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Bill on priority of Russia Constitutional Court rulings submitted to Duma

November 18, 2015, 10:51 UTC+3
In mid-July, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the ECHR decisions can be executed in Russia only if they do not contradict the country’s Constitution
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© TASS/Vadim Zhernov

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The bill on priority of the Russian Constitutional Court decisions over verdicts of international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), if they contradict the Russian Constitution, has been submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament on Wednesday. The bill’s authors are representatives of all Duma factions led by chairman of the house constitutional legislation and state building committee Vladimir Pligin, the Duma staff told TASS.

The explanatory note to the bill says that it will amend the federal constitutional law on the Russian Constitutional Court. The amendments suggest that "at the request of a federal executive power body with the competence for the protection of Russian interests during the consideration at an interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms of complaints filed against the Russian Federation on the basis on an international agreement, the Russian Constitutional Court solves the question on the possibility of the execution of the decision of the interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms."

According to the bill, if the Russian Constitutional Court makes a decision on the impossibility of execution of the decision of an interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms, any actions aimed at the fulfillment of the relevant decision of an interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms cannot be taken in Russia.

In mid-July, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the ECHR decisions can be executed in Russia only if they do not contradict the country’s Constitution.

The Constitutional Court said in the decision that in most cases there is no conflict between the Russian Constitution and the Human Rights Convention, However, if a conflict emerges and the ECHR interpretation contradicts the Russian Constitution, Russia will have to refuse from strict compliance with the ECHR decision.

The court also said then that the legislator has the right to establish a special legal framework for ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution in such cases.

The Russian Constitutional Court issued this decision in response to an inquiry submitted by a group of State Duma members who asked in what part the ECHR decisions could be implemented in the Russian Federation if they relate to the constitutional norms and decisions by the Russian Constitutional Court. "The lawmakers who signed the inquiry believe that a number of ECHR decisions are aimed at dissolving the boundaries of Russia’s state sovereignty that is based on the supremacy of the Russian Constitution and priority of the Russian Constitutional Court jurisdiction as the only power body authorized to carry out constitutional supervision," first deputy head of the Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, A Just Russia Party member Alexander Tarnavsky told TASS then.

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