The limits of endurance: the social burden of business in the context of the practice of Russian constitutional justice

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Author: Olga Benedskaya

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2019-1-61-78

Keywords: balance of public and private interests; constitutional justice; market economy focused on social needs; social burden of businesses


During discussions of the interaction between the constitutional justice and policies which may often be heard nowadays, a special emphasis is made on the economic aspects. Though constitutional justice resolves only the issues of law and should not interfere into the discussion of economic advisability, even being interpreted within narrow functional limits, it may not stay at a distance from clarification of economic prerequisites and results of application of the checked norms, or from consideration of the economic consequences of the decisions taken by court. The economy plays a vital part in the politics of a modern state, and the implementation of supremacy and direct effect of constitution in the system of economic legal relations presupposes the existence of the constitutional and legal regime of using the economic freedom, which should not be constrained in an arbitrary and excessive manner and which should be closely tied with the establishment of material basis for the exercise of the state’s sovereignty functions. The constitutional justice is aimed at searching well-balanced approaches to determination of legal features of the social and economic policies, ensuring the development of regulatory and doctrinal fundamentals of the constitutional economy. One of the stress points is the expanding social role of the state and the resulting financial difficulties leading to the growth of various burdens for businesses. In absence of the developed common legal concept of such burdens in the Russian environment where, unlike the Western democracies, their institutional formalization precedes the recognition and ensuring the economic freedom and inviolability of the property, there is a high risk of excessive interference into private matters. Having analyzed the practice of constitutional justice, the author makes an attempt to disclose certain basic constitutional parameters of interrelations between public authorities and businesses as applied to resolution of social tasks as well as to demonstrate its controversial tendencies. Though the idea of the market economy focused on social needs, which is supported by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, neither refutes nor rejects the free market determining such economy, sometimes the constitutional justice practice shows a clear intention to widen the social rights’ defense range at the expense of businesses which is of no benefit both for social protection and strengthening of economic initiatives. In light of the ideas of distinction between the “general” and “specific” social responsibility of businesses being formed in the supranational “soft law” as well as the constitutional principle of balance of public and private interests, the author substantiates the provisions and measures which should be taken into account for harmonizing the relations between public authorities and businesses not exceeding the limits of the latter’s endurance.

About the author: Olga Benedskaya – Attorney, Counselor, “Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners” attorneys collegium, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Benedskaya O. (2019) Predely vynoslivosti: sotsial'noe bremya biznesa v kontekste praktiki rossiyskogo konstitutsionnogo pravosudiya [The limits of endurance: the social burden of business in the context of the practice of Russian constitutional justice]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 61–78. (In Russian).


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