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Constitutional Court sees no violations in rallies law adoption procedure

February 14, 2013, 13:52 UTC+3

The court ruling focuses attention on the so-called “hyde parks” (special venues for public events)

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ST. PETERSBURG, February 14 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Constitutional Court has found no reasons for declaring the procedure of amendments to the law on rallies as running counter to the Constitution.

In its resolution the CC said that some deviations from the State Duma’s rules of procedure did take place, but in its opinion they did not “distort the purpose and result of the law-making process.”

The minimal fine for violation of the rules of massive actions that was set in the effective legislation does not correspond to the Russian Constitution, the Russian Constitutional Court said in its ruling that is being pronounced on Thursday.

The Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the minimal fine set in the law (10,000 roubles for citizens and 50,000 roubles for officials) does not permit to take into account all the details of the case and provide for the proper individual responsibility. The Constitutional Court ruled that the lawmakers should introduce appropriate amendments in the Russian Code of Administrative Offences, and before this the courts are entitled to set fines lower than the minimal level set in the contested law provisions.

Meanwhile, the Russian Constitutional Court did not find contradicting to the Russian fundamental law the law provisions on maximum fines for violations at massive events (300,000 roubles for physical persons and 600,000 roubles for juridical persons and state officials). However, this penalty, according to the ruling of the Constitutional Court, can be imposed only with due account of all the details of the case, if a lower fine does not permit to prevent new offences in the proper way.

Several more provisions of the contested laws were found as non-corresponding to the Russian Constitution. The Constitutional Court ruled that the verdict envisaging compulsory works as an administrative punishment just only for one formal violation of the legislation on public events can be taken as an instrument to suppress the dissenterism. Proceeding from this assumption the law provision, which permits to apply this penalty as a sanction for the offences, which are not related with the damage to health, property or other similar consequences, does not correspond to the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court found as contradicting to the Constitution the provision, which introduces civil legal responsibility of an organizer of a public event for the actions of its participants regardless his guilt and proper care. The Constitutional Court ruled that this law provision puts a strain on the freedom of assembly and contradicts the principles of sound reasons and justice.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court did not find any contradictions in the provisions for administrative responsibility of an organizer for the actions, which inflicted the damage to health or property. However, for bringing an organizer to responsibility it should be found that this is he, who abetted to inflict this damage by his illegal actions or negligence.

The court ruling focuses attention on the so-called “hyde parks” (special venues for public events). In the view of the justices of the Constitutional Court, this provision of the contested law is aimed at creating additional conditions for exercising the right for the freedom of assemblies. However, the court ruling voiced concerns that this goal will not be attained, if a region has the insufficient number of such venues and their parameters result in unequal legal conditions for people to exercise their right. The law does not rule out that it contradicts the Constitution this way, the Constitutional Court said in its ruling on Thursday. The Constitutional Court ruled that before making proper changes the regional authorities should proceed from the need for a number of venues, which are assigned especially for public actions, at least in each city district and municipal district.

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