Russian Constitutional Court: is it time to put an end to its history?

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Author: Olga Kryazhkova

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2019-4-56-67

Keywords: composition of Constitutional Court; Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; court system; legal interpretation; model of constitutional review; uniformity of court practice


The possibility of liquidation of the Russian Constitutional Court has been publicly spoken since it appeared. In 2014, the Russian Higher Arbitration Court was disbanded. After that, the media and their respondents, as well as high-level officials, including the President of the Russian Federation, had to say whether it was time to disband the Constitutional Court as well. Now it is not very likely. But it’s impossible to exclude it. The purpose of this article is to form an opinion on the idea of the liquidation of the Constitutional Court. First of all, the author summarizes the prerequisites for this discussion. There are: a broad legislative framework for changes in the court system; the absence of legal positions of the Constitutional Court itself for its defense; the similarity of the real functions of the Constitutional Court with the functions of the court of cassation; incomplete composition of the Court, because of what there is a risk to its activity. Secondly, the article critically analyzes the arguments in favor for liquidation of the Constitutional Court from doctrine. The author comes to the conclusion that these arguments are based on an incorrect understanding of the Constitutional Court’s competence as a body of constitutional review, are not supported by facts, are unsuccessful in a historical context and are not logical enough. They cannot qualitatively substantiate such a serious reform in the sphere of state and law. On the other hand, there is a doctrinal opinion in favor for the existence of the Constitutional Court, but the arguments are also mostly subjective and politically motivated. As a result, the author concludes that the Court should remain an independent unit of the court system. Other decision would be senseless from the legal point of view and negative – from a symbolic one. According to the author, the potential of the Russian Constitutional Court is not exhausted.

About the author: Olga Kryazhkova – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Russian State University of Justice, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Kryazhkova O. (2019) Rossiyskiy Konstitutsionnyy Sud: pora li postavit’ krest na ego istorii? [Russian Constitutional Court: is it time to put an end to its history?]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 56–67. (In Russian).


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