Skip to main content

Russian law and legal institutions

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

The course is intended not only to provide a basic grounding in Russian law and institutions, but also to extend your intellectual horizons and abilities.

We hope that it challenges you and that the skills developed or enhanced will find application in your other studies and professional career. We will be concerned with the development of the law, legal system, and legal institutions of what is popularly known as ‘Russia’, but equally is correctly and officially known as the ‘Russian Federation’. We will consider such developments from the tenth century to the present time.

By ‘law’ we will mean that term in its broadest possible extent, including formal legislation, customary rules, relevant rules of international law and individual treaties and legal doctrine along with anything else treated by the Russian state or by Russian jurists as comprising part of ‘law’. For our purposes ‘legal institutions’ will encompass all law enforcement agencies or any other agencies of the state (or empowered or authorised by the state) that are concerned with the law in any manner whatsoever. The author of this course is trained in both the Russian and Anglo-American legal tradition and this course on Russian law and legal institutions can also be considered a course on comparative law.

Module A: Russian legal system in context


  • Introduction
  • Russian legal system in context of comparative legal studies
  • Legal terminology, legal translation, and Russian Law
  • Russian legal heritage

Module B: Foundations of Russian law


  • Jurisprudential foundations of Russian law
  • Towards a rule of law state
  • Sources of Russian law
  • Legal profession (advocates, jurisconsults)

Module C: Administration of Russian legality


  • The Administration of Russian legality
  • Ministries of justice
  • Judicial system
  • Arbitration
  • Procuracy
  • Notariat
  • Administrative tribunals
  • Registry for acts of civil stats
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Role of non-state entities in the administration of legality

Module D: State structure of Russia


  • Concepts of Russian federalism
  • Presidency
  • Parliament
  • Government
  • The role of judges
  • Subjects of the Russian federation
  • Municipal government


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you attempt Module A first.

How to apply

You can either apply for these modules individually or as part of the Postgraduate Laws programme.

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Comparative and Foreign Law
  • European Law
  • Legal Theory and History
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.