Kutafin Law Review

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Vol 8, No 2 (2021)
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153-154 86

According to Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No 642 dated 01.12.2016 “On the Strategy of Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation”, great challenges create significant risks for the society, economy, and public administration system. At the same time, they play an important role for the emergence of new opportunities for scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation.


155-198 1006

In 2019, the World came face to face with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the immediate global priority has become to tackle the global public health emergency, the long-term response must also address the underlying causes of such a pandemic. Degradation and loss of forests is one of such contributing factors disrupting nature’s balance and increasing the risk and exposure of people to zoonotic diseases. Worldwide deforestation and forest degradation are continuing at alarming rates. The underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation include the lack of good governance at both international and national levels, the undervaluation of forest products and ecosystem services and the inadequate crosssectoral policies (e.g. policies that encourage the conversion of forestland to other uses). In order to overcome these major obstacles in combating deforestation and forest degradation it is important to provide for forestrelated policy consistency and for effective policy coordination. Up until now, although in general the need for consistency and coordination has been recognized, the extent to which various environmental regimes interact concerning forest regulation and/or may be in conflict with one another remains underexploited. In order in a later step of the research to investigate the interactions and identify conflicts, gaps and synergies with regards to forest regulation, this current article sets the background and investigates the forest regulation under the international environmental law. The challenge for such investigation lies in the fragmentation of the international forest regulation: instead of a basis in a single convention or a protocol, provisions related to forests are scattered through the pieces of hard, soft and private international law. The objective of the current article is to grasp the overall scope of the international forestrelated instruments and their evolution under various environmental regimes. The main methodology employed throughout the research is desktop research and legal analysis. In a chronological order the article investigates the evolution of the international forest regulation and reveals its current highly fragmented state.

Following the introduction is the essential scientific background for the purpose of the legal research: a brief explanation of what constitutes “forests”, an overview of forests resources worldwide and of the current alarming rates of forests decline. In the following, the article looks at the evolution of the topic of forests in the international agenda from their first appearance up until today. For the purpose of the research three developmental stages in the evolution of the forest regulation at the international level are distinguished: the Foundational Period (i.e. before 1990) — when the scientific consensus about global deforestation and forest degradation developed and transformed from a scientific into a policy issue; the Fragmentation Period (from 1990 until 2011) — when forests entered the UN environmental agenda and gained attention as a stand-alone topic and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was established; and the Pre-Constitutional Period (from 2011 — onwards) — when negotiations on the Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on forests in Europe are taking place. Finally, the conclusions bring the findings of the article together and provide the ground for subsequent legal research.

199-225 225

Systemic economic, environmental and social problems of rural areas in modern world make the issue of public policy for their sustainable development particularly topical. The socioeconomic development of the Russian Federation, increased volumes of agricultural output, growing efficiency of the agricultural sector, full employment of the rural population and improving its living conditions, as well as achieving efficient land use require proper legal support. The main strategic planning documents regulating aspects of sustainable development of rural areas are represented by three groups of political and legal acts regarding their: 1) agricultural development, 2) sustainable development, 3) spatial development. Most research articles cover one of these aspects of facilitating the development of rural areas. The sources demonstrate the lack of comprehensive legal studies covering the issues of sustainable development of rural areas. The present article provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal regulation of facilitating sustainable development of rural areas in each of the aspects mentioned. The methods of comparative analysis and legal hermeneutics applied made it possible to reveal contradictions and gaps in the strategic planning documents. This precludes the possibility of specifying a single conceptual model of legal regulation of sustainable development of rural areas. The authors have considered the internal and external sides of the model of legal regulation, outlined the legal approaches to its formation in modern geopolitical, economic and social conditions. The article identifies the problems of legal support for sustainable development of rural areas and considers ways to solve them.


