Available in Russian
Author: Aldar Chirninov
Keywords: constitutional argumentation; coherence of legal regulation; judicial protection; fine reduction; fine refund
The proper functioning of a legal order is impossible without the coordinated operation of relevant legal rules. The lack of adequate coordination undermines the effectiveness of legal regulation, creating the risk of arbitrary application of the law. That is the reason why the Constitution protects the value of coherence of legal rules. This article considers this constitutional value by examining, as an example, the interaction between the rules allowing reduction of an administrative fine below its lowest prescribed level and the rules allowing payment of an administrative fine with a fifty percent discount, provided that it is paid within the first twenty days of its imposition. Recently, the Russian Supreme Court restricted the simultaneous application of these two legal instruments. Specifically, it did not allow the return of half of an administrative fine which had been paid within twenty days of its imposition in a case where a court later reduced the amount of the fine to half of its minimum amount. The author argues that such an approach makes the right to judicial protection illusory, since a court’s decision to reduce the administrative fine to half of its minimum amount will always remain unenforceable, bearing in mind that the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses allows a fine to be reduced to only half of its minimum amount. It is also argued that this approach undermines the right to private property and violates the principle of equality, since it puts citizens in an unequal position, depending on what means and in what order they seek to reduce the amount of an administrative fine. Finally, the article draws attention to the fact that this issue was raised before the Russian Constitutional Court but the court refused to address the problem. Therefore, the author concludes that it is necessary to amend the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses so that the simultaneous, coordinated application of these two legal rules is possible.
About the author: Aldar Chirninov – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Researcher, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Associate Professor, Ural State Law University named after V.F.Yakovlev, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Citation: Chirninov A. (2022) Shtraf uplachen [ne] izlishne: soglasovannost’ pravovykh institutov kak konstitutsionnaya tsennost’ (na primere administrativno-deliktnogo prava) [The fine is [not] overpaid: coherence of legal rules as a constitutional value (using as example of the law of administrative offences)]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 142–151. (In Russian).