The dissenting opinion of the judge in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation: Regulation and practice

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Author: Ekaterina Drigo

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2016-3-79-93

Keywords: collective dissenting opinion; concurring opinion; dissenting opinion; independence of a judge; judge of Constitutional Court of Russian Federation


The article presents a survey of legal regulation of judge’s separate opinion in the decision-making of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. The author starts with a recap of regulation of judge’s separate – dissenting or concurring – opinion in other courts: in civil, arbitration, criminal and administrative proceedings, comparing that with regulation of a judge’s individual opinion in the Constitutional Court. In general, dissenting opinion is a rather ambivalent phenomenon which, on the one hand, preserves judges’ independence and helps to expresses their own legal position, but on the other hand, may appear as a bone of contention among judges, indicating the absence unanimity, accord and unity in the court. Nevertheless, dissenting opinion of a judge of Constitutional Court has a significant role in the constitutional procedure. First of all, it is the indicator of transparency of constitutional justice. Publicity and transparency of the Russian Constitutional Court and the nature of its decisions as a source of law dictate the necessity of publishing judge’s dissenting opinion. However, the regulation of the dissenting opinion of Russian Constitutional Courts’ judges has its distinctive features caused by a peculiar and rather cautious attitude of the legislators toward this institution. Sometimes an expression of dissenting opinion reveals the discreet and even reserved attitude among the judges. The article shows the evolution of dissenting opinion in Russia, the characteristics of both the individual and collective opinion in Constitutional Court of Russian Federation, and the author expresses her criticism towards the collective dissenting opinion seeing in it more a petition in which the individual independence of a judge may be lost. The author researches the correlation between the content of dissenting opinion and civic sense of a constitutional judge and provides relevant commented statistics on expressing separate opinion by judges in the Constitutional Court.

About the author: Ekaterina Drigo – graduate student (4th year), Faculty of Law, National Research University – Higher School of Economics.

Citation: Drigo E. (2016) Institut osobogo mneniya sud'i Konstitutsionnogo Suda Rossiyskoy Federatsii: regulirovanie i praktika primeneniya [The dissenting opinion of the judge in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation: regulation and practice]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.3, pp.79–93. (In Russian).


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