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This paper draws on new comparative data from these three cycles of Crimean constitutional process (1992-1994, 1995-1998 and 2014-2018) to provide evidence for a novel approach to changes in political and legal systems - an approach that explains both the impact of constitutional crises as well as the robustness of the systems themselves to a more serious destabilization. Our analyses suggest that the political and legal systems have an inbuilt mechanism that saves them from overheating in times of crisis. The mechanism operates simultaneously on the level of law enforcement and at the level of lawmaking. It is based on the assumption that the political elites are risk-averse. While they react to constitutional crises by looking for new solutions, they mostly do so in “restrained” forms of legal regulation where the consequences of change are easily comprehensible. In political and legal systems that are already relatively complex internal structure, however, the political elite shy away from experimentation and rather rely on tested strategies. Constitutional crises therefore tend to stabilize unstable systems and to destabilize stable ones. They rarely push complex systems over a critical threshold of no return. Based on a positive and contrasting comparison of the three different phases of Crimean constitutional process the period 1992-1994 considered as a transformative constitutional regime in statu nascendi (in the formation stage) with signs of restrained independence in rulemaking. Content analysis of the Crimean constitutions in times of Ukraine (1992, 1995, 1998), fundamental amendments to them and changes in the current legislation, revealed the so-called "negative integration" of the autonomous region into Ukraine (1995-1998). As a result, the legal space of post-2014 was characterized by the presence of both new, not yet tested, and the former, several modified institutions, on the basis of which the current Constitution of the Republic of Crimea 2014 was created. The article presents quantitative data and qualitative "illustrations" of various indicators of the legislation of the Republic of Crimea as a normative component of the legal system using a functional research method.

About the authors

Ilya V Bondarchuk

O.E. Kutafin University

Author for correspondence.
9, Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya st., Moscow, Russia, 123242

Candidate of Legal Science, Head of the Secretariat of the State Council Committee of the Republic of Crimea, Senior Lecturer at the Department of State and Law Disciplines of the Crimean Branch of the Russian State University of Justice


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