Reporters may contact: Meredith Dickenson
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7654

January 9, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Three justices from Russia's Constitutional Court, the nation's highest court, and two members of Russia's regional courts will meet with members of the Texas Supreme Court in an historic visit arranged by Southern Methodist University School of Law.

The Russian and Texas justices will discuss "Relations Between National Courts and State Courts" in a public forum moderated by SMU Law School Dean John Attanasio, who holds the William Hawley Atwell Chair in Constitutional Law, Friday, Jan. 12 from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. in the SMU Underwood Law Library's Walsh Classroom. Media interested in attending the event should call the SMU Office of News and Information at 214-768-7650.

The Russian justices will meet with Texas Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips and Justices Craig Enoch, James A. Baker and Deborah Hankinson. With the exception of Phillips, the Texas justices attending are all alumni of the SMU School of Law.

Established in 1991 by the former Soviet Congress, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation resolves cases based on Russia's Constitution. The court, which is the first judicial body of constitutional review in Russia's history, has played an important role in developing the country's constitutional law and protecting the fundamental rights of its citizens.

The Russian justices were invited to SMU by Attanasio, who has arranged other visits by the Russian Constitutional Court to America and Europe. In 1992 Attanasio arranged the first U.S. visit of five justices of the Russian Constitutional Court that included a historic meeting with justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Visiting from Russia are Justices Yuriy Rudkin, justice of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Oleg I. Tiunov, justice of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Gennadiy Zhilin, justice of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Teymuraz Chedzhemov, chairman of the Constitutional Supervision Committee of the Republic of Northern Ossetiya-Alaniya; and Salman Gadzhimagomedov, chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Dagestan.