ТОП 10:

EX. 4 Skim the text and divide it into the logical parts. Entitle them.

Sources of law

Historically, Russia belongs to the continental legal system, and a written law,which was passed under the established legislative procedure, is the main legal source. About 10,000 laws, regulations, and other legal acts are passed in Russia annually.

The Constitution is the supreme Russian law and major legislative instrument. It establishes the principle of superiority of law in the system of legal sources. The law cannot contradict the Constitution. All other legal acts, such as decrees of the President, Governmental regulations, acts of Ministries and other federal executive agencies, as well as legislation passed by the constituent components of the Russian Federation cannot contradict laws. All laws are passed exclusively by the Federal Assembly (legislature). Delegation of the legislative power is prohibited.

Federal Constitutional Laws establish the group of most important legislative acts. They are passed in regards to the jurisdiction encompassed by the authority of the Russian Federation only. The federal constitutional law is adopted if it has been approved by at least three-quarters of the total number of the Federation Council members and by at least two-thirds of the total number of the State Duma members. The president of Russia cannot veto federal constitutional laws. The list of federal constitutional laws is prescribed by the Constitution. It includes laws on the state of emergency, the change of the status of a constituent component of the federation, on constitutional amendments, on government, on referendum, on the judiciary, on the Constitutional Court, and some other.

Federal laws constitute the second category of legal sources. They regulate issues included into executive authority of the Russian Federation and its components. The Constitution protects priority and direct effect of federal laws throughout the territory of Russia. In case of a conflict between federal law and another act issued in Russia, the law will prevail.


Ex. 5 Read the text in details and answer the following questions:

1. What is the main legal source in Russia?

2. How many laws and by-laws are passed in Russia annually?

3. What is the major legislative instrument?

4. Can the President of RF veto the federal constitutional laws?

5. When is the federal constitutional law adopted?

6. What is included in the list of federal constitutional laws?

7. What issues are regulated by federal laws?

8. What does the Constitution protect?

Ex. 6 Read and translate the following derivatives from the word “law”:

law, lawfulness, unlawful, law-abiding, law-maker, law-breaker.

Ex. 7. Find, read and translate the derivatives from the word “legislation”.

Ex. 8 Fill in the chart with the word families, translate them into Russian language.

to establish    
to contradict    
to approve    

Ex.9 Complete the text below using the proper form of the word to fill in each gap.


Often Russian laws are … in the form of a Code of Law. adoption
A Code is a complete … of rules in an entire subject area such as: civil law, criminal law, labour law… collective
Although Codes are usually supplemented by numerous pieces of special … . legislate
Codes retain their … as major sorces of law in a given area. prior
In addition to these codes legislative bodies…more specific laws, decrees and edicts. enactment

Ex. 10 Read the following short texts and match them with their titles.

1. Laws of the Constituent Entitles

2. International Treaties

3. Presidential Decrees

4. Edicts of the Government

5. Judicial Decisions

6. Acts of local Government




The government is empowered to enact edicts on the basis of , and in implementation of, the Federal Constitution, Federal laws, presidential decrees of a normative nature and for their implementation. In contrast to presidential decrees which the President issues on the basis of his inherent power, it is clear from this provision that government edicts derive their power from the Constitution, Federal laws, and even presidential decrees.
Constituent entities are empowered to enact laws and other normative acts, but these acts cannot contravene Federal laws. In cases of conflict, Federal law prevails. Regarding matters which are neither within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation or the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and its constituent entities. Constituent entities may enact laws and other normative acts independently and at its discretion in this area.  





Universally acknowledged principles and standards of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation are a part of Russia’s legal system. Should an international treaty of the Russian Federation establish rules other than those established by a domestic law, the rules of the international treaty will prevail.  



Following the traditional civil law approach, judicial practice is restricted to applying and interpreting the law, and the precedent cannot serve as a legal source. According to Russian legal doctrine, judges are supposed to use only written law contained in codes, statutes, or regulations in deciding a case. Even though attorneys use prior judicial decisions in their arguments, judges should not refer to prior cases in their decisions.  




The structure of local self-government varies from place to place. As a rule, there is a representative body and an executive body. Representative bodies are called duma, assembly, sovet, etc. The executive body is organized under the head of administration. Local self-governments are empowered to enact such acts via a representative body, or by direct referendum on matters of local significance. This includes the creation of taxes and levies, the maintenance of law and order in the locality and the registration of inhabitants.  



The president is empowered to issue decrees and orders. Although it is binding in the same way as decrees, the latter normally does not have a normative character; it addresses individual matters. Presidential decrees and orders may not contradict the Constitution and the Federal laws. Federal laws in this context include both Federal constitutional laws and Federal laws.  


Ex. 11 Scan the text “Sources of law” and pick out the sentences with passive voice constructions. Define the tense and translate the sentences.

Ex. 12 Find the mistakes and correct the following sentences.

1. The Russian legal system not based on judge-made law.

2. The laws adopted in the Russian Federation may not contravene the Constitution.

3. Two types of legislation enacted by the Federal Assembly.

4. The Constitutional court of Russia vested with the power of constitutional review.

Ex. 13. Choose the correct answer.

1. What is the main idea of the text “Sources of law”?

a) Written law ( the Constitution, federal constitutional laws, and federal laws) is the main legal source in Russia.

b) The Constitution is the supreme Russian law and major legislative instrument.

c) The list of federal constitutional laws is prescribed by the Constitution.

d) The Constitution protects priority and direct effect of federal laws throughout the territory of Russia.

2. Which statement corresponds to the text?

a) The federal Assembly can delegate its powers to other law-making bodies.

b) All the laws must comply with the Constitution.

c) The list of federal constitutional laws is made by the President of the Russian Federation.

d) In case of a conflict between federal law and another act issued in Russia, the by-laws will prevail

Speaking tasks

Ex. 14 Give a definition to each source of law.

Ex.15 Make a brief summary of the main sources of law in Russia.

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