ON THE STATE OF EMERGENCY A. N. Medushevsky Constitutional regulation of the institution of a state of emergency is an important component of a juridical state. Juridical uncertainty in this respect can pose a very dangerous situation. A state of emergency institution, according to the history of democratic regimes crises, can be used in antipodal ways—to protect democracy against extremism and, conversely, to establish an antidemocratic regime. According to K. Schmidt’s gnomic expression, a constitutional guarantor can implement a state of emergency. That is why the establishment of a democratic law about the state of emergency is extremely important for states with unstable constitutional processes and facing a stage of transition from authoritarian to democratic statehood. The Constitution of the Russian Federation of 1993 provided for the possibility of the implementation of a state of emergency in the case of a situation and, according to the procedure, “established by the federal constitutional law”. However, the law was approved only in 2001. Its most important positive features are: a clear definition of a state of emergency institution, its goals, conditions and procedure for its implementation. A state of emergency is considered “a special legal regime” of the power bodies’ operation which is implemented regardless of the existing organizational and legal forms and allows for particular limitation of civil rights and freedoms to protect the constitutional state. Its implementation is only possible according to the Constitution and alongside the existence of particular conditions of natural, social characteristics, the elimination of which is not viable without extraordinary measures. The latter category includes extreme situations of political conflicts which emerged abundantly in post-Soviet Russia—from coup d’état attempts, military rebellion, terrorism and the formation of illegal military troops to disturbances and various conflicts of a national, congressional or regional character. Their distinguishing feature is defined by the application of “violent acts” creating a threat to the security of citizens and operation of the state power structures. It is very important that the law clearly establishes limits for the state of emergency institution within such parameters as procedure of implementation, terms of existence and realization, set of applied measures and limitations, as well as guarantees of the rights of citizens and responsibility of officials. Effectuation of a state of emergency is supported by the organs of internal affairs, by the criminal legislative system, by the federal security organs and by internal armed forces. Regulation of the use of the armed forces in this context is of special importance. The law permits their engagement "in exceptional situations”, though it does not explain the meaning of the latter wording. The Frontier Service forces are engaged to facilitate a state of emergency only to protect the state frontiers. The armed forces are engaged to fulfill the tasks performed by them many times in the course of regional conflicts—effectuation of a special regime for entering a territory where a state of emergency is implemented, safeguarding of strategic objects, separation of opposing parties, participation in termination of activities of illegal military formations, as well as participation in liquidation of extraordinary situations. Such tasks (except extraordinary situations related to natural and man-caused conditions) are fulfilled by the armed forces “together” with the internal affairs law and order forces, criminal law system organs, the federal security organs and internal forces that aim to provide guidelines for strict control and coordination of their activity. Operative subordination of troops varies depending on the state of emergency implemented either locally, or, in the entire territory of the state. In the first case, uniform command of all the forces and means supporting the regime is to be charged to the commandant of the territory. Within the commandant’s authorities to issue orders and directives obligatory for organizations are citizens, as well as heads of power organs, including military formations in the given territory attracted for effectuation of the state of emergency. In the case of implementation of a state of emergency in the entire territory of the Russian Federation, there is a special regime of operative subordination of all military formations to a federal executive body nominated by the President of the RF. It is important to outline several particulars of the law understandable in the current Russian situation. Firstly, the state of emergency is implemented without consultations with the subjects of the federation (this is considered by opponents as a limitation of federalism). The right to implement a state of emergency belongs to the President. The formation of special state of emergency administrative organs is done not by legislation, but by the edict of the President, and the operation of such organs is based on the provisions approved by the President. The edict of the President, on implemention of the state of emergency, is to be approved by the upper chamber—the Federation Council, which becomes extremely important in such a situation. Nevertheless, the matter of political independence of the upper chamber has become disputable because of changes in the procedure of forming the same. Of course, in the general context of power division and reformation of federalism, the law is aimed at provision of integrity of the state, stability of the political regime and centralization of administration. In an extreme situation, it gives to the federal center and to the President an important instrument to influence subjects of the federation and allows the effectuation of wide scale federal interference. Application of this instrument will depend on the general political situation and dynamics of the Russian federalism processes. As far as the law includes a considerable amount of limitation norms, its application is only possible in exceptional situations and under strict public and international control. That is why some opponents have demanded its application in the course of conflict in Chechnya. That would have allowed, in particular, the flooring of the problem of refugees and protection of their proprietary rights, and discussion of the question of legislative control over the armed forces. At the same time, it is obvious that application of a state of emergency institution and engagement of troops in the settlement of conflicts contains an imminent threat to democracy and should be considered as an exceptional measure.