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CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL STATUS OF THE LANGUAGE IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION: THE HISTORY AND THE PRESENT



L.P. Krasovskaya
krasovskaj@mail.ru
Head of the Civil Law Disciplines Department, Saint-Petersburg Law Institute (branch) of “The Academy of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, PhD in Law
St. Petersburg

Keywords:

  • state language
  • titular language
  • official language
  • Constitution of the Russian Federation
  • constitutional and legal status of the language
  • language variety
  • The article provides a comparative jurisprudence based constitutional and legal analysis of the state and status of the languages being in use in the former union and autonomous republics of the Russian Federation from 1922 to present.
    The article has formulated concepts of state, official and titular languages. The analysis of the Constitution of the Russian Federation along with federal laws andlegislation of the Russian republics with regard to the status of federal languages demonstrated existence of certain problems dealing with the use of language in certain spheres. In particular, it is not quite clear what the wording "the use of the language along with the state language of the Russian Federation" means. How can we use two languages during one legal procedure? The author concludes that one of the languages – the language of a titular ethnic group should be recognized to be an official language. Besides the state language skills in a particular republic still remain a problem. If the level of language proficiency with regard to the language of a titular ethnic group turns out to be pretty high like in Tatarstan, Yakutia, it is appropriate that the state language issue should be considered in a referendum since the matter is of the essence for a Russian citizen living in a particular republic. Such a possibility has been provided for in the Constitution of Republic of Karelia (art.11). Otherwise the principle of equality of citizens of the Russian Federation depending on the language requirement might be violated including their equitable involvement in public affairs in particular in exercising their electoral right.

    188300 Russia, Leningrad region, Gatchina, st. Roshchinskaya, 5