Professor Ilham Mamedgasanovich Ragimov is 70

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 On January 14, 2021, the world famous legal scholar, honoured lawyer of the Azerbaijan Republic, President of the Law Society of the Black Sea-Caspian Region, Doctor of Law, Professor Ilham Mamedgasanovich Ragimov turns 70. 

“Guru of criminology and criminal law”, “Friend of students and young researchers", "Supporter of socially vulnerable layers of population", “Generous philanthropist” – that is how colleagues, friends and students characterize Ilham Ragimov. This is largely inspired by his personal qualities - the generosity of the soul, the analytical mind-set, the ability to empathize with the others’ grief, modesty.

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Ilham Mamedgasanovich Ragimov was born on January 14, 1951 in the Tovuz region. In 1970 he entered the Law faculty of Leningrad State University, and successfully graduated in 1975. In the process of study in this sanctuary of sciences and enlightenment, he attracted the attention of the teaching staff not only for his diligent study and sharp mind, but also for his outstanding ability for analytical work. Considering these personality traits, Ilham Ragimov, after graduating from the University, was enrolled in postgraduate programme. Postgraduate study took place at the Department of Criminal Law, where he prepared his thesis under the guidance of famous scientist, Professor Nikolai Aleksandrovich Belyaev, and in 1978, being younger than 27, Ilham Ragimov brilliantly defended his thesis and received degree of candidate of legal sciences. 

On return to Azerbaijan, he was employed to the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Academy of Sciences, where he worked several years at various positions. In 1980, I. Ragimov was invited to the Ministry of Justice of the country, where he held various managerial positions until 1996: head of department, head of legislation department, Director of the Research Institute for Problems of Forensic Science, Forensic Science and Criminology, at the same time being a member of the collegium of the Ministry and the Chairman of the Union of Lawyers of Azerbaijan.

Practical work at leading positions in the Ministry of Justice did not interfere with fundamental researches carried out by I.Ragimov. Results of his researches were reflected in dozens of published scientific works, including monographs and textbooks. The culmination of these studies was his doctoral thesis, defended in 1987 in the Leningrad State University.

 

One comment must be made here. During Soviet times there was an unspoken rule in the scientific community: only researchers who have crossed the forty-year age limit could defend a doctoral thesis. And I. Ragimov's doctoral thesis was ready for submission when he was not even 35 years old.

 Today it is difficult to describe in words the challenges that Professor N.A. Belyaev had to overcome during a year, knock on the doors of Soviet bureaucrats in science, in order to admit the young doctoral candidate I.M. Ragimov to defend his doctoral thesis. However, indisputable authority among the scientists, high morale of the order-bearer-intelligence officer, guard sergeant N.A. Belyaev – participant of the Great Patriotic War, ultimately yielded fruit - in 1987, at his incomplete 36 years old, our hero of the day successfully defended his doctoral thesis and received the degree of Doctor of law. 

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It is rather difficult to write about the scientific work of such a famous person in theoretical criminology and criminal law as Professor Ragimov. And this despite the fact that each of us has known him for more than one year. Here the problem lies in the multitasking of his research activities. It is difficult to find among domestic legal scholars those who introduced so many innovations in criminal law as Professor Ilham Ragimov did. For example, under his direct academic supervision in 2019 in Azerbaijan, for the first time in the world, a unique technology was developed "Electronic system for determining the optimal measure of punishment" (in brief: "The electronic scales of justice").

 

The introduction of this technology, which has no analogues in the world, into the activities of the courts will make it possible to form a uniform judicial practice in the country for the assignment of punishment, in a short time to minimize unjustifiably harsh and unreasonably lenient court sentences, to streamline the uncontrolled volume and scale of judicial discretion in the administration of justice in criminal cases, to prevent miscarriages of justice and abuse when assigning punishment by the court, etc. Within the framework of this innovative technology, one of the centuries-old problems of justice in formalizing the rules for assigning punishment was solved. 

The role of Professor I. Ragimov is invaluable in the development of a fundamentally new doctrine in the theory of criminal law "The unknown facets of punishment and the secrets of its existence", the doctrine "On the morality of punishment", etc.

The phenomenon of his multilevel scientific work, due to its uniqueness, is difficult to decipher. The fact is that almost every work of Professor I. Ragimov has a meaningful character, is a treasure mine of theoretical and legal thought, and the recipes developed within their framework for solving certain complex problems of criminality are distinguished by their originality.

Over the years of his scientific work, he has published about two hundred scientific papers, a significant part of which was published in peer reviewed foreign journals. Among them, there are over ten monographs devoted to little-studied problems of crime and punishment. In most of these books, despite the fact that in each of them the author explores individual major problems, they, nevertheless, in their totality create an exponential effect, thus, only after reading the second monograph you realize the scale and depth of ideas, put forward by the author in the first book, and after reading the third - the growing fundamentality of the provisions reflected in the second monograph, etc. 

Such a narrative-compositional unity of I. Ragimov's works is explained by the fact that the author, even before writing these books, mentally forms for himself a universal matrix for their substances (in this case, crime and punishment), which allows him to ensure, in the process of working on these books, on the one hand, the organic integrity and logical consistency of the subjects of study, and on the other hand, the interaction and consistency of the structural elements of books with a single author's intention. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of his monographs have been reprinted in the UK, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Italy, Iran, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, etc

 

The contribution of Professor I. Ragimov to the development of scientific personnel is invaluable. Dozens of graduate and post-graduate students successfully defended their candidate and doctoral theses under his leadership both in Azerbaijan and in other countries. He is the author of the first concept of reforming the judicial system of Azerbaijan (1993), the state program for combating crime (1994), etc.

