Her scholarship is consistently thorough and lucid, and absolutely reliable. Henderson is therefore the perfect contributor on the Russian Constitution for the series 'Constitutional Systems of the World'. Her new book is no dry recitation of constitutional provisions. Henderson promises and delivers a contextual and critical analysis. Her writing is a model of clarity at all times, even when discussing abstruse theoretical issues in Soviet Marxism. And she has read an enormous amount, primarily in the English language literature. Jane Henderson's book is to be recommended without hesitation for students of the Russian Constitution, undergraduate, postgraduate and established scholars. [A] magnificent achievement [and a] highly readable and comprehensive account of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Bill Bowring European Public Law Volume 19(2) Russia's embrace of constitutionalism has been slow and incomplete, and this book helps us understand why. As the title promises, Henderson situates the current Russian constitution in its historical and institutional context. She takes the reader back to 988 and the origins of the Russian state under Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich, and then works her way to the present day. Key events in Russia's legal history are highlighted. For those desiring more detail, the footnotes and the lists of further readings at the end of each chapter provide a way to dig deeper. The story is familiar-the tsars' divine right to rule left no room for a constitution and the adoption of a series of constitutions during the Soviet period did little to restrain the power of the state and/or the Communist party- but in Henderson's capable hands, the story comes alive. The book is ideally suited for university students interested in understanding not only the twists and turns in Russia's political fortunes that led to the current constitution, but also the impact this constitution has had since its adoption. The deeply contextual analysis is sophisticated, yet remains accessible to those not versed in the literature on constitutional theory. Henderson never treats the Russian constitution as mere words on the page; she never loses sight of the political and economic context in which the constitution must operate. The book is essential reading for those interested in the Russian legal system. Kathryn Hendley The Russian Review January 2012
About the Author
Jane Henderson is Senior Lecturer in Law at King's College London and an Adjunct Professor at the Notre Dame Law School in London.