226-246 318

This article is devoted to ecological migrants, a category of persons that arose as a result of their displacement due to ecological reasons. At the present time ecological migrants do not have a legal status that would be enshrined in international law. This paper gives a definition of the content of the international legal status of ecological migrants, which reflects main characteristic of this category of persons. The article discusses prospects of establishing a protection of ecological migrants under a separate international treaty that would enshrine the international legal status of ecological migrants, lists advantages of an international treaty, proposes a concept of the treaty indicating prospective rights and obligations of ecological migrants and international legal obligations of Member States.

247-269 131

The international agreements and treaties in the field of environmental protection, concluded in the 19th — first half of the 20thcentury, resulted most commonly from the compromises ofnecessity; they merely intended to deal with urgent matters on a limited scale in the spheres where specific problems emerged or at least were a focus of attention (e.g. some species under the threat of extinction, pollution of a specific area of the marine environment). These cases were reasons for adoption of conventions, aimed at protecting endangered species or preventing marine pollution. Such a fragmented approach to the issues of environmental protection shaped a set of conventions, impressive by its amount, but extremely diverse in its content.

The understanding of the ecosystems’ integrity resulted in the development of the principles, enshrined in the 1972 Stockholm Declaration and in the 1992 Rio Declaration, was to a significant degree driven by the spectacular advances in science and technology. As a result, the transition has been under way from the “spontaneous” formation of the international environmental standards to their consolidation around the special principles of international environmental law.

Also a notable feature of many international environmental agreements — their “framework” character — is further analyzed. The adoption of the framework agreements gives rise to the complex sets of the convention documents, consisting of several different, but in a certain way interrelated agreements.

Treating a question of the effectiveness of such a legal instrument as a framework agreement, the author concludes that the origins of the lack of effectiveness of the environmental agreements lie in the foundations of the existing economic system.

270-288 210

The geopolitical interpretation of political processes taking place in the South Caucasus region ignores the possibility of an independent external policy of the smaller states that do not possess considerable military or economic power. Nevertheless, small states build their relations with Russia, the EU and other actors in accordance with the national political discourse that does not often correspond to the realist paradigm of international relations. The case of Armenia exemplifies membership in integration projects often described in academic literature as competing ones. As a consequence, the importance of closer research of internal political processes and factors that influence the decision to join one or another regional project increases. Cooperation with the EU, which has been strongly connected to partners’ commitment to democratic norms, human rights reforms and rule of law, was considered as an important part of their external policy by all the three South Caucasus countries. For the moment, the Eurasian Economic Union does not designate the normative component of cooperation with member countries. In this sense, the Eurasian project has still to define itself.

289-313 396

Integration processes in the Eurasian space are ambiguously assess both by officials and an expert community of the member countries. Thus, there is still a discussion in Kazakhstan and various narratives are being formed concerning the expediency of the country’s presence in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the advantages and challenges associated with this participation. The article deals with the main narratives that are presenting in Kazakhstan and describing the integration processes within the EAEU — official and expert (both critical about the EAEU and supporting Eurasian integration). The analysis conducted in the article is based on the understanding of the narrative as a “statement-result”, defined by its structure (coherence between key concepts). The article shows that all narratives about the EAEU, present in the Kazakhstani discourse, have a similar structure, formed by the concepts of “independence”, “integration”, “politics” and “economics”. The differences between the narratives are determined by the emphasis on either the “independencepolitics” or “integration-economics” constellations (linkages), and the proposed format of regionalization of Kazakhstan within Central Asia or Eurasia.

314-330 294

The article deals with the problems arising in connection with the taxation of the digital economy, using the example of the proposals of the OECD and the EU on the introduction of a tax on digital services, as well as unilateral measures of national states in the area of taxation of the digital economy (on the example of the French digital tax). The main question for the study is whether unilateral measures imposing taxes on digital services represent a suitable solution to the tax problems that arise in connection with digitalization. Based on the legal analysis of both the EU Law provisions and domestic legal reality the author substantiates conclusions as applied to the Russian Federation.


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ISSN 2713-0525 (Print)
ISSN 2713-0533 (Online)