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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Abstract

This article explores the influences of the West on the text of the 1993 Russian Constitution. Although previous scholarship has identified Western influences on the Russian Constitution, these works do not trace how or why the particular transplant occurred. This article has a descriptive and analytical, but not normative goal of filling that gap by explaining the transplants that occurred, and why and how they were made. Among its conclusions, the article finds that the choices made by the framers of the 1993 Russian Constitution can often be explained by the contemporaneous political situation within Russia. Part of the uniqueness of the article is that the author traveled to Russia and conducted interviews with individuals in Russia who were involved in drafting the 1993 Russian Constitution. These interviews enabled a thorough exploration of the interactions the Russians had with the West, and the extent to which they believe they were influenced by the West. To the extent that society believes writing down written constitutions makes a difference, it continues to be important to understand influences on written constitutions, even if ultimately those constitutions are ignored.

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