Russian Legal Order and the Legal Order of the Eurasian Economic Union: An Uneasy Relationship
Russian Law Journal. 2017. Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 33-52.
Eurasian integration has created a new legal order – the so-called “Union law” of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). This legal order has its own narrative, principles, hierarchy of rules, and innovations such as the direct applicability of decisions of its regulatory body. Russian legal order is generally accommodating towards international law, which is equally applicable to Union law. However, the recent practice of the Russian Constitutional Court has claimed that Russia can set aside international obligations based on national constitution, which indirectly targets the viability of the EAEU legal order. This is further complicated by the Eurasian judiciary, which, as the main interpretative authority within the integration, has tried to take on an activist role, somewhat borrowing approaches from the European Union. In its turn, the Russian Constitutional Court has voiced its differences in certain approaches. This variability of practices and approaches clearly undermines the “unity” of the EAEU legal order and the interweaving of national and regional legal frameworks. This article analyses the relationship of the two legal orders to assess the possibilities for tensions between them. It points out the sources of such tensions, which lie in certain indeterminacies within the EAEU legal order, temptations to assert power, and recent far-reaching practices of the Russian Constitutional Court.