Russland und das Völkerrecht - 10.1628/000389216X14809343592085 - Mohr Siebeck

Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum

Russland und das Völkerrecht

Section: Treatises
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Volume 54 () / Issue 3, pp. 239-260 (22)

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If »international law is different in different places« (David Kennedy), what is this normative order's position and role in Russia? This question touches upon the fundamental issue of the universality of contemporary international law. The article sets out to portray the historical, religious and civilizational roots and contexts and the geographical parameters of »Russian approaches to international law« (Lauri Mälksoo). The rather late integration of this vast country into »le droit public de l'Europe« in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, took place at a time when the »alteuropäische Völkerrecht« (Heinhard Steiger) was about to disintegrate. Later on, in the second half of the nineteenth century, Russia played a leading role in the codification of the international laws of war. Ever since, however, Russia's preoccupation remained with imperial sovereignty and territorial aspirations rather than with the status of the individual and the protection of human rights. More recently, the Russian Constitutional Court disobeyed the European Court of Human Rights by adopting Triepel's old fashioned strictly dualist concept if not Hegel's vision of international law as external constitutional law. Due to its geographical position and geopolitical aspirations, Russia has a centuries-long record of defending the freedom of the high seas. Obviously, this is the »natural« behavior of seafaring nations. Extended Russian claims to »its« continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, however, and, in 2014, the illegal annexation of the Crimea point into the opposite direction: at stake is the monopolization of enormous parts of the Arctic and the Mediterranean Seas. The contribution attempts to illustrate the highly ambivalent relationship Russia still has with international legal rules. Recent developments, including Russia's legally untenable justifications for the »reunification« of the Crimea and Russia, do not prove a total indifference of Russian officials vis-à-vis international law. Instead, all of these aspects ask for more research on the history of ideas and law in Russia.

Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum No current data available.