Higher School of Economics shrugs off reports on its involvement in new Russian constitution drafting allegedly contracted by Khodorkovsky

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

MOSCOW. April 30 (Interfax) – Russia’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) said that it has nothing to do with any drafting of the new Russian constitution allegedly ordered by former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky. “The National Research University Higher School of Economics is out of politics and does not engage in personal projects of any participants in the political process,” […]

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Constitutional Crisis in Russia and How to Resolve It

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – March 28, 2016) [Full report here imrussia.org/en/news/2540-constitutional-crisis-in-russia-and-how-to-resolve-it] Today, there is every indication that Russia is facing an anti-constitutional coup. Power is being concentrated in the hands of unconstitutional authorities who have replaced constitutional institutions. It isn’t clear who Russia is governed by, let alone who controls its people. What are the specifics of […]

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[Khodorkovsky:] Who is to blame for what happened to the Russian Constitution, and What do we do about it now?

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Institute for Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Mikhail Khodorkovsky – December 17, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia movement, discusses why the Russian Constitution is “no more than a piece of paper-a sham symbol of federalism, freedom and democracy.” December 12, Russia’s Constitution Day, was marked by the detention of one of the Constitution’s authors for organizing a […]

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Russian Justice Ministry Accuses Memorial Of Calling For Regime Change

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – RFE/RL’s Russian Service – November 10, 2015) Russia’s Justice Ministry has accused the prominent nongovernmental organization Memorial of “undermining the foundations of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation” and of calling for “a change of political regime” in the country. The ministry sent the Memorial Human Rights Center notification of the accusations on November 9 […]

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Russia Celebrates Constitution, But Few Russians Know What It Says

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 12, 2014) Russia celebrates Constitution Day on Friday, a poll shows a vast majority of citizens have no knowledge of what their country’s Constitution actually says, but four in ten still believe it protects their rights, a recent poll indicated. A total of 41 percent of respondents said they had never read the Constitution, […]

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Interfax: Amnesty declared is compromise – Russian human rights commissioner Lukin

Vladimir Lukin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – The amnesty declared by the State Duma should be considered clemency and another amnesty over 100th anniversary since the World War I began should be declared in 2014, Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said. “I treat positively any measures of the state aimed at easing the fate of people,” Lukin told Interfax regarding the […]

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Duma Set to Pass Amnesty Bill This Week

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – December 17, 2013) The State Duma will vote Tuesday in a first reading on President Vladimir Putin’s draft bill to grant amnesty to certain categories of prisoners, a piece of legislation that could exonerate high-profile detainees despite what critics say are its narrow criteria. As part of an effort to free space […]

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Lost Cause: On the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Constitution

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Ekaterina Mishina – December 12, 2013) December 12 marks the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. According to some estimates, over $600,000 were spent on pompous celebration activities. Meanwhile, as IMR legal expert Ekaterina Mishina notes, the constitution has begun to be treated as a fetish, while its real content […]

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Hands off the Constitution [Interview with Viktor Sheinis]

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Ekaterina Alexeeva – December 12, 2013) Widely regarded as one of the authors of the Constitution, Viktor Sheinis is chief researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He spoke with Ekaterina Alexeeva, Program Manager and Editor, Kennan Moscow Project on the occasion of the Tenth Starovoitova […]

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Interfax: Zorkin: revolutions bring enormous suffering, society must live within constitutional framework

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 12 (Interfax) – International terrorism, extremism and crime may jeopardize the Russian constitutional system, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said. “The constitution’s anniversary should inspire all people who are not indifferent to holding a profound discussion of any possible threats to the constitutional system of our country. This is the question of international terrorism, extremism and […]

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Interfax: Naryshkin declares importance of constitution’s stability

Russian Duma Building

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has noted the importance of the stability of the Russian constitution and the delicate attitude of Russian society and the authorities towards it. “The stability of the Russian constitution is of special importance for our country,” Naryshkin said at a joint meeting of two houses of the Russian Federal Assembly […]

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Interfax: Human Rights’ Council opposed to constitutional amendments, favors broad amnesty

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – The presidential Human Rights’ Council believes that the amnesty expected to be declared on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the constitution should be full-fledged and broad while attempts to change the constitution are impermissible. “We regard with bewilderment and concern the increasingly frequent attempts to change the constitution, in particular, its preamble and […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Supports Mass Amnesty Proposal

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

NOVO-OGARYOVO, December 4 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday expressed his support for granting amnesty to perhaps tens of thousands of Russian prisoners in honor of the 20th anniversary of the country’s constitution. “I agree with your proposals in general,” Putin told the head of the Kremlin’s Human Rights Council, which had suggested the amnesty. “We are going […]

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Interfax: Russian church calls for broad debate of idea for special role of Orthodox faith in Constitution

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – There is a need for an open and broad public debate on the proposal to reflect in the Constitution the special role of Orthodox faith, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the synodal department on relations between the church and society, said. “Such initiatives, like any public, ideological, and legislative initiatives, can and should be […]

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Interfax: Matviyenko calls for careful treatment of Russian Constitution

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 25 (Interfax) – Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko believes it is wrong to make drastic changes to the fundamental provisions of the Russian Constitution. “I don’t see any need to make amendments to the Constitution. There is no need for it and this issue should be approached very carefully,” Matviyenko said during a meeting with young legislators from […]

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Hope Springs Eternal Even On The Very Brink Of Winter

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 Subject: Hope Springs Eternal Even On The Very Brink Of Winter From: Robert Teets <rmtlaw@gmail.com> Hope Springs Eternal Even On The Very Brink Of Winter Today saw the first snowfall in Moscow, albeit with its melting as soon as the snowflakes touched the still unfrozen earth. With a constitutional jubilee soon to be upon us, […]

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Interfax: Matviyenko calls for respect of Russian Constitution

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko believes the resources of the Russian Constitution have not been exhausted yet and the issue of changing it should be approached very carefully. “We should treat the Constitution very carefully. We should always remember that this document determines the long-term national development and is far from having exhausted its resources […]

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Changing the Russian Constitution Fraught with Dangers, Experts Say

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 18, 2013) The Moscow media are full of stories that President Vladimir Putin plans to propose changes in the 1993 Russian Constitution in a message to the Federal Assembly on December 12 and will announce the establishment of a special 90-person Presidential council to consider and draft revisions. But some Russian […]

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Interfax: Shakhrai: even minor adjustment of constitution may open “Pandora’s box” of political instability

Kremlin and St. Basil's

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 14 (Interfax) – The Russian constitution is still up-to-date and does not need any alterations, constitution co-author, merited lawyer of Russia Sergei Shakhrai declared. “The constitution of 1993 is 20 years old, which means this fundamental document is still up-to-date and has creative potential,” he told the audience at a conference, “Modern Constitutionalism. Conclusions and Prospects”, in […]

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Interfax: Constitutional Court chairman opposed to alteration of constitution

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 14 (Interfax) – The 20-year-old Russian constitution has commendably withstood the test of time, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said. “The constitution has been tested during this drastic historic turn in the country’s life,” he told the audience at a conference, “Modern Constitutionalism. Conclusions and Prospects”, in St. Petersburg on Thursday. “It [the constitution] prevented the […]

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Interfax: Socio-cultural split in Russia can be overcome – Constitution Court Chairman

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Public accord in Russia is attainable and its legal grounds are the basis of the Russian Constitution, which has considerable potential for legal reforms, Russian Constitution Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said. A number of research publications emerged in the field of Russian social science in the recent years and they allow that Russia has a […]

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Russian Bureaucrats Should Take Constitution Exam – Top Lawmaker

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament said in an op-ed published Tuesday that the country’s politicians are too ignorant about the Constitution and that civil servants should be made to pass an exam on it before they can enter government service. “[The Constitution] has ceased to be required reading for many politicians […]

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Amnesty will promote civil accord, dialogue between society, authorities – Russian rights activists

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – The leaders of Russian human rights organizations believe a broad amnesty timed with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution will help establish effective dialogue between the authorities and civil society. “Will the authorities find the energy to build relations with civil society again” The best way out of this deadlock would be broad amnesty, […]

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Broad Amnesty Proposals Need to Be ‘Revised’

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 15, 2013) State Duma deputies are calling for changes to the proposal prison amnesty that could benefit prominent convicts like former oil tycoon Khodorkovsky. State Duma deputies want to make changes to the broad amnesty proposal drafted by the Kremlin’s human rights council for the 20th anniversary of the Constitution, and are working on […]

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Rights activists propose applying constitution anniversary amnesty to Bolotnaya case suspects, Arctic Sunrise crew

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 11, 2013) The amnesty campaign meant to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution should apply to the suspects in the Bolotnaya Square clashes case, the Greenpeace activists detained onboard the vessel Arctic Sunrise and former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the For Human Rights organization said in an address published on its website on Thursday. “A […]

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New Issue of Konstitutsionny Vestnik on the the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

From: “Alexander Domrin” <adomrin@rumyantsevconsulting.ru> Subject: new issue of  Konstitutsionny Vestnik on the the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 Dear David ­ I am pleased to tell you and JRL readers that a new Konstitutsionny Vestnik issue of  can be downloaded from the web site of the Russian Foundation for Legal Reform: http://www.rfcr.ru/news_upload/kv3.pdf The issue […]

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Khodorkovsky lawyer doubts human rights council’s idea on new amnesty will be implemented

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) The defense lawyers for former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said he doubts that the idea of the presidential human rights council to declare a new amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, which could apply to the former Yukos managers, will be implemented. “The idea of this amnesty is constantly present […]

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Let’s Say “No” to the Erosion of the Constitution

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Ekaterina Mishina – July 29, 2013) Russia’s leading legal experts have published an open address in which they detail the threats to the country’s constitutional order. IMR Advisor Ekaterina Mishina, a co-signatory of the address, emphasizes that, for the lawyers, to point out the dangers of the current situation is a professional, civic, […]

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June 12: How Declaration of Sovereignty saved Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Artem Zagorodnov, RBTH – June 12, 2013) Sergei Shakhrai, one of the authors of Russia’s constitution, explained to RBTH what really brought about the USSR’s demise, and what prevented Russia from splitting apart further. During the turbulent years of the Soviet collapse, parliamentarian Sergei Shakhrai supported the Declaration of Sovereignty, passed by parliamentary […]

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Quoting the constitution in Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – February 4, 2013) The story, as told by Yekaterinburg-based journalist Aksana Panova on her Facebook page, is nothing short of amazing. Znak.com, an online portal where Panova works, decided to place banners with quotes from the Russian Constitution on the city streets. The banners went up – but not without a struggle. […]

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