Acknowledgements

I would like to thanks Prof. Dr. Marat M. Utyashev, Director of Human Rights Centre for Human Rights and Civil Initiatives for his support and encouragement throughout all my initiatives and for encouraging a clearer sense of direction and purpose in my work.

Much of my scientific work was completed while I was on a visiting fellowship at the Human Rights Centre at Potsdam University, headed by Prof. Dr. Eckart Klein. My thanks are also due to Prof. Dr. Carola Schulze for her comments, suggestions and questions raised at those discussions have helped me to clarify my thoughts and to rethink many earlier idea.

The Alexander von Humboldt provided funding for an ongoing exchange program in Human Rights Law with MensсhenRechtsZentrum at Potsdam University. The opportunity to research that this program provide has given me invaluable insights into law and society in European Union and especially in Germany.

I was fortunate to meet many friends and colleagues through German Chancellor Fellowship, sponsored by AvH, and I am particularly grateful to Dr. Claudia Mahler, Dr. Norman Weiss, Dr. Anne Dieter and many others.

I also thank my colleagues at the Research Center CEREN of University of Helsinki, Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington D.C., Eastern European Institute at the Free University Berlin, Research Center at the Far Eastern University in Vladivostok and at the University of Kaliningrad.

My thanks are also to Human Rights Chair at the Law Institute of the Bashkir State University for assistance of my scientific career. For friendship and unfailing good humor I would like to thank my colleagues from Bashkir State University.

Many friends and colleagues from the Moscow Helsinski Group (Moscow, Russia), Memorial (St. Petersburg, Russia), Helsinski Foundation for Human Rights (Warsaw, Poland), Youth Human Rights Movement (Voronej, Russia), River City Youth Foundation (Austin, TX, USA) and many others NGO’s organizations, helped me at critical stages of this work, including Dr. Alexander Osipov, Yana Vasnetsova, Agneshka Klosowska, Margarita Arutynyan, Alena Ob'ezdchikova, Assel Janayeva, Arkady Gutnikov, Dmitry Shabelnikov, Mona Gonzalez and Edna Iruegas.