Russian Federation: Mapping the legal landscape of freedom of association

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Kavanagh, Elena
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School of Law, University College Cork
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Russia has experienced various phases of development of its civil society over the course of its history. Two main trends can be identified in the evolution of legislation governing civic associations in Russia. Firstly, there have been periods of state policy that have alternated between tightening and liberalising citizen associations. Secondly, the regulatory framework has become increasingly complex and specific over time. This paper aims to map the legal landscape of freedom of association in Russia while demonstrating Soviet influence on the current legal framework. The history of freedom of association in Russia is quite extensive. Throughout history, various types of unions, associations, and charities have existed in Russia. During critical periods of Russian history, the freedom of association had a stronger focus. This occurred in the context of transforming national values and exacerbating social relations, particularly when the geopolitical situation was unstable and threatened federal stability. Following the chronology developed by Gavrilova, the development of freedom of association in Russia can be divided into four historical periods: from the tenth until the first half of the 19th century, from the second half of the 19th until the beginning of the 20th century; from 1917 until 1991; and from 1992 until 2012. Currently, Russia is experiencing a fifth historical period of the development of freedom of association, which started with legislative amendments and continued with strict control measures regarding freedom of association. These changes reflect the evolving political and legal landscape and have resulted in certain limitations for associations and their members.
Freedom of association , Russia
Kavanagh, E. (2024) 'Russian Federation: Mapping the legal landscape of freedom of association', Societās Working Paper 19/2024 (11pp). Cork: School of Law, University College Cork.
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© 2024, the Author. Views expressed do not represent the views of the Societās project or the School of Law at UCC.