Article 1318

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Shul'zhenko Yuriy Leonidovich, Doctor of juridical sciences, professor, senior staff scientist, head of the sector of constitutional law and constitutional justice, Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences (10 Znamenka street, Moscow, Russia); honored lawyer of the Russian Federation, E-mail: 

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The article is devoted to the analysis of the basic concepts in the national statelegal science and practice – “constitutionalism” and “parliamentarism”. At the same time, the historical method is widely used. The approaches, solutions in this field at various stages of socio-economic and political development of our country, are shown. In this regard, it shall be noted that the term “constitutionalism” in the years of absolute, unlimited monarchy in Russia was not actually used, was not investigated. It became widely used only in the years of the constitutional monarchy. However, the very concept of “constitutionalism” has not yet been developed. In the years of socialism, this issue is effectively removed from the agenda. Return to it is observed only in the late 70’s – early 80’s of the last century and focuses on the development of the concept of “Soviet constitutionalism”. Nowadays, the creation of real, practical constitutionalism is considered as one of the most important tasks to be accomplished by Russia. In addition, it is quite natural that this problem is at the center of attention of modern Russian science. The article highlights the main features of constitutionalism. First, it is based on the fact that its starting, its fundamental attribute is the existence of the constitution as of a special document of the society, of the state which occupies the supreme position with respect to all elements of the political system, their assets, which has the highest legal force in the legal hierarchy.
Secondly, it is practical constitutionalism. This means, first of all, how it is really and effectively implemented in everyday life, how does everything function, everything that is fixed and is related to it in the basic law. Thirdly, it is theoretical constitutionalism. This is, first of all, the sum of knowledge regarding this issue found in the society. The real development of the concept of “parliamentarism” began comparatively late in our country, in comparison with Western countries, i.e. in the first decade of the twentieth century. In the pre-revolutionary period in Russia there were different approaches to its understanding. The dominant did consist in its interpretation through the dependence of the executive, the government, the ministry, and ministers on the parliament’s trust thereof. The general line of virtually the whole period of socialism is the rejection, denial of parliamentarism, and its sharpest criticism in the capitalist countries. The peculiarity of its definitions, given by domestic scientists, was that they concerned bourgeois, capitalist parliamentarism. Since 1992, in Russia, after years of denying parliamentarism, a kind of revival is taking place. Today, the most significant contribution is made to the development of the national theory of parliamentarism. It is especially important to emphasize here that its main feature in now in the center of modern domestic scientists’ attention, the feature that is reflected in one form or the other in almost all of its definitions, and in most cases referred to as the supremacy of the parliament. 

Key words

constitutionalism, constitution, parliamentarism, people’s representation, separation of powers, executive power, government, political party, legal protection of the constitution 

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