The Changing Concept of ‘Family’ and Challenges for Domestic Family Law
Edited by Jens M. Scherpe
Chapter 10: The changing concept of ‘family’ and challenges for family law in Russia
The main source of Russian family law is the Family Code of the Russian Federation. It was adopted in 1995 in the course of the comprehensive reform of Russian law that followed the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Although the Family Code introduced significant changes into a wide spectrum of family law issues, it was not as radical a departure from the previous law as one might have expected given the period of its promulgation. One of the principal explanations for this was that Soviet family law was relatively liberal when compared with family law in Western countries in the same period. According to Goldman the first Soviet Family Code (adopted a year after the 1917 Revolution) ‘constituted nothing less than the most progressive family legislation the world had ever seen’. Shortly after, in 1926, even extramarital relations were legalised. Many of the legal provisions enacted during the first post-revolutionary years served as a basis for further family legislation and, as will be shown in this chapter, survived through the whole Soviet period and were included in the post-Soviet Family Code 1995.
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