitutionalism, hierarchy of legal norms and international law

Class 3. Human Rights and the Rule-of-Law

Class 4. Who’s in charge of Legal Protection?

Class 5. Criminal Justice and the Rule-of-Law

Class 6. Market Economy and Russian Civil Law

Class 7. Welfare state and market economy

Class 8. Student’s conference: Could there be Rule-of-Law in Russia?

a) Compulsory readings:

1) Maggs, Peter, Olga Schwartz and William Burnham: Law and Legal System of the Russian Federation 6th ed (Huntington, NY: Juris Publishing, 2015)*; and

2) William E. Butler: Russian Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)* or William E. Butler: Russian Law and Legal Institutions (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing, 2014)*.

b) Recommended readings:

1) Boute, Anatole: Russian Electricity and Energy Investment Law (Leiden; Boston : Brill Nijhoff, 2015);

2) Bowring, B. Law: Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the Destiny of a Great Power. (London-New York: Routledge, 2013);

3) Butler, William E.: Russian Public Law: The Foundations of a Rule-of-Law State – Legislation and Documents (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2005);

4) Burkov, Anton: The impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on Russian Law: legislation and application in 1996-2006 (Ibidem-Verlag, 2007);

5) Henderson, Jane, Maria Yefremova and Svetlana Yakovleva: Contract Law in Russia (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014);

6) Henderson, Jane: The Constitution of the Russian Federation: A Contextual Analysis (Oxford, Hart, 2011);

7) Gorbacheva, Zhanna: Labour Law in Russia, 2nd edn. (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2013);

8) McAuley, Mary: Human Rights in Russia: Citizens and the State from Perestroika to Putin (London : I.B. Tauris, 2015) Russian Approaches to International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).;

9) Oda, Hiroshi: Russian Commercial Law (2nd ed., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012);

10) Orlov, Vladimir: Introduction to Business Law in Russia (Ashgate, 2011);

11) Simons, William B. and Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge: Private and civil law in the Russian Federation: essays in honor of F.J.M. Feldbrugge (Brill, 2009);

12) Trochev, Alexei: Judging Russia The Role of the Constitutional Court in Russian Politics 1990-2006 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008);

13) Vereshschagin, Alexandr: Judicial Law-Making in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge, 2007); and

14) Zimnenko, Bogdan and William Elliott Butler: International law and the Russian legal system (Eleven International Publishing, 2007).


All students are expected to attend class regularly (at least, 75% of attendance is required to pass). Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class session. Class participation grade will be based on attendance, involvement in class discussions, and interest in the course as reflected in questions and comments.


Each student will choose a topic to study in greater depth, utilizing resources available online and in the University Library. This project must use original sources and should identify, in concert with the professor, one or more key questions for analysis, focusing EITHER on (1) a legal problem; OR (2) the social context of legal issues covered by the course; OR (3) comparison of any legal issues between Russia and Finland (or Europe). THIS PROJECT MUST NOT BE AN ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLE. At least two base sources are required for the topic development. At least 10 secondary sources, including one monograph and five scholarly journal articles, are required for this project. If you don’t know what a scholarly journal is, or what base source to use, please ask. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, textbooks, or country profiles may be used for background only and DO NOT COUNT for your seven sources. A prospectus and bibliography for this project is required. The final paper, due at the end of the semester (end of December), should be 15-20 pages. The paper should be prepared as if it is going to be published (footnotes and bibliography required).


The final conference will be held at the end of the course. Each student should do a short (7mins) presentation of their project in order to identify the issue they would like to look in depth at in their research project. The conference will be held as a real scholarly event. Everybody should reflect on the paper presented with a question, or opinion, or additional information, or criticism. The goal of the conference is to evaluate oral and discussion abilities.

A maximum of 30 students will be accepted onto the course based on the order of registration.

Contact teaching 20 hours