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Russian Constitution stands test of practice

November 14, 2013, 12:58 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin believes that the Russian Constitution, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, stood the test of practice
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© ITAR-TASS-Vladimir Rodionov

ST. PETERSBURG, November 14, 12:45 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Constitution, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, stood the test of practice, Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin said with confidence.

“In general, the Constitution passed worthily the test of practice on a crucial historical turn in the life of the country. It prevented the country from sliding in anarchy, granted the main rules of life to it, promoted the preservation of the integrity of the Russian state and set clear democratic priorities of Russian legal development,” Zorkin said at a conference devoted to the conclusions and prospects of modern constitutionalism on Thursday.

The Constitution also became an important factor of social and legal stability, provided for Russia’s worthy integration in European and world legal space and created the base for public accord, the court’s chairman said.

Meanwhile, Zorkin believes that the fundamental principles fixed in the Constitution were only the first step towards “real public accord.” He is convinced that the text of the Russian fundamental law contains a tangible potential of legal transformations. “The full realization of the legal potential of the Constitution mainly depends from whether the balance between stabilizing and renovating functions of the Constitution will be observed correctly,” the court’s chairman added.

In this regard, Zorkin takes the development of a concept of Russian constitutionalism with due account of national peculiarities as one of the top tasks of specialists in constitutional law. A modern dogma of Russian law capable to control constitutional and legal principles and standards should be developed on the basis of Russian constitutionalism.

He noted the tendency of socio-cultural split, which several sociological surveys exposed. Zorkin believes that the community of constitutionalists should avert the transformation of current risks in full-scale crises in the social sphere and statehood.

In his view, the Constitution is a formalized social contract on the principles of state and public system. “The most pressing problem is that the foundations, on which a real social contract is based, is vanishing in the split society and “an actual constitution” emerges. Only a quite high level of public accord can lay these foundations. And this is what we lack obviously today,” Zorkin believes.

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