Thanks to I. Ragimov, for the first time in the history of Azerbaijan, a specialized bookstore "Legal literature" was opened in the centre of Baku. The uniqueness of this beautiful and cosy corner of legal education is seen not only in the thematic variety of books sold there, but first of all, in the fact that low-income teachers and students can get books free of charge. 

 

Speaking about our celebrant, one cannot pass over his wide charity work both in Azerbaijan and abroad. Being a talented scientist, I. Ragimov is at the same time a successful businessman, which allows him to regularly support low-income teachers and researchers, to be a sponsor of students – for many of them he pays for the study in foreign universities from his own resources.

 The good deeds of Professor were most clearly manifested in the first days of the spread of the coronavirus in Azerbaijan. So, he and his business partners purchased and donated ten modern specialized ambulance cars to the country's health authorities, contributed several million manats to the Fund to Support Fight Against Coronavirus, and during the 44-day Patriotic War he financially supported dozens of families of the martyred soldiers, as well as wounded military personnel, established an annuity for their young children until they reach adulthood.

These, like many other good deeds of Ilham Ragimov, today put him on a par with such a galaxy of outstanding philanthropists in the history of Azerbaijan, like Ashurbekov, Tagiyev, Mukhtarov, etc. 

Along with scientific, social and charitable activities, Ilham Mamedgasanovich is a great fan of classical music and its devoted propagandist in society. Thanks to him, both his friends and also many citizens from various social groups often have the opportunity to attend concerts of famous symphony orchestras from foreign countries in Baku for free. For example, recently Baku citizens had the opportunity to listen to such great musicians as pianist Miroslav Kultyshev and cellist Sergei Roldugin in the National Philharmonic Society, as well as virtuoso performance by the musicians of the Silk Road Philharmonic Orchestra. 

For his services to legal science, large-scale charitable and social activities, Professor I. Ragimov was awarded by the French International Association "International Committee for the Defence of Human Rights" the international order "Crescent and Star" of the first degree, he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the International Order of "Crescent and Star" (2011), he is a laureate of the International Albert Einstein Foundation (2014), the owner of the honorary prize of the International Fund for Cooperation between the Black and Caspian Sea Basin Countries (2014), received the highest award "Doctor Honoris Causa" from the Academy of Sciences of Bulgaria (2014) and the highest legal award "Themis" for his contribution to the creation of a democratic society and the development of institutions of the rule-of-law state (2015), is an honorary professor of the Academy of the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation (2016) and many other foreign higher education institutions, was awarded the Badge of Distinction of the Guild of Russian Lawyers "For the Contribution to the Development of the Bar" (2016), was awarded the prize of the Mahmoud Kashgari International Foundation for merits in the field of deepening Russian-Azerbaijani and Turkish-Azerbaijani relations (2017), etc.

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Obviously, it is impossible, within the framework of one small publication, even briefly tell about the multifaceted personality of this scientist, philanthropist and public figure. Therefore, all we have to do is to congratulate our hero of the day on his 70-th anniversary and say: "Happy birthday, Ilham Mamedgasanovich!"

We wish this milestone birthday to become for you the boundary of new achievements in science and your charitable work, an inexhaustible source of health and family well-being! 

 

National writer of Azerbaijan, Doctor of law

Abdullayev Ch.A. 

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation, Honoured Lawyer of Russian Federation, Doctor of law, Professor

Bastrikin A.I.

(Moscow, Russia) 

Correspondent Member of National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan

Melikova M.F. 

 (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Deputy of the State Duma of Russian Federation

Askenderov Z.A. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Advisor to the Chairman of State Duma of Russian Federation, Honoured Lawyer of Russian Federation

Pligin V.N. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Chief advisor on legal issues of the Administration of the President of Turkey 

Özlem Zengin 

 (Istanbul, Turkey)

Chairman of the Foundation “Slavonic People”, Professor

Zakhari Zakhariyev 

(Sofia, Bulgaria) 

Chairman of the Greek Union of Progressive Barristers

Rakhiotis Z.J.

(Athens, Greece)

President of Association of Eurasian Initiatives and Cooperation

Togrul Veli

 (Istanbul, Turkey)

Honoured scientist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of law, Professor

Alaukhanov Ye.O. 

(Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan)

Honoured scientist of Russian Federation, Doctor of law, Professor

Baburin S.N. 

(Moscow, Russia) 

Honoured scientist of Russian Federation, Doctor of law, Professor

Korobeev A.I. 

(Vladivostok, Russia) 

Honoured scientist of Russian Federation, Doctor of law, Professor

Shestakov D.A. 

(St. Petersburg, Russia)

Honoured lawyer of the Azerbaijan Republic, Doctor of law, Professor

Jafarov A.M. 

 (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Honoured lawyer of the Republic of Belarus, Doctor of law, Professor

Khomich V.M.

(Minsk, Belarus)

Doctor of law, Professor

Abbas Maleki 

(Tehran, Iran)

Doctor of law, Professor

Aliyev N.G. 

 (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Aleksandrov A.I. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Doctor of law, Professor

Alikperov Kh.D.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Baltabayev K.Zh. 

(Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Veliyev S.A.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Golik Yu.V. 

(Moscow, Russia)

PhD in Law, barrister 

Javadova I.A.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Yegorov N.D. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Doctor of law, Professor 

Kuznetsov V.V. 

(Kiev, Ukraine)

Doctor of law, Professor

Kuliyev I.O.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Kolokolov G.A. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Doctor of law, Professor

Kurbanov G.S.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Sreto Noga

(Belgrade, Serbia)

Doctor of law, Professor

Minyazeva T.F. 

(Moscow, Russia)

Doctor of law, Professor

Samedova Sh.T.

(Baku, Azerbaijan)

Doctor of law, Professor

Shesteryuk A.S.

(Moscow, Russia)