Rule of law

Rule of law

George Papuashvili

President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia (2006 -2016gg) Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia (2005-2006)

The Course Description: This course focuses on the fundamental principle of constitutional democracy – rule of law, its history and the particular importance it takes in the Post-Soviet Countries. The course considers the theoretical issues related to the evolving meaning of the principle and its implications in the Post-Soviet region, where its implementation poses particular challenges due to the lingering Soviet legacy. The course aims to bring forward the inherent link between the constitutional law and ascendancy of the rule of law principle, its emergence in the legal discourse of the former Soviet Bloc countries, with particular focus on the constitutional history of the Post-Soviet Georgia and Ukraine. It also reviews the development of constitutional review in these countries, and its special role for preserving the rule of law. Challenges of fulfilling the promise of this institution in the context of pressures from other branches will also be considered.

To contextualize the theoretical discussion on the rule of law principle, the course considers its requirements and implementation in three, specific and highly problematic contexts: fighting corruption through special anti-corruption agencies, implementation of the reform of judiciary and lustration laws, as a tool to change the reactionary political elites. Consideration of relevant developments in the recent history of Ukraine and Georgia perfectly illustrate the dilemmas and trade-offs emanated by adherence to the rule of law, as well as the dangers of arbitrariness and inequties that will follow in case of its neglect.


Course Goals: Primary learning goal of this course is to discern the meaning and requirements of highly abstract rule of law principle in the specific context of Post-Soviet Georgia and Ukraine and demonstrate how this principle can guide these countries in transitional period to a better governance, fair and impartial institutions and higher standards of human rights.


Expected Results: The course will allow the listeners to understand the theoretical underpinnings of rule of law principle, its history and protected values. Most importantly, it offers synthesis of theoretical discourse with the current practical problems, faced by Ukraine and Georgia and enables the listeners to operationalize the broad and abstract rule of law principle in this specific context for designing the solutions to complex, systemic problems plaguing the Post-Soviet countries.


The Structure of the Lectures: The course consists of 4, three-hour lectures. Lectures are interactive. The listeners are encouraged to ask questions during classes and to participate in discussions.  Due to interactive nature, it will be helpful, if the listeners read the required readings before classes. Presentations and videos are essential part of classroom work.


Lecture 1. Introduction to Constitutional Law and Constitutional Review

Part 1: History of Constitutional Law; Constitutional developments in the Eastern and Central Europe; Current trends, prospects of constitutional amendments in Georgia and Ukraine.
Part 2: History and development of Constitutional Review; History and role of Constitutional Courts; Case studies of Ukraine and Georgia; New developments, pressure from other branches of the Government.

Lecture 2. Rule of Law in the Post-Soviet Region
Part 1: Major elements of Rule of Law; Soviet “Verkhovenstva Prava” traditions; New approaches in democratic countries; Ukrainian perspectives.
Part 2: Anticorruption measures in Ukraine and Georgia; Problems with their implementation.

Lecture 3. Lustration Mechanisms in the Eastern and Central Europe. Case of Ukraine – retroactive justice, revenge or/and moral and practical tools to change the political elite.

Lecture 4. Simulation

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