This paper examines regional constitutional justice in Russia as a microcosm of the struggle for the judicial branch of state power to assert its importance, in particular in relation to separation of powers. We consider the situation of republican constitutional courts and regional charter courts which have been established in some places to oversee compliance with the republican constitution or regional charter. We note that the limited number of these courts contrasts strongly with the widespread institution of the regional ombudsman (plenipotentiary for human rights). We also see that in recent years courts in some regions have encountered a pushback from the other branches of state power. The strength of the resulting defence of the courts’ legal status gives us some cause for optimism that the principles of separation of powers and rule of law are being strongly supported in some regions.