The Dash Cam Phenomenon: Technology and the Rule of Law in Russia 

June, 2023 - Zaven A. Sargsian


The post-Soviet states, including the Russian Federation, are mired in corruption across all levels
of government-the judiciary, parliament, executive and executive agencies.' Naturally, a
"culture of corruption" within government distorts several necessary components that make up
the rule of law. Corrupt parliament members will not be responsive to the citizenry. A corrupt
executive, or executive agency like the police, will not faithfully execute the law, local or
international. And corrupt judges will eschew their dispute resolution function and unjustly
decide cases. This results in a vicious cycle where corruption, if not contained, breeds more
corruption, leading to a "culture of corruption," making it harder-and-harder to dislodge the
vested interests.

Legal pluralism may be a way to supplant, and circumvent, certain local components of the
rule of law. Roughly, legal pluralism "refers to a context in which multiple legal forms
coexist.",2 The first legal form is of course the state legal system. But other legal forms may
include custom, tradition, and religion.4 In contrast to the state legal system, these institutions
tend to be "of the community, closer in derivation and proximity, and hence more accessible to
members of the community."5 Another important legal form is international law. Take
arbitration, for example: arbitration allows parties to avoid corrupt local courts. International
conventions guarantee the enforcement of arbitral awards.6 And international conventions and
organizations, like the European Convention on Human Rights or the World Trade Organization,
can fashion laws.7 This all raises an important question: can alternative legal forms provide the
rule of law functions "that failing state legal systems are unable to provide.

To view the full article, click here.


Link to article


WSG Member: Please login to add your comment.