The Institute of State and Law (ISL) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) is the largest scientific legal center in the Russian Federation. The ISL is part of the Philosophical, Sociological, Psychological, and Law Department of RAS. The ISL has 350 employees, including one Academician, Corresponding Members of RAS, nearly one hundred Doctors and more than one hundred Candidates of Legal Science.
From its inception in 1925, the ISL has made major contributions to the science of governance and law. The ISL also has contributed to knowledge in the areas of law, order, human rights and individual freedoms. Now the center of Russian scientific legal training and consultative support for State institutions, the ISL also coordinates legal research work, trains legal science staff, and collaborates with international legal groups. The Institute received accolades during Soviet times as well as more recently. By Edict of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 16.04.75, the ISL was awarded the Labor Red Banner Order for its services in the development of legal sciences and the training of a highly qualified scientific staff of lawyers. A later edict of the President of Russian Federation of 3.12.94 (No. 2174) entrusted the ISL with the Analytical Center of Legal Policy of the President of the Russian Federation.
The Institute now carries out fundamental and applied studies in the theories of governance and law; studies mechanisms and tendencies in law creation, law implementation and law enforcement; develops practical recommendations; takes part in drafting legislation; and assists in enhancing the legal profession.
The current priorities of ISL RAS research are:
- tackling fundamental problems in the development of the Russian State and formation of a civil society;
- the relationship of Russian and foreign history, governance and law;
- the provision and protection of human rights and freedoms as a necessary condition for social stability and development;
- the development and systematization of Russian legislation;
- legal bases for constitutional order, principles of federalism and regionalism and comparative analysis of different models of constitutional principles;
- legal principles of state management and administrative law;
- regulation of information science;
- maintaining a sustainable and environmentally safe society;
- determinations of the legal bases for economic reform, as well as the development of banking and business activities;
- the theory and practice of criminal justice and procedure;
- studies in the fields of civil law, court procedure, real estate and tax law;
- The analysis of international and legal aspects of foreign policy and external economic activities of the RF.
The Institute's reputation has been acknowledged by such world-renowned scientific centers as the Max Plank Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg, Germany) and Emory University (Atlanta, USA). In addition, the ISL's own honorable Doctors are world-class lawyers. Esteemed figures in international political circles have received honorary doctoral degrees from ISL, including the United Nations' ex-General Secretary Butros B. Gali and the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Germany Mr. Herzog.
The Institute's scientific journal "State and Law", published since 1927, is the largest Russian periodical in the legal field.
The ISL has a unique and sizeable law library, with over 500,000 bound volumes in a variety of European languages, including rare publications from the 16th century.
The Institute annually trains approximately 200 post-graduate students.
To ensure a close connection between legal science and practice, the Academic Law University was established in 1993 to produce highly qualified jurists, advocates, notaries and procurators - legal experts in the most important areas of contemporary law. The University regularly hosts lectures by leading legal professors. We also have long-standing relationships with major universities in the USA, Germany and the UK for our students to study and work abroad.
The Institute's publications are broad in scope and esteemed in the international civil law community. The ISL currently has dozens of books in print and hundreds of pamphlets and occasional papers, many on the theme of legal reform. A complete bibliographic catalog is available upon